With feral hog populations exploding all over the United States, there are a lot of great places to hunt hogs.
It's thought that the first hogs in the United States were introduced in the 1500s by Spanish explorers. Since then, the hog population has ballooned and their range has expanded dramatically thanks to their prolific breeding (supplemented by hogs that escaped from farms and those introduced specifically for hunting).
While their exact distribution and population are though to precisely pin down, biologists estimate there could be as many as 6 million feral hogs living in 39 different states.
This is bad news for farmers and wildlife biologists, but it is great news for sportsmen looking for a place to do some wild boar hunting. It is a type of big game hunting you can indulge in year-round while waiting for archery deer season or turkey season to start. Pig hunting is also useful for giving newbies a real hunting experience before the serious big game seasons start.
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Where Should You Hunt Wild Hogs?
Since they are so widely distributed, there is likely good hog hunting within a reasonable distance regardless of where you live. However, not all states are equal from a hog hunting perspective, and the best places to hunt hogs tend to be the warmer southern states and places that get lots of rain.
We considered the overall estimated hog population, the amount of hog hunting opportunities (both public land hunts and outfitted hunts) available, and how permissive the restrictions and regulations for hunting hogs in each state when we made this list of the best states to hunt hogs.
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Though California isn't exactly known for being a hunter- or gun-friendly place, the state still has some outstanding hog hunting. Hogs are present in 56 of 58 counties in a wide variety of habitats. Unlike some of the other states on the list, baiting is prohibited in California and the state requires hunters to possess both a hunting license and a hog tag.
However, if you can look past the downsides of hunting in the Golden State, California has a lot to offer as a hunting destination and few other places can offer the opportunity to hunt wild pigs in such breathtaking scenery.
Hawaii has a long and rich tradition of hog hunting. (Where do you think they get the pigs they cook at luaus?) Precise hog numbers are unknown, but there are enough feral hogs on the islands to be causing significant damage to the natural habitat and just be a general nuisance. Hogs may be hunted on Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and the Island of Hawaii.
Unfortunately, the state does have some of the most strict hunting (and firearm) regulations out of all the choices on this list of the best states to hunt hogs. Not only is there a bag limit of one hog per day, but each island has its own hunting season and specific regulations. Hunting is generally not allowed at night, and while there are some public land opportunities, the hunting is tough if you don't have someone to show you the ropes.
For this reason, hunting with a guide is probably a better bet in Hawaii. Fortunately, there are a number of good guides and hunting with dogs is legal, so your odds of success are very good if you're willing and able to put in the effort on what can potentially be a tough hunt.
8. South Carolina
Biologists estimate approximately 150,000-200,000 feral hogs call South Carolina home, with the majority of them residing along watersheds and near the coast. The state has very few regulations for hunting hogs, and hunters do not even need a license when hunting on private land.
Hunting hogs at night is permitted but is subject to some very specific regulations. For hunters with access to some of the prime land in the state with a high concentration of feral hogs, South Carolina offers some outstanding opportunities to hunt hogs.
Biologists estimate Oklahoma has a population of approximately 430,000 feral hogs in 74 of 77 counties in the state. Especially when you consider that the hogs tend to be concentrated heaviest in the southern and eastern parts of the state close to the border with Texas and where water is the most plentiful, there are some areas in Oklahoma with extremely dense feral hog populations.
If you manage to find a place to hunt hogs in one of these areas, you could really end up hitting the jackpot. Regulations vary, but they are generally very permissive with no bag limit, very long (or no) hog hunting seasons, and few restrictions on acceptable hog hunting methods.
There aren't any officially published numbers for the feral hog population in Alabama, but trust me when I say there are plenty in the state and they are found in all 67 counties.
Regulations are very permissive, and you only need a small game license to hunt hogs. There are also plenty of outfitters that offer guided hog hunts in Alabama (like the controversial 2007 "hunt" for the massive pig named Fred that tipped the scales at over 1,000 pounds).
With an estimated 200,000 feral hogs living in the state's 75 counties, farmers in Arkansas are under assault from these wily, destructive creatures. Though things seem to be heading in the right direction, hog hunting restrictions in Arkansas (primarily on public land) still aren't as permissive as most of the other states on this list.
However, the state is still an outstanding place to hunt hogs if you've got access to private land, so keep Arkansas in mind if you're looking for an under the radar destination for a feral hog hunt.
Louisiana is home to an estimated 700,000 feral hogs, and wildlife officials have responded by loosening the restrictions on hog hunting in the state. Not only is there no closed season and no bag limit when hunting hogs, but they may be hunted at night on private property as well, and guys like Jody Greene of Double G Hog Control have turned night hunting of feral hogs into a deadly science.
Next up on this list of the top states to hunt hogs is Georgia. Like most of the other states in the Southeastern United States, Georgia has a warm, wet climate that hogs absolutely thrive in. For this reason, not only are there large numbers of hogs in Georgia, but some grow to massive proportions, like the famous Hogzilla, which was killed near Alapaha, Georgia in 2004.
There are no official published statistics for the hog population in the state, but there are so many that there are virtually no regulations on hunting hogs. When hunting on private land, there are no bag limits, no closed season, and it is legal to hunt at night, which the folks at Jager Pro have demonstrated as an extremely effective way to shoot a bunch of hogs in a short period of time.
There are a few restrictions on hunting hogs on public land, but the overall attitude of the state is very friendly towards hog hunters. Combine that with the fact that there are so many hogs in the state and it's easy to see why Georgia is such a great place to hunt hogs.
Florida may not be a premier deer hunting destination, but the Sunshine State is certainly one of the top states to hunt hogs in the United States. Historians think that Florida was the first place hogs were introduced in North America (by Spanish explorers in the 1500s) and for this reason, it should not be surprising that the state has one of the largest populations of feral hogs in the country. Though it's tough to say for sure, biologists think that Florida is home to over 500,000 hogs.
There are ample opportunities to hunt hogs on both public and private land in the state, and regulations are very permissive, especially on private land where hunters do not even need a hunting license. While there are hogs in every county in the state, they are the most concentrated in areas with lots of water. Heavy rains that cause a quick rise in water levels tend to further concentrate the hog population on patches of high ground and hunters who find those places can have an absolute field day.
It shouldn't be a surprise, but Texas by far tops this list of the best states to hunt hogs in the United States. It is open season down there because with a hog population conservatively estimated at upwards of 1.5 million hogs, the Lone Star State has by far the largest hog population. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Department of Agriculture wants you to hunt feral hogs here. Take as many as you would like! And you can do it any time of year too. Hog hunting is open to residents and non-residents alike 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. There is no traditional big game animal that gives you that much flexibility on the seasons.
In fact, Texas is experiencing such a dramatic increase in feral hog populations (an average of 20 percent per year) that some think the state is actually losing the war on feral hogs.
While that's terrible news for farmers, it is great news for hog hunters and the state actively encourages hog hunting by allowing them to be hunted year around with no bag limits and minimal restrictions. They may be hunted at night, hunted with suppressed firearms, shot from a helicopter, and hunted over bait.
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of public land opportunities to hunt hogs in Texas. There is a serious lack of wildlife management areas and national forests to pursue swine in compared to other states. However, there are tons of reasonably priced guided hog hunts in the state.
For those ready to get in on the action, Ox Hunting Ranch has some of the best hog hunting packages you can find. Check them out and consider yourself more prepared after reading this post.
What do you think about our choices for the top 10 states to hunt hogs in the United States? Did we miss any?
Like what you see here? You can read more great hunting articles by John McAdams on his hunting blog. Follow him on Facebook The Big Game Hunting Blog, Twitter @TheBigGameHunt and on Instagram The_Big_Game_Hunter
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