Feral hogs will go almost completely nocturnal if they're subjected to virtually any hunting pressure. In that case, hog hunting at night with a thermal scope is a virtual necessity for controlling their numbers.
A modern sporting rifle can be a very effective tool when doing high volume feral hog control. Though most are chambered in .223 Remington or .308 Winchester, some hunters have turned to even bigger cartridges for more stopping power.
The .458 SOCOM and the .50 Beowulf are good examples of big bore cartridges designed for use in an AR-platform. Both shoot heavy bullets at a moderate velocity, so they aren't very good choices for shots at extended range. However, most shots on night hog hunts are at relatively close range anyway and that's where those cartridges really shine.
This particular hunter was engaged in a long term hog control project for farmers in that area. He'd recently killed a smaller hog in a corn field and noticed a couple of coyotes at the kill site that evening. A few minutes later he encountered a pretty big boar out in that same corn field. Thank goodness for night vision!
He was using a CMMG Anvil rifle chambered in .458 SOCOM, so he had to get a lot closer before taking a shot. Fortunately for the hunter, the hog started moving in his direction and he was able to capture the whole thing on video. Their sense of smell is impeccable, but wild hogs don't exactly stand a chance when the wind's in your favor, and you're using a night vision or thermal rifle scope.
Watch the video below to see how things went down.
It appears as though his shot hit the hog in the neck. Not surprisingly, it dropped like a sack of potatoes and made for a really simple tracking job.
Though he was not in a situation where he had to take advantage of all the capabilities offered by the .458 SOCOM, it still performed very well for him and that hog never knew what hit it. Night hunting can help put a dent in the hog population, and thermal imaging certainly is an advantage.
In places like Texas and Georgia, where wild boars run rampant, this sort of wildlife management is only one way to conduct a little wildlife management. Wild pigs need to be controlled, and the fact that you can hunt them in the nighttime throughout a good portion of the United States is pretty cool.
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