And here we are, stuck in the seasonal doldrums; turkey season long behind us, yet deer season seemingly still so far away. It’s the time of year when it’s just plain hot and hunting activities drop to a minimum amidst so many other sporting options. However, for us die-hards committed to maintaining full freezers and keeping our edge out in the field, there are still a few options available to us that help fill in the time between the seasons.
Hogs, of course, are high on the list. Throughout most of the Southern states, especially here in Florida, hogs are legal to be hunted year round on private land. And, hunting them can be one heck of a lot of fun! I prefer to take after them with archery tackle, but I’m not going to get tied up on which style of weaponry is best suited for perforating the vitals on a delicious pile of purely organic pork, just use what gives you confidence. The only real difference comes down to how close you’ll need to be to make the kill, while the hunt itself, finding how to get that clear line of sight for a shot, remains the same.
First thing I consider when preparing for a hog hunt, is the mosquitoes. As bad as they are when most of us head out to our treestands in the fall, this time of year they are many times worse and they are hungry. I’ve many times walked into the swamps looking for a good mud wallow to set up on, carrying a Thermocell, sprayed down with Deep Woods Off, and still find myself swatting the winged demons away. Best thing I’ve found is to cover up once on stand. Bug suits are great, but hard to find in my size, so loose fitting long sleeved shirts and baggy BDU style pants tucked into my boots with a full-face mask keeps their bites to a real minimum.
The only problem with suiting up for skeeter protection is the heat. Layering up in this crazy, summer heat is uncomfortable at best and dangerous at its worst. You may avoid a collection of itchy bumps, but run the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. I carry lots of water in my day pack and hydrate often during the hunt. But, I’m not recommending you do the same; overall, it may be better to just swat and deal with them.
Still hunting the mud wallows is a favorite way of mine, to ambush a hog. They don’t have sweat glands like most other mammals and in order to help them regulate their body temperatures during the heat, they will go to water and mud holes to wallow and cool themselves off. It’s an exercise in extreme patience and can require you to put in some long hours on stand. It seems that I normally find them at the wallows towards the end of a major feed period so consult a feeding time chart such as that found in the back pages of Woods and Water Magazine.
If any of you would like to share a picture or a story of your success, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]. God bless and good hunting!