76.3 F
Spring Hill
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Swine Time

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As deer season is coming to a close, I’ve been getting a lot of folks asking me where to hunt hogs locally. Not a hard question to answer, we’ve got some excellent hog hunting on public lands all around us. The Chasahowitzka, Croom, and Citrus Wildlife Management Areas are still hosting some great opportunities to bring a little free-range, organic pork to your table. I’ll be out and about on each property from time to time, so if you need any tips on where to look, you’re always welcome to shoot me an email and I’ll spill the beans on some hot spots to start your hunt.

Chassahowitzka is open this weekend for the final hog hunt of the season, Friday the 21st until sundown on Sunday the 23rd. It’s a quota permit only hunt with no exemptions, but each permitted hunter is welcome to bring a guest to share the quota. If you aren’t lucky enough to know someone with a permit, take to social media. I often see folks on the Florida hunting pages on Facebook, looking for a partner. You might not only get a place to hunt, but you might make a new friend. And we can all use more friends, right?

Croom is located on the northeastern edge of our county and has some really fantastic hunting opportunities for porkers. The small game season is open for hunting daily until March 6th and hogs are definitely on the menu. One restriction to take note of is that centerfire rifles are not allowed. I prefer to hunt them with archery gear, but shotguns, handguns and black powder rifles are welcome as well. Just recently I was fishing in the WMA, on the Withlacoochee River and had a whole sounder of hogs strolled past me. They were pretty casual about it too, like they knew I didn’t have a gun and my spinning rod didn’t cause them any concern. So, stick to the river and with a little luck, you just might be able to add something to your cooler, other than a few sodas.

Now, the Citrus WMA is located on a very short drive north of our county line and it is also open for public access hog hunting throughout its small game season. Like Croom, it too has the “no centerfire” restriction, but the southern end of that forest is loaded with our favorite porcine entrees. It’s a high and dry ground WMA with thick oak hammocks, but if you find the water (use the internet for satellite imagery) you’ll generally find the pork. This property is open daily until February 27th and I’ve had great success there over the years with some Rebel Yell Game Attractants on a drag rag and scent posts. It’s a curiosity attractant that really appeals to them and as the old saying goes, curiosity kills the cat, or in this case, the pig.

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As always, I’d love to hear about your adventures and maybe see a photo or two of your successes, so drop me a line at [email protected]. God bless and Good Hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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