Hogs and Exotics Gun or bow, you can stretch your season and fill the freezer with wild hogs and an assortment of exotics.

Moon Phase

Old 06-22-2018, 07:58 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Moon Phase

I see the most early pig activity in the week from about half moon thru the full moon.

Other times, I have to stay out past midnight to do any good.

What do ya'll experience?
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:22 AM
  #2  
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My personal opinion is that Moon phase is 100% meaningless. I know folks will differ and that is fine. I hunt 3-4 nights a week all year long. This also goes for solunar cycles, which are based on tides and fish and haven't actually been proven for terrestrial animals such as hogs.

Here is how I see it. Hogs tend to be mobile except when they are bedded down or wallowing. At least around here, they tend to be more nocturnal than diurnal. As such, they are active during most of the night, every night, particularly during the warmer months when being active and cool can only happen at night and nights are shorter.

For a couple of years, I tracked my hunting success relative to moon phases and saw no correlation. I also checked during solunar cycles and found no correlation. What really drove home this point is that for a given time period, I may be killing hogs and my buddies on other properties aren't seeing a single hog or vice versa.

The solunar apologists will say that solunar tables work so long as there are not extenuating circumstances. Strangely enough, when the solunar tables don't work, extenuating circumstances are claimed. That sort of excuse could go for any claimed method, LOL.

Pigs are going to eat, get water, have sex, etc. regardless of what the moon is doing. The only real question is whether or not you are going to be where the pigs are. In other words, don't play the moon, play the hogs. You aren't hunting the moon.

I know folks who have sworn that hogs are more active when there is no moon because hogs feel safer in the dark because predators can't be seen as well. I know folks who have sworn that hogs are more active when there is a full moon because hogs feel safe because the hogs can see threats better.

Bottom line, if you choose not to hunt because of what the moon is doing, the one thing that you are assured of is NOT getting any hogs.

In my experience, the one factor that seems to most severely limit hog movement is very high winds, usually >25-30 mph. If there are high winds, I know that my chances for scoring a hog are reduced. HOWEVER, I have had some great hunts in high winds. I have hunted when the winds were blowing so strongly that my hunting partner had to shout the countdown. So even when the winds are up, I go hunt.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:59 AM
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I Hunt near the full moon on clear nights because I don't have thermal or night vision. A good scope will get the job done with a little extra ambient light. I also hunt freshly cut hay fields for Fox and Hogs, the lighter background from the cut grass makes for good shooting. Also the Rodents, Fawn and whatever that gets cut up by the mowers attracts Predators and Hogs.

If you get a willy old Sow (five plus years old) leading a sounder, they are survivors and have learned how to avoid getting shot. They will walk in the shadows at night, avoid open fields on moonlit nights,, take round about routes to food and avoid spots where sounder members have been shot before.

Not all Hogs are smart, the adolescents tend to be the dumbest, less likely to follow an old Sows lead, tend to cut corners and ignore instructions. The dumb ones die young. Willy old Sows can be very smart, I've seen them lead the sounder on a route as far away from shooting towers as possible and lead them on the safest route, not the most direct route.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:46 PM
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I hunt 20+ nights a month, bright, dark, cloudy, whatever. Don't usually go out in hard rain.

Cover several thousand acres over 15-20 square miles.

This allows me to monitor several groups that aren't related.

I don't "hunt the moon", this is just observations.

I just see more, earlier in the evening, under a bright moon.

Yeah, it's really hard to quantify it because they are so random.


The solunar table seem to apply more to fishing than game, in my experience.

Last night's bang-flop.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:59 PM
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I will also add that I hunt some properties where I can see much more than just the property that I am hunting. There are plenty of nights I can see hogs active on the neighbor properties, but that are not active on one of mine. It is nice hunting from hill and ridge tops. What is interesting is that from a hunter observation perspective, had my properties been treed or in a low area where I could not see as far, I might be apt to claim that the hogs just "weren't moving." However, from my high spots, I can see that they are moving. They just aren't coming over to where I can hunt them.

With that said, they will forget and they will be back. In the end, they can't resist a good thing.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:57 PM
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DNS, Do you hunt over any row crops or wheat?

That's something we don't have much of in my area.

Pretty much all cattle operations.
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Old 06-23-2018, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Knuckledragger View Post
I hunt 20+ nights a month, bright, dark, cloudy, whatever. Don't usually go out in hard rain.

Cover several thousand acres over 15-20 square miles.

This allows me to monitor several groups that aren't related.

I don't "hunt the moon", this is just observations.

I just see more, earlier in the evening, under a bright moon.

Yeah, it's really hard to quantify it because they are so random.


The solunar table seem to apply more to fishing than game, in my experience.

Last night's bang-flop.
I tend to hunt three areas (one is mine and two are friends) and have learned where the Hogs are likely to be. It is random and hard to pinpoint time and place. But in a broader sort of way they do tend to follow the same paths over and over again for generations. I have no idea whether they follow their noses and the paths already traveled by themselves or other sounders or maybe it is learned while growing up in the sounder and passed on from generation to generation or both.

There is a trail on my lease they have been traveling for generations, likely decades or maybe centuries. The normal forest trash, small shed branches, leaves or whatever has been trampled into churned compost in a 30 foot wide path. Fallen timber has saddles worn in the trunks where they drug their bellies while crossing them.

I dig small holes and put some Corn in them then cover the holes with 30-50 pound rocks. I can drive by and see if the rocks have been moved. Lets me know if the Hogs are in the area. I also use what I call clock boxes. A wooden box, a wooden lid with a rock on top, with a cheap electric clock and a simple interrupter circuit, so when the Hogs knock the top off the box to get the Corn the clock stops. Hogs can move into an area and kind of make the rounds looking for food in places where they have been successful before. And on occasion they can be pretty darned punctual when making the rounds. Low tech, cheep, old school.

I do have a new trail cam I'm trying out. I've had trail cams stolen before,, this one is really small, will be hard to spot and easy to hide.

My biggest issue is there is so much food around, cultivated and natural, I really can't count on feeding to help me out much. I tend to watch the trails and try to be ready when another hunter has gotten them moving and I'll be waiting when they show up on my lease again.

The job I have now is graveyard shift, six days a week. I retire for good the end of this month. I plan on getting a lot more Hog hunting done. I really should have retired for good ten years ago, inertia keep me working and every time I tired to retire they made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 06-23-2018 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 06-30-2018, 07:17 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Knuckledragger View Post
DNS, Do you hunt over any row crops or wheat?

That's something we don't have much of in my area.

Pretty much all cattle operations.
I hunt a little bit of everything except deserts. I like to hunt crops, but most of my places are simply cattle pastures or wooded areas.
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Old 06-30-2018, 11:23 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy View Post
I hunt a little bit of everything except deserts. I like to hunt crops, but most of my places are simply cattle pastures or wooded areas.
The only thing we have here is woods, crops and Hay fields, very little pasture.
My most successful hunts were right at dusk. I find an area the sounder has been raiding/feeding at recently and lay in wait for them to break out of cover (woods or brush) and catch them on the way to food. The vast majority of my shots are a pair of adolescents that broke away from the sounder, they tend to let hunger overcome their common sense and break cover early.
The rest of the sounder usually shows up in full darkness, the little ones and the mature females. The Boar are usually the last to show up if at all, except in mating season. In mating season they tail the sounder a lot closer.
Sure there are exceptions. If I pick a spot they feed at second or third they may show up a later. Sometime during the night they most always show up at a wallow.

I've found another good spot to set up is on a forest road. I find a spot where they cross the road and/or turn over the grass center of a logging road looking for worms and set up there.

I have sneaked up on them sleeping in the daylight. Usually a single Boar in thick brush. A hard shot, they break from cover or take off for the hills quick, you have one shot, an instinct shot, no time to aim.

There senses are a lot more attuned to their surroundings than yours are in general. And they have many eyes and ears (the sounder). I've found stalking them to be a low percentage undertaking. Maybe I'm just not very good at it.

This year is going to be different than most. Most of the grain crops are stunted because of drought and the farmers are harvesting months early.

We've had some fun sending the dogs into a mature Corn field and setting up around the edges. Not a sure thing. As often as not the Hogs stick to cover (in the Corn field) and run the dogs ragged.

Hogs can be hard to see in a mature grain field, You may see their backs, but the vital areas are below the grain tops. the lower the angle the more grain your bullet has to pass through. And/when if the Hog eventually dies, no telling where it's at. I've tramped through grain fields for hours trying to find a downed Hog, even the Dogs can have problems. The Hogs sometimes run in circles after being shot in a grain field, Dogs can have a hard time sorting out the scent.

I shy away from the bedding areas so I have a chance at multiple shots over successive nights. If I bust into a bedding area they are likely to head for the next county. Bedding areas are low percentage anyway, usually in thick brush and again with many eyes and ears.

Last edited by MudderChuck; 06-30-2018 at 11:26 PM.
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