Dogs are man’s best friend. Including best hunting buddy! The best thing about hunting with dogs is watching them do their work. It’s amazing to have a bond with another animal that serves you with incredible senses.
Fetching ducks are one thing, battling an old boss hog is totally another!
Hog hunting with a dog is an exceptional experience. If you have never had the pleasure, here’s the rough outline of how it works, as well as some hard-earned tips that will help you in the field. If you’re even the slightest bit interested, you’ll be on the field in no time!
The Hunt Is On!
Essentially, most dog hunts with hogs take a similar form. Right around a pickup truck until the dogs cut the scent of a hog, let the dogs loose, and wait for them to howl. What the dogs are doing is encircling the hog and pinning it down or trapping in the quarter. They then keep the hog busy until you arrive in either shoot or stab the heart to death.
All you have to do during the first part of the hunt, while you are looking for the hog scent, is make sure that everybody is safe riding around in the backs of trucks. Very often people fallout of the back of trucks while sitting on the railing around the tailgate or bed, and it is very common to get injured or even kill dogs who jump out inadvertently and get hit by a falling truck. Keep everybody safe and on the same page.
As soon as the dogs cut the scent of a hog, many people get ready to hear the Howell. This means making sure that your weapon is good to go, the truck is parked in a secure area where it won’t sink into mud or be hit by another vehicle, and all the gear you plan on taking with you like flashlights, first aid kits, and bug spray are ready to go.
Alternatively, many people are fixed by GPS trackers to the callers of their dogs and wait for the pack of dogs to completely encircle and hold the hog down until they dismount from their trucks. This is a positive if you have a piece of land with many roads and can bring the truck closer to the area that the dogs bay the hog up at.
After that, you kill the hog with the method you decided on, normally a knife or other edged weapon, and the hunt is over. Make sure you take care of the meat, hog meat in the summer spoils quick!
Things To Know When Hog Hunting With Dogs
• Assign Jobs – This may sound like a buzz kill before you start hunting make sure each and every person knows their job when the dogs start barking. One person is going to have to grab the hog’s legs, one person going to be in charge of dispatching the hog, and most likely one person is going to be in charge of getting it on film or holding a flashlight. Just make sure everyone knows their place so you don’t end up with an accident.
• Know the Plan – Make sure each and every person understands what is going to happen on the hunt. If you’re going to start the truck, if it’s going to start with a will walk around, and what is going to happen once the dogs start howling. Make sure everybody knows what’s going to happen so that no one gets panicked or unsafe during the hunt.
• Park as Close as Possible – Try and park the truck as close as possible to the hog. Many times hunting hogs with dogs is done in the early fall or over the summer and having the hog closer to the truck means less exhaustion and a less of a chance of spoiling the meat. It’s a good idea to buy ice and put it in the cooler before you go hunting, as well as having all of your equipment staged in the bed of your truck for this reason.
• Watch the Dogs – Make sure you monitor where the dogs are at all times and what their core temperature is. Many dogs will run until exhaustion and keel over when they don’t feel good. Animals that have the ability to communicate with us how they feel and most well-trained dogs will work themselves right into heatstroke. Make sure you know where they are on the property your hunting, and make sure you don’t overwork them.
• Hunt in Allowed Areas – This goes without saying, but be on double alert when it comes to hunting in public areas. You never know who is going to be shooting at a hog you are running upon, and whether or not a hunter is going to be shooting at one of your dogs. Make absolutely sure people know that you are in the area and that it is illegal to do what you are doing. Hunting hogs with dogs are very high profile and also very regulated in many places. It is difficult to hide from a game warden with all the barking and howling that goes into hunting with dogs.
Hunting with dogs is a fast-paced and exciting activity in the outdoors. You need to be in good shape and know what to expect before you embark on a hunt with dogs. Be very cognizant of the condition of the dogs and what you can do to make sure they are as comfortable and safe as you are. There’s nothing sadder than losing a fellow member of the hunt, two legs or four.
This is an amazing past time that is as old as the bond between men and dogs, and if you ever get the opportunity to head out into the woods with a pack of hounds in chase of game, take it! You will never forget the sounds, and sites of a dog hunt no matter what your hunting!