The conditions over the last year have been very good, plenty of feed on the ground and water and with this the pigs are thriving and multiplying. I have been spending as much time as possible out looking, locating and returning to areas with regular pig sign.
Pig wallows, regular diggings in an area and fresh pig poo are all good reason to return to these areas and are what I call good pig habitat.
Typically good areas include blackberry bush gullies and crop areas with scrubby bush cover nearby for pigs to bed in and hide. These are also good productive places to keep an eye on especially at first light and just before dark.
When out on a hunt I have found the .308 Winchester a very good chambering and the bolt action suits me fine with a good quality 3-9×40 variable scope. Any 150 grain soft point ammo is tops and I have also had good results with the 130 grain weight projectile like the Speer hollow points. I find it hard to do without a good pair of binoculars as those dawn and dusk times are when you need to resolve those black shapes in poor light.
When planning a stalk the first thing considered is keeping the wind direction right, this I have found very important as pig’s sense of smell is excellent.Their eyesight is however poor, so while they have their heads down rooting or feeding is an opportune time to close the gap bewteen hunter and hunted.
The seven pigs in the photo were located up in the higher country with the use of binoculars and stalked in to close range, some of them had had bedded and three of the pigs were taken.
The four four pigs in the photo with me were located by following the sound of their squeals and they were eventually located slightly above a blackberry bush gully early one morning. Then they were stalked and dispatched.
The three brownish pigs in the photo were spotted while glassing with the binoculars at first light on a grassy hillside and seen making there way down into a gully with good water and cover. Once they were intercepted managed to catch up with them by staying out of sight, using the available cover and keeping the wind to my favour.
The two pigs on the log photo were first sighted as dark shapes and then confirmed as pigs with the binoculars in the early pre-dawn light while they were digging around and, after stalking in on them, I adopted a good steady rest from my hidden location to take them successfully.
The lone boar was first seen leaving a feed pasture early one morning and making his way back to the bush for cover as the light got better, probably with the intention to bed down.Again, he was stalked by using the terrain and cover to hide my approach while keeping the wind to my favour. At 50 yards he was taken with the .308 with one shot.
Now pigs tend to move from location to location, typically spending a few days in one spot and maybe up to a few weeks if undisturbed and there is plentiful feed, so an early discovery can bear fruit if you go back there on successive mornings or afternoons.
These are how a few hunts have been for me when out looking for pigs and as with most hunts the more times out there the more scenarios are enjoyed and learnt from. Hunting pigs is the product of good applied hunting skills combined with the numbers game and they provide great sport once it all comes together.