‘Hawgs’ rule, but creative hunters aren’t far behind

‘Hawgs’ rule, but creative hunters aren’t far behind

Pig hunting in Texas is big time popular. We can hunt them year round, they multiply faster than roaches and can be trapped, shot with a gun or bow and, in some extreme cases, chased down with dogs then whacked with a big knife or even a spear. Better yet, we can shoot as many pigs as we want 24/7. There ain’t no limit on wild hogs.

For the discriminating hunter that is looking for something different, you might want to check out Tactical Hog Control. This is a company offering a hunting experience that is truly unique.

“Whether you call them pigs, hogs, feral hogs or wild boar, anyone can go hog hunting during the day ... but thanks to our state-of-the-art night vision equipment, we’ll do it under the cover of darkness, when the hogs are most active,” said Jed Derher. “In addition to the hunting experience, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping landowners control this depredating species.”

Derher and Clark Osborne are the owners of THC, located in Bedias, just north of Huntsville. They started out by getting some basic night-vision equipment, some AR-15s and hunting at night.

“The weapons we use are semi-automatic AR-15s and AR-10s,” said Derher. “These rifles are very similar to the standard issue M16 used by our military forces, but not fully-automatic. The calibers of these rifles are .223, .243 WSSM, 6.8SPC and .308. About half of the rifles are fitted with Gen-III night vision scopes. The other half have thermal weapon sights. All of our rifles are fitted with registered sound suppressors, so there is no need for hearing protection.”

You can go to their Web site and see some great photos and videos. It’s www.tacticalhogcontrol.com. Cost for a hunt is $500 per person. Each hunt averages six hours with a minimum of two shooters. Here’s the kicker – when the pigs come out, you start shooting until you are out of ammo. Remember, there are no limits on wild swine.

Hog traps

Bob Stinnett, aka “Hawg Daddy,” is the inventor of Hold-A-Hawg pig traps. It’s said to be the world’s most humane snare delivery device. I talked with him for a good while recently and his product is very interesting. Basically it’s a steal leg hold trap that’s connected to a snare encased in plastic. When the pig steps in the trap, it goes wild and eventually pulls its leg out of the trap and is then caught up in the snare. He showed me a video that explains the whole process.

My first question was how do you keep deer out of the trap. Deer and pigs are known to frequent the same trails and feeders.

“Sure these traps catch a few deer,” said Stinnett. “But you can release the snare and let the animal go unharmed. My snares are coated in plastic, so they don’t harm the deer’s leg.”

The deal with pig cage traps is that when a deer gets caught in one, you’ve got a problem. First they go absolutely crazy and usually injure themselves, not to mention breaking off antlers. Second, trying to get a deer out of a pig cage can be very dicey.

So what do you use to bait a hog trap?

“Sour corn or maze is good; a small amount of diesel fuel poured into a bucket of corn is good, too,” said Stinnett. “We mix a little used oil from the tractor sometimes. With Hold-A-Hawg snare traps, you don’t have to have any bait. Set them in hog trails or fence crossings. Several of us have started to use our Hawg Urine we sell, and nothing more. I like this method in an area with a high deer population.”

But wait, there’s another way to snuff out pigs. If you can’t shoot ‘em on the ground, take to the air and blast them away with an AR-15 loaded with .223 ammo while hanging out of a helicopter.

“We can truly offer the most intense and action-packed aerial adventure out there,” said Dustin Johnson, who is a pilot and CEO of Cedar Ridge Aviation. They specialize in aerial cattle work, game surveys, pipeline patrol and some of the most exciting pig hunts this side of the Mars rover.“The fact that we have access to near 100,000 acres, all of which is within 10 minutes flight of our lodge in Knox City, gives us an advantage in both hog numbers as well as in providing a true adrenaline-packed getaway,” said Johnson. “We also offer traditional night vision hog hunts.“Statistics say that 70 percent of feral hogs must be culled in order to stabilize the population. Even though we have taken over 4,000 hogs in the last two years, more must be done. Seventy percent harvested of the state’s two million hog population? You do the math. Now it’s your turn to book a seat helping us rid the hard working farmers and ranchers of the Lone Star State of this overwhelming vermin. We proudly provide custom weaponry manufactured by Black Rain Ordnance.”

Check ‘em out at www.cedarridgeaviation.com.

So what might this cost you? For $2,150 a person (two person minimum) you get a night at the full service lodge, and a two-hour helicopter hunt. Each additional hour is $1,000.

That’s what I call living high on the hog.

Robert Sloan can be reached by e-mail at sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com.