Wild Turkey seasons are open or opening around the country and many folks will be headed south or west to try and bag a gobbler or two. If you happen to be lucky enough to tag out early, you might want to take advantage of the extra time at your destination. Many southern lodges and outfitters offer wild hogs as a bonus, or for an additional nominal fee. But if you plan to hunt them with a bow, there’s a few things you should know.
Wild Hogs are a lot tougher than deer. They have heavier hides, thicker and heavier bones and more fat. If you have a specialized turkey bow, you may want to up-size to something more powerful for Wild hogs. That means heavier draw weight, heavier arrows, heavier broadheads and more kinetic energy.
Sword and Shield
They’re also built differently than deer. Males especially have a thick, rugged shield of gristle and bone around their shoulders. That means a smaller vital area. Study anatomy diagrams in advance and stay away from the shoulder. Quartering away is a much better angle than even broadside, and don’t even consider quartering-to.
Make no mistake, wild hogs are very intelligent and they have keen noses. However, their eyesight isn’t great and though they have good hearing, they don’t seem to be nearly as skittish as whitetails. That makes spot-and-stalk hunting a very viable option for the bowhunter, even on open ground but preferably with some cover. Just take your time and don’t move when they’re looking your way.
Now that I’ve gotten your attention… If you have a choice, you’d be well advised to choose a sow over a boar, at least if you’re more interested in meat than a trophy. While they lack the sometimes impressive cutters and whetters of big boars, a sow’s meat tends to be more tender and flavorful. Steak the loins and grind the rest up for sausage.
Be careful out there, especially in a spot-and-stalk hunt. While they typically bolt at the first sight, sound or smell of danger, wild hogs can be unpredictable. A big boar might be just as likely to turn and charge – I speak from experience. Take note of your surroundings and have an
escape plan just in case.
If you’re thinking of adding bacon to the menu of your spring hunt, make sure you ask your outfitter in advance if it’s an option. They may not offer hog hunts, or there may not be wild hogs in the area. The outfitter might also be able to offer suggestions on where to find hogs should you
fill your turkey tags early.