The United States Department of Agriculture estimates there are over 6 million feral hogs in the United States. What’s more, this number is rapidly expanding.
Fantastic for hog hunters, not so great for the farmers
We’ll have a brief look at the history of wild hogs in the United States, review the 11 Best States for Hog Hunting and include valuable links and guides to each of the top hog hunting state’s regulations.
A Brief History of Wild Hogs in the United States
Initially brought to the U.S by explorers and settlers for a food source, hogs, pigs or boars whatever you prefer to call them date back to the 1500s. In the 1900s Eurasian or Russian wild boar was introduced purely for the purpose of hunting.
Skip forward to the 21st century and wild boars are a major cause for concern to both crop and livestock farmers. They destroy native species and local ecosystems through their constant foraging and digging. They can even spread diseases to humans.
It is estimated feral hogs cost the nation over $1.5 billion per year in damages and control programs. With a rising hog population this cost is ever increasing.
Wild hogs are spread throughout the country and the best hunting is in the wetter and warmer climates. Think the more southern states.
The great news for hunters is there are plenty of wild boars to be shot on both public and private land. Many landowners are very happy to have someone come and help in reducing their wild pig problem.
Chasing down wild hogs provides a great hunting experience. They have exceptional hearing and a keen sense of smell. To add to the challenge they often live in terrain that can be difficult to walk around in quietly.
Read the expert guide on “How To Know The Best Place To Shoot A Hog”
The reward can be taking down a massive big old boar. Not to mention a freezer full of wild boar meat.
Wild hogs are very good breeders meaning their population is ever increasing. Combine this will cross-breeding with farmed pigs and some real trophy hogs can be found.
Best 11 in States for Hunting Hogs
We begin by analyzing hog distribution maps and checking the “local knowledge”.
We then reviewed the availability of public and private land for wild boar hunting. Next was to consider the various states regulations for both private and public land hunting.
The result is we have compiled the best list of 11 top hog hunting states. So in alphabetical order here they are for you
Alabama is home to some great hog hunting opportunities. Wild pig hunting can be found in all 67 counties. There are over 721,000 acres of public land available for hunting across 35 Wildlife Management Areas. (WMA)
The state of Alabama considers feral hogs as a game animals and there is no closed season and no bag limits. On private and leased land there is also a night time hunting season. In addition to the large public land hog hunting opportunities, there are many outfitters available to choose from.
The biggest populations of feral swine can be found in the southwest regions. Some of the places you should check out include the Upper Delta, Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Scotch, W.L.Holland, Rob M Boykin and Frank W management areas.
If you find yourself in the southeastern areas try Blue springs and Covington wildlife management areas. It is reported however these areas have smaller wild hog populations.
Up North good hunting can be found in all of the following wildlife management areas:- Lowndes, Seven-mile island, Black Warrior and Freedom Hills, Choccolocco Martin-skyline, James D and Little River.
All you need to hunt feral hogs in Alabama is a small game hunting license with a full-time open season and no bag limit as mentioned above.
Regulations and seasons as always are subject to change so I recommend you visit the Alabama Department Of Conservation and Natural Resources for the latest season and bag limit information. You can also easily buy your license online.
Website Resource: https://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting
Often overlooked as a hog hunting destination Arkansas can see you get amongst the feral swine. Most of the best hog hunting is found on private land where the local farmers are in a continuous war with these beasts. On this private land you are able to shoot wild pigs all year round.
Your best bet to drop a big boar is getting to know the local farmers and there are plenty who will welcome a considerate hunter onto their land.
Public land pig shooting in Arkansas has some stricter regulations compared to other states and you need to be aware of the no go zones. Feral hogs may be killed by hunters who are hunting bear, deer or elk during a firearm season with weapons legal for those seasons.
Website Resource: https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/feral-hogs/
The Golden State has a reputation of not being the most welcoming state for hunters. Once you get past that, there are some excellent feral hog hunting opportunities in this state.
On the positive side, wild hogs can be hunted all year round and there are no bag limits on the number you may take. There are public and private land opportunities for pig hunting and you can easily find a quality outfitter to guide you.
Some public land areas worth a visit include Fort Hunter Liggett, Camp Roberts, Cow Mountain, Laguna Mountain, and Tehama Wildlife Management Areas.
There are some extra regulations to be aware of when hunting wild boars in California, namely no baiting is allowed and as well as a hunting license you need to purchase a hog tag.
Make sure you visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the latest regulations before you head off.
Website Resource: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Wild-Pig#194445-regulations
With plentiful swamps and a hot wet climate, Florida offers some of the best hog hunting around. You can hunt on both private and public land with ease and are sure to find some big boars lurking around.
If you are chasing wild pigs on private land you do not need a license, can hunt all year round including at night (with the landowner’s permission). There are also no bag limits when hunting on private land. Plenty of great guides are available to get you access to these areas.
Public land hog hunting is excellent. There is however Hog Hunting seasons on public land to be aware of and you should visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for up to date season information and to obtain your permit.
Website Resource: https://myfwc.com/hunting/wild-hog/
Some of the best Wildlife Management Areas to get amongst the wild boars are:-
Northwest – Aucilla, Blackwater Hutton Unit, Apalachicola Bradwell Unit, and Choctawhatchee River.
North Central – Andrews, Flying Eagle, Big Bend Hickory Mound Unit, Big Bend Snipe Island Unit, Big Bend Tide Swamp Unit, Mallory Swamp, Steinhatchee Springs, and Devil’s Hammock
Northeast – Tosohatchee (The best hog hunting area where hunters use dogs.) Three Lakes (The number one area for the number of wild hogs taken), followed by Tosohatchee, Triple N Ranch, Guana River, Bull Creek, Three Lakes Prairie Lakes Unit and Fort Drum.
Southwest – Green Swamp, Green Swamp West, Babcock/Webb, Chassahowitzka and Myakka State Forest.
South – Dinner Island Ranch, J.W. Corbett, Dupuis, Okaloacoochee Slough, Allapattah Flats, and Hungryland
Due to the number of wild hogs available and the relaxed hunting restrictions Florida is one of the best states for hog hunting.
Another great state for hog hunting, Georgia also has a warm and wet climate that these porky pigs just love. Bring a big caliber rifle with you as these hogs get big.
On private land, you can hunt all year round, hunt at night (with landowners permission) and there are no bag limits on the number of wild boars you may take. And you will bag some big ones.
Public land hog hunting is also excellent. On public land there is no night hunting or baiting allowed.
Some of the best public land hunting can be found in these Wildlife Management Areas and national forests outside of the WMA’s. Down south is the place to be for the big ones.
Chattahoochee, Oconee, Flint, Ocmulgee, Big Hammock, River Bend, and Beaverdam
Along the southeast coast the following are also well worth a visit, Altamaha, Clayhole Swamp, and Paulks Pasture.
For the latest state regulations and to obtain your license visit The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division.
Website Resource: https://georgiawildlife.com/non-native-and-invasive-species-info
Surf’s up. Not a surfer? Next time the wife and kids suggest Hawaii for the family vacation you have another great reason to go.
Wild pigs can be hunted on the islands of Maui, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. You can not hunt on the island of Lanai.
Hawaii has strict hunting seasons depending on which island you choose.There are also license requirements and other regulations for both private and public land. You should check the relevant islands up to date regulations with the State of Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife.
Website Resource: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/recreation/hunting/
It is worthwhile to get a guide if you are planning a Hawaiian hunting trip because local knowledge is key here. Still, what a beautiful place to hunt a hog.
A lovely warm and wet climate for hogs to breed and man do they breed up big here. Now with an estimated ¾ of a million wild hogs and growing in this state Louisiana provides the hunter with some amazing pig hunting opportunities. Louisiana has a great name for these pests – “Outlaw Quadrupeds”.
Hogs may be hunted all year round without a bag limit. A license is required and these can easily be obtained. On private land hunting hogs by night is allowed (even with suppressors) and with the landowners’ permission during certain periods. On public land, hog hunting is restricted to daylight hours.
A great place to start is the Pearl river wildlife management area.
Make sure you check the state’s regulations with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries department.
Website Resource: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/
The south just keeps producing great wild boar hunting places and Mississippi is no exception.
The focus here is definitely on private land where wild hogs may be taken year-round day or night without caliber restrictions. There is also no bag limits on the number of hogs you may take.
Mississippi produces some big boars.
Public land hog hunting in Mississippi is not quite as simple. In the Wildlife Management Areas, wild hogs may only be taken “incidental to any hunting activities during any open hunting season” according to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.
The best option for bagging a big boar in Mississippi is gaining access to some prime private land. Review the Mississippi state regulations here.
Website Resource: http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/wild-hog-program/
Right next door to Texas, Oklahoma provides some fantastic hog hunting opportunities. Focus your efforts in the eastern and southern areas near the border. Both public and private land hunting can be done although as with most states the regulations do vary slightly across the state.
Private land hog hunting can generally be had year-round during daylight without a license and without a bag limit. A nighttime hunting exemption can also be obtained for private land hunting.
As Oklahoma has a rapidly growing feral swine problem you can even access a database of landowners looking for help in controlling pig numbers.
Visit the facebook page of the Oklahoma Feral Swine Control Association where landowners are regularly requesting help.
Some brilliant pig hunting on public land can also be found during any established hunting season. T
he point to note is during deer and turkey season, the hog hunter must use approved calibers and hunting times applicable to the deer/turkey when chasing down wild boars. A license is also required when hunting pigs on public land in Oklahoma.
The best places to go for public land hunting is The Honobia-Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area. There are nearly 1,000,000 acres that are home to big old boars.
See the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for the most up to date regulations.
Website Resource: https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/feral-hogs-in-oklahoma
A large number of feral pigs can be found in South Carolina providing excellent hunting on both private and public land.
Pigs are found in every county and are concentrated along the waterways and coast. In fact, wild hogs have been in this region since the 1500s as it was one of the first places where the swine were released by Spanish explorers.
On private land, you can hunt wild hogs any time of the year and there is no bag limit. You will, however, be required to have obtained a license. Nighttime hunting is also allowed on a registered property with the landowners’ permission.
The public Wildlife Management Areas provide huge feral pig hunting opportunities during the daylight hours. Weapons on public lands are restricted to the weapons that are allowed for the current open season.
South Carolina state is divided into four game zones and hunting regulations vary slightly between each game zone. These are easy to find and comply with by visiting the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. You can also easily obtain your permits at this website.
Website Resource: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/hog/index.html
Pick any of the public land hunting zones along the waterways and major rivers and you can’t go wrong.
Zone 3 around the Allendale, Aiken and Hampton counties all have a very high wild pig population.
In Zone 2 check out Abbeville, Anderson, and McCormick counties.
Zone 4 great hog hunting can be found in Sumpter and Clarendon.
Zone 1 has less hog population density than the other game zones however Pickens is your best option if you visit that part of the state.
As the old saying goes, last but not least is hunting wild boars in the Lone Star State of Texas. Hog Hunting Heaven.
Texas has more wild pigs than any other state, approaching 3 million estimated now and growing so you are sure to nail a few.
Hogs can be hunted year round without bag limits and baiting is permitted. Both private and public land shooters require a license to hunt.
The distribution of wild boars in Texas is concentrated in the east, south and central regions. With a booming population, the wild boars are now spreading to the north and east however their numbers are not out of control in these areas. Yet!
The majority of wild hog hunting is done on private land, however with such a feral swine problem getting access is cheap and easy. There is also an abundance of guides who will put you on some really big boars.
Public land pig hunting is available in many of the 47 Wildlife Management Areas, focus on those next to rivers and waterways for the best results.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife website is a great resource to view all the Wildlife Management Areas open to hunting including detailed maps. You can also buy your licenses cheaply and easily.
The annual public hunting permit offers nearly all year round hunting to over 1.2 million acres of land.
Website Resource: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/hunt/
So there you have it. The 11 best states for hog hunting in the United States.
With an abundance of public and private land hunting areas available it is now time to go out and tackle that big boar.
Help the environment and the local farmers today!
Finally, always remember to check local state regulations before you go by using the references provided.