Stalking Hogs With Sam Klement

Editor's Note: Sam Klement of Dothan, Alabama, has hunted feral pigs for over 20 years, primarily in Alabama, Georgia and Florida where hunters will find no closed season or bag limits on wild hogs. Feral hogs bother farmers and landowners by destroying crops, roads and timberlands. A member of Hunter's Specialties' Pro Staff for the last six years, Klement has created the Turkey Topper and gun rest.

I enjoy learning about wild hogs to stalk them. Just before dark, feral hogs often will get up out of their beds to go eat and to wallow. I've found that the hogs are the most vocal when they first move out of their beds. So, you can drive logging roads and listen for hogs just like you listen for deer.

Once I hear hogs, I'll try and determine which way the wind is blowing and get downwind of where I hear the hogs squealing and grunting. Then I'll move slowly and begin to stalk in as close as I can get to the hogs.

I really like to stalk hogs with a bow because I have to get in close, and I have to wait on the shot in most situations. Hogs can't see very well, but they can spot movement. I make sure I move when the hogs' heads are down, and their ears are blocking their vision. I watch the body language of the hog to make sure I'm not alerting him. By moving slowly and quietly, I can usually get to within 15 to 20 yards from the hogs.

Once I get to within bow range, I'll wait for the shot. You can shoot hogs that weigh 30 to 50 pounds behind their shoulders like you do a deer. But once a hog weighs 50 pounds or more, that feral pig will have a gristled platelet that covers its vital areas, especially boar hogs. The bigger the hog, the thicker and the wider the platelet. For this reason, I always wait on a quartering-away shot.

I shoot a 125-grain broadhead. I like one with a chiseled tip because it can break bones and get into the hog even if I hit one of the hog's ribs. I always wear Realtree camouflage. The proper camouflage is extremely important when you're hunting hogs because it allows you to move in close without being seen.

I like to stalk hogs because I prefer to stalk deer. By hunting hogs during the off-season, I can hone my stalking skills and my shooting skills. I also become much more conscious of the wind and all my senses are heightened when I'm trying to move in on a porker.

Another reason I like to take hogs is that during the spring and early fall I enjoy filling my freezer with pork and have barbecues. Hunting wild hogs is the most-inexpensive way I know to get pork for the grill. If I'm hunting a tender meat hog, I'm looking for a young female that hasn't had her first litter yet that will weigh right at or less than 150 pounds. These young, small female hogs are delicious. If you enjoy hunting and like to barbecue, then hunt hogs during the off-season.