Legend has it that feral hogs are not native to North America but were brought to the United States by Spanish explorers who settled in the 1500s. Now, hog populations across various states in the US have spiraled out of control and costing an estimated $1.5b in agricultural and environmental damage annually. While the hog population presents a source of a nightmare to farmers and landowners, hunters can seize the chance to bring home hundreds of pounds of wild boar meat.
Why You Should Hunt Feral Hogs
When feral hogs invade a state, they make sure they do two things: compete with native wildlife and cause a lot of harm to native ecosystems. Due to these problems, hunters in some of the best hog hunting states face almost no restrictions to help keep the animal numbers checked. Wild pigs are excellent breeders with unique abilities to adapt to various environments. You can tell they have done many good for themselves as there are an estimated 9 million hogs across the United States. In the past three decades, feral hogs have expanded their territories from 17 states to over 38 states in the country. With a rising population that has earned the wild pigs an “out of control” reputation, hog hunters have no problem choosing where to hunt hogs all year round.
States to Hunt Feral Hogs Year-Round on Private and Public Lands
Where can I hunt wild boar? Good question you asked! Get your rifle and the best rimfire scope ready! Here is a list of the best hog hunting states (private and public lands) all year round. State laws are subject to change over time. You’d want to stick to relevant wildlife agency websites to get up-to-date information about hog hunting across the states.
Feral hog hunting is regulated on both private and public lands in California. The Golden State demands that hunters (resident and non-resident) purchase valid licenses and wild pig tags to hunt feral hogs in the state. Licenses and tags for California residents go for $47.01 (annually) and $22.42, respectively. Non-residents can purchase valid licenses at $163.65 (annually) and wild pig license tags for $77.34. Also, available are 1-day and 2-day non-resident licenses sold at $22.42 and $47.01, respectively. Get more information at the state’s wildlife agency website: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Wild-Pig
Hunters, including residents and non-residents, do not require licenses to hunt feral hogs in Colorado. The government permits hunting (no bag limit) during the day and night with any legal method at hunters’ disposal. Wild pigs in Colorado remain at the forefront of threats to the state’s wildlife and habitat. Get more info at http://cpw.state.co.us/.
While night hunting is prohibited, there are no regulations to feral hog hunting in The Gem State. But hunters are required to observe general hunting rules and regulations. Residents can purchase a general hunting license for $12.75, while a three-day general hunting license for non-residents sells for $154.75. Read more at http://www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/.
There is an unregulated all-year-round hog hunting season on both private and public lands in Idaho. However, resident hunters require a hunting/habitat combo license that sells for $30. Non-residents who are 18 years of age and above can buy their hunting/habitat combo licenses for $123. There are no bag limits, but baiting is allowed on private lands only. More info is available on the state’s wildlife website: http://www.iowadnr.gov/.
Wild pig hunting is allowed on private and public lands in Kentucky except on the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. There is an all-year-round hog hunting season to reduce the rising population of feral hogs in the state. Night hunting should commence at least 30 minutes before dawn and 30 minutes after dusk. Resident hunters need a hunting license. They can buy theirs for $20 (annually) or a 1-day license for $7. Non-residents can buy their annual, 7-day, or a 1-day hunting license for $140, $55, and $15, respectively. There are no bag limits, and baiting is allowed only on private property. Read more at https://fw.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.
According to a recent report, the Bayou State is home to at least 700 000 feral hogs—one of the highest in the country. Given the large population, there is an unregulated all-year-round hog hunting season on private and public lands in the state. Resident hunters can get an annual hunting license ( excluding big games) for $15, while non-residents can get theirs for $150 or a $29 license for a day. There is no bag limit, and baiting is allowed. More details available at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/outlaw-quadru
Hunters in the state of New Mexico are encouraged by government and property owners to get rid of feral hogs due to their population and destructive nature. Boar hunting season in the Land of Enchantment is all year round. Hunters can hunt on private and public lands and do not require licenses to do so.
Get more details at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/.
Hog hunting is allowed in North Carolina on public and private properties. Resident hunters require general hunting licenses. Non-residents can get theirs with a 10-day license also available. Artificial illumination is allowed, no bag limits and hunting is all year round. Added information available at https://www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting.
All year round, hog hunting is allowed on public and private lands in the state of Ohio. Nighttime hunting is permitted except during deer hunting season. During the deer hunting season, residents and non-resident hunters require a hog hunting license and a deer hunting permit to hunt hogs in the state. Also, weapons including rifles and long-range rifle scopes should be the same when hunting hogs in the deer season. There are no bag limits. Read more here:
Oklahoma hog hunting is allowed all year round on both private and public lands. While nighttime hunting is not allowed, hunting hogs at night can be requested for pest control purposes. Residents and non-residents do not require licenses to pursue hogs in the state. However, taking hogs during the elk, deer, antelope, or bear season with a firearm larger than .22 caliber requires a permit. There are no bag limits, and baiting is allowed. Get more information at https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/feral-hogs-in-oklahoma.
In Oregon, feral swine hunting is allowed since in the state these animals are non-protected and are considered non-game. Taking feral hog is allowed on private and public lands in the state of Oregon. Residents and non-residents need to take permission from private landowners to hunt hogs on their property, while a valid license is required for public land hunting. There are no bag limits, baiting is prohibited, and hog hunting season in the state is all year round. Visit https://www.dfw.state.or.us/ for more info.
Excessive damage to the state’s wildlife and habitat perpetrated by wild hogs has forced the government to remove their protection in almost all the counties in the keystone state. Licenses, rules, and regulations on specific seasons must be adhered to. While hogs remain protected species in some counties, hunters can take feral hogs on private and public lands. Nighttime hunting and baiting are prohibited. See more here: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/HuntTrap/Hunting/Pages/default.aspx.
Texas is home to some 3 million feral hogs — this is the highest number of hogs in the country. So you can get your AR-10 ready and hunt some wild hog meat. Oh, and read our AR10 scope recommendations and top 10 scopes prior to your hunting. In Texas hunting is allowed on both private and public lands. And while nighttime hunting is allowed on private lands, the game warden must be notified before hunting commences. Residents and non-residents require general hunting licenses to pursue hogs on public lands, while a hunting license and permit are required to hunt on private property. For more helpful info, click here: https://tpwd.texas.gov/.
Wild hogs do not have protected status in the state of Virginia as they are considered pests. Private and public land hunting is allowed all year round. Both residents and non-residents need a hunting license and permit to hunt on private lands. There are no bag limits, and baiting is allowed. Relevant website: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/feral-hogs/hunting-faq/
The Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin considers feral hogs as invasive pests that need aggressive hunting. Private landowners can hunt wild hogs without a license. Residents and non-residents need a small game hunting license and permission of the landowner if they’ll be hunting on private land.
Non-resident annual licenses sell for $85, while a 5-day hunt license can be purchased for $55. Resident hunters can get their license for $18(annually). Visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/feralpig.html for more details.
States Where You Can Hunt Feral Hogs on Private Lands Only
In Alabama, feral hogs are considered game animals, and there is no limit on the number of hogs you can hunt. Hunters can hunt hogs legally with no bag limit all year round. Baiting is also allowed. Residents can purchase a small game license for $17.15 (annually). Non-residents have the option of annual, 10-day, and 3-day license which sells for $96.85, $59.10, and $42.95 respectively. More details available at https://www.outdooralabama.com
Hog hunting season in Arkansas is open all year round on private lands for hunters who have landowner’s permission. However, on public lands, you can only hunt in October, November, and December. Also, hunting is allowed only in certain locations, and keep in mind the hunt must start not earlier than 30 minutes before the sun rises and should end 30 minutes after the sun sets. Read more here https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/feral-hogs/
There is an all-year-round hog hunting season on private lands in the peach state. There are no bag limits while baiting, and nighttime hunting is allowed on private lands only. Non-residents can purchase an annual hunting and fishing combo license for $100 or a 3-day combo license for $20. Resident hunters can buy theirs for $10 (annually). Get more info here: http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com/
Feral hog hunting in the state of Indiana is allowed only on private lands with the full consent of the property owners. No license is required, just written permission only. No bag limits, but baiting and nighttime hunting is allowed on private lands only. Read more here: https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/6485.htm.
Wild pigs in New Hampshire are regarded as an escaped property of the Blue Mountain Forest Association. Hence, a permit is required to hunt them. They have no legal protection in the state, and hunting is allowed only on private lands. Residents with valid hunting licenses ($22 annually) will need permission from landowners to hunt feral hogs on their property. Non-residents can have their licenses for $103 (annually) and approval from landowners for hog hunting. Learn more here: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/
The Palmetto State is home to some 140 000 feral hogs. Hog hunting is allowed on private lands. Hog hunting in Wildlife Management Areas of the state is permitted during any hunting season. Residents and non-residents do not require licenses to hunt hogs on private lands but will need both a WMA license and a hunting permit to hunt on the state’s WMAs. Read more at the official website: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/hog.pdf.
Hunting feral hogs in Tennessee is meant to eradicate the animals due to their destructive tendencies on private lands. Hog hunting on public lands is prohibited unless stated otherwise. While licenses vary from county to county, residents and non-residents do not require licenses to take feral hogs. Taking wild hogs can be done all year round. No bag limits and baiting is allowed on private lands only. Get more details here: https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/mammals/.
There you have it – best hog hunting states in America and the laws governing wild pig hunting in each state. Feral pigs are detrimental to wildlife and habitat. Consequently, many states have friendlier laws when it comes to killing hogs during hog season and off-season. To be on the safe side of the law, you’d want to check out the official websites mentioned above to get up-to-date information about the state you choose to hunt. Happy hunting!