Australia: Tips for Feral Hog Hunting Down Under

By Pietro Swalens

Australia is famous for wild pigs and since they thrive in our country and do a lot of damage to crops and vegetation, many property owners are more than happy for licenced hunters to humanely cull these pests.The problem is that whilst pig hunting is an exciting activity, not everyone has the skills and the know-how to be truly successful.

The trick is to know the land and understand the pig’s behaviour, and with these two boxes ticked, you should have no problem ending the day with a successful hunt.

Explore and understand the landscape

The biggest tip here is to spend a couple of days and nights camping on the property and getting to understand its rhythm and what happens on the land during a 24 hour cycle. A long discussion with the property owner is essential, as they will have intimate knowledge that can make a huge difference to your success as a hunter on their land.

You need to spend time scouting the landscape, noting tracks frequented by the pigs, sources of water and good vantage points for your hunt. Pig hunting isn’t for the faint hearted and it’s not for the ‘boys’ who want to shoot anything that moves, not really caring about the consequences. Pig hunting is a serious occupation and delinquent behaviour will not be tolerated by other hunters or by the property owner.

People who hunt feral pigs are passionate about their sport and are willing to put the time into exploring the land, so that they can increase their skills and hunt ethically on the land.

Understand the pig’s behaviour

Wild pigs are nomadic, however they tend to stick to familiar trails when hunting their food, so you need to locate these tracks and decide if they are new and recently used. If they are new, then the pigs won’t be far away and since they are not quiet creatures, you can generally hear them in the distance.

Since pigs are voracious feeders, you can lure them to one area by setting up a feeding station with nuts, vegetables and fruits, and when they are distracted by the food, you can take them down. Wild pigs however, have extraordinary hearing and can smell hunters a mile away, but their eyesight is fairly poor. This means that if you are quiet, downwind and the light level is low, you stand a pretty good chance of a successful hunt.

July to November is the best pig hunting season in Australia, simply due to the climate at this time of year (it’s winter).  This means that it won’t be overly hot during the day, but it can get quite cold at night. You will want a range of lightweight clothing with extra layers for night time or evening hunting, but don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat during the day, because the sun can still be quite strong, even though it might not be very hot.

Don’t forget to stock up on your hunting supplies before you leave home and with all of these tips, you can look forward to a good day hunting wild pigs in the outback.

comments

  1. avatar Jesse says:

    Actually just got to Australia the other day and will be living in Alice springs for the next 3 years.

    Have to figure out how to get a rifle while here to do some hunting.

    1. avatar bobo says:

      Run for office??

      those in charge make the rules and break them!

    2. avatar RCC says:

      Jesse
      The NT has international visitors licence
      https://www.pfes.nt.gov.au/Police/Firearms-Weapons/Firearms-licences-permits-information.aspx#shootersLicence

      Toni who comments here is a shooter in NT but the state is bigger than Texas. So may be a long way from you.

      Look at SSAA website for local branch. Usually there is a hunting sub group. But not sure about pigs near Alice Springs probably too dry in some places. But feral camels are a good challenge.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Don’t be silly. NOTHING is bigger than Texas! Not even a 6.5 Creedmoor can shoot across it!

      2. avatar Jesse says:

        Awesome! Thanks for the link, if someone can put me in contact with Toni, that would be great as well. I’d really like to do some hunting while I’m based out here.

        1. avatar RCC says:

          Jesse
          I noticed Toni commented on Tasmanian gun law story. Maybe write to Dan for her email

          Local club at Alice is
          https://ssaa.org.au/northernterritory/alice-springs-branch.html

  2. avatar bobo says:

    I thought in Aussieland that since the gun ban…animals hunted YOU!

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      The funnel web spiders do.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        As do the salt water crocs and the Great White sharks. Plenty of nasty snakes if you can handle those. Seems to me that there are a lot of things in Australia that can kill you.

  3. avatar Sheep Dog says:

    With all of the begging for permission to obtain a firearm, legal hoops, and fees. Not no mention how ridiculous the prices are for firearms and ammo in Australia.
    You Could go to Texas to hunt feral hogs, and not beat your head against the anti gun wall there.

    1. avatar RCC says:

      Sheep dog
      Currently there are .308 rifles with Leupold scope on usedguns.com.au from $650 Australian or $470 USD or .243 from $360 USD. Not that expensive I would have thought.

      SSAA and lots of shops have more websites for guns.

      1. avatar Sheep dog says:

        My bad, I watched a Aussie video where he bought a Henry 45/70, paid $1,000+
        I assumed rifles are spendy in Aussie land.

        1. avatar RCC says:

          Sheep dog

          Depends if you want brand new or back of truck rifle.

          It’s more expensive in our dollars. Thanks to government trying to buy next election by massive borrowing and spending etc our exchange rate has gone down over 10% in the last year. Australian to US$ rate is half what it used to be.

          Plus customs department rule changes a few years ago just about killed off all small importers.

          Though thankfully in my state if I’m with you I can still lend you anything I have for a hunt.

  4. avatar Gapharmd says:

    “and it’s not for the ‘boys’ who want to shoot anything that moves”

    Where I’m from….. any boys or girls that will shoot anything that moves gets a solid green light for any hog on sight. F the consequences. The only thing we care about is getting rid of them!

  5. avatar Cracker with an attitude (CWA) hip hop gangsta country redneck mother lover trailer park hood represent wassup says:

    I thought it was a pic of my ex, that’s what brought me here.

  6. avatar Hank says:

    When I moved to Texas I was excited about being able to hunt pigs. Then I found out that you have little public property to hunt on. I refuse to pay the high price that land owners want me to pay. You would think that if pigs are such a problem land owners would welcome you for free.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Hank….The big land owners will not allow hunting and the hog numbers grow. The hogs then get onto the highways and cause vehicle damage, also go to small property owners land and tear up everything. With this type of system we will never be able to control the problems that these hogs cause.

      1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

        Just one of the many reasons I love and live in Montana. Most of the lands are public. The many smaller ranches / farms owned by Montanans welcome responsible hunters – whether for elk, prairie dogs or gophers…the problem is the large, wealthy, out-of-State land owners (usually Democrat millionaires – think Ted Turner) who absolutely do NOT allow any hunting on their properties. When we have elk mitigation hunts the elk seem to migrate to these protected oases and then emerge after the hunt to continue shredding farms and crops. These land owners put up barbed wire fences to impede the flow of animals from their properties to public lands where the animals can be legally harvested…even so, it’s way better than having to pay outrageous “fees” to private land owners for the “privilege” of taking a feral hog or scrawny deer from a Texas field.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Hank, when I came to Texas (1972), my plan was to buy something which could shoot accurately for a long way, I’d always wanted to do that, although I’m not a hunter, just love to shoot. Way back then, I ran into the same thing you are addressing. Yes, there is a LOT of wide open and uninhabited land, but somebody owns all of it, and has fenced it off and posted it. Kissed off the big rifle, no place to shoot it!

      1. avatar hank says:

        I am from Northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe/Reno. I’m in the process of moving back.
        Having a new house built and BLM land is about 200 yards from my front door.
        Wide open for miles and miles.
        I will be back to Coyote hunting which are all over the place.
        I love Texas but hunting in Nevada is far much more fun, not to mention cheaper.
        Even deer hunting in Texas is not cheap, I can buy more steaks than I can eat for what it cost to shoot a deer after paying someone to hunt on their property.
        Nevada has Deer, Elk, Antelope, big Cats and more.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          You just can’t hunt much west of the Nevada border in that area. The whole basin is practically a gun free zone. There is only one gun range way up at the north end. When my son goes shooting, he and his friends go to Nevada.

  7. avatar el Possum Guapo Herr Standartenfuher" they think we're making pizza'" Oberst von Burn says:

    I couldn’t shoot them little pigs, they’re too cute, and MoMA pigs so happy, grunt grunt I just couldn’t do it. To hell with the peanuts let the piggies live.

  8. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Has anyone eaten wild pig and how close does it taste to domestic hogs?

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