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You’ve probably seen those documentaries about wild hogs tearing apart an entire farm in a matter of minutes. While it’s entertaining to watch, you’re probably wondering how long it would take them to find your bait if you were hunting them. Spoiler alert: not very long at all.
Hogs have a heightened sense of smell. They’ll be in the area within 24 hours after they trace the scent of food. In some instances, you may have to wait for up to 72 hours. Hold a few days before you begin hunting, which is known as the pre-bait period. This allows you to observe the group and learn about their habits.
As anyone who’s ever hunted wild hogs knows, they can be a wily bunch. One of the main things that determine whether or not you’ll be successful in taking one down is how quickly they find your bait.
So, How Long Does It Take Wild Hogs to Find Bait?
Because baits are different, feral pigs respond differently depending on the baits used. When native foods like acorns or cultivated crops are abundant, it is difficult getting hogs to take the bait. But this shouldn’t be a deterrent.
Begin by identifying the route to the feeding grounds. Place the bait about midway along this path. If you’re wondering how long it takes wild hogs to find bait, they typically find new food sources within 48 hours. If it takes more than 72 hours for hogs to find a lucrative staple like stale corn, switch the position or type of bait.
Factors that influence the time it takes for feral pigs to react to bait include:
- Type of bait.
- Placement of bait vs. direction of the wind.
- How far apart you place your lures.
Feral hogs will first approach the bait cautiously – usually until they figure out that the new food source is safe.
All in all, the ideal amount of time you should wait for hogs to find a fresh bait is about two days; however, if you can’t wait that long, you can speed up the process by adding more bait somewhere along the feral pigs’ regular route.
Hog Baiting Tips
Setting your baits correctly is the difference between a successful hunt and a no-show. You, therefore, need to know how long it takes for hogs to find the bait and how you can train them to come into your property for easy pickings.
However, some other variables come into play when training hogs to bait. These animals can be conditioned to several baits. Here’s a simple guide on how to go about it:
Step 1: Determine the Presence of Pigs
Look for clues that confirm the presence of hogs on or near the property. Hogs are invasive species known to wreak havoc on vegetation. Damage and waste (scat) are two apparent signs.
Look for areas where the grass has been trodden into walkways and saplings have been stripped from the ground. Keep an eye out for scat as well. Wild hog droppings are uneven in shape and are deposited in little heaps. Depending on the diet, the color ranges from tan to black. Hog poop is about three to nine inches and is one to two inches thick.
Step 2: Establish Where They Spend Their Daylight Hours
This is especially important if you live in a state that has an active ban on night hunting or if you prefer to get your hog without having to deal with night lights. Identify their selected food sources, and bait them at a location along their feeding route.
Place the bait so that the aroma of the bait is carried toward the feral pigs by the prevailing wind. Simply rake the ground smooth and look for pig tracks if you don’t have a trail camera to observe the baiting place and hog activity.
Step 3: Set Up Your Hunting Site
Place your traps and blinds and get your guns and hunting gear ready. You can use bows, but most hunters prefer a high-powered rifle like the .223 or shotguns that can deliver enough knockdown power to kill the hog quickly and humanely.
Best Bait For Hogs
Soured Sweet Corn
Hands down, sour corn is the ultimate for baiting feral pigs. Because hogs can smell sweet corn from afar, it’s a commonly-used hog bait. When corn is soaked for several days, it “sours,” producing an odor that attracts hogs but repels non-target animals such as deer and coons.
Simply soak the corn in water for about a week to sour it, and you’re good to go. You can also try corn fermented in beer. Where sweet corn isn’t readily available, you can substitute it with cereals like wheat, barley, rice, soybeans, peanuts, and sorghum.
You can make homemade hog bait using locally available materials. Corn, sugar, Jell-O, dry dog food, oatmeal, bacon grease, yeast, and even Kool-Aid are common ingredients. The key is to have all the components thoroughly combined so they don’t separate should the bait come in contact with water.
Note that hogs have a sweet tooth, which explains why I mentioned Kool-Aid and Jell-O. Check online sources for viable recommendations on making your own homemade hog bait.
Also Read: Baiting Hogs With Diesel: A Beginner’s Guide
Hogs are naturally attracted to the smell of blood, both fresh and dried. A blood meal can be purchased at garden centers for fertilizing plants. Sprinkling blood meal on the ground near food sources will tempt hogs to investigate.
To make your own blood meal, heat blood on low heat while stirring constantly. Do this until it thickens. Take care not to scorch or char it.
Hogs are curious animals that will investigate anything that looks or smells interesting. You can use this curiosity to your advantage by throwing animal parts (deer carcasses, chicken heads, etc.) around the bait area.
Commercial Hog Attractant Scents
Baiting hogs using scents are popular and effective. Some hunters claim they are more convenient than making your own baits. However, their efficacy varies based on brand. Therefore, ensure you purchase the best kind. Hogs will fail to take the bait if it doesn’t smell good enough for them.
Remember to employ the best practices when hunting feral pigs, so no toxic lures. Set up the bait area in a suitable location, observe and keep a record of sightings. Switch baits if the hogs do not take to it after about three days. It would help if you experiment with different baits to find the ones that work best. All in all, remember hunting feral hogs is a process, so, be persistent!
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.