This heading was featured in the New York Times this week, which was an interesting sign that the message of invasive species, and the need to hunt them, is starting to reach the mass media outlets.
It's a problem.
It's a problem with a very fun solution. Hunt more invasive pigs.
If you plan to hunt big game of any variety, do yourself—and your fellow hunters—a favor by cutting your teeth on feral swine. A majority of successful harvest takes place on private land, which may require an outfitter or a trespass fee to get access to the places where success will be highest. Wild Pigs are tough, smart, and adapted for survival in harsh conditions. They are largely nocturnal, meaning that shot opportunities will often be early in the morning and late in the evening.
If you want to sharpen your skills afield, find an outfitter who offers spot and stalk hunts for pigs and treat it like you would a deer hunt. Use a reliable deer rifle (or bow) and hold lower than you would on a deer. Their vitals sit lower in their body so the typical rule-of-thumb to hold in line with the foreleg and one-third of the way up the body will likely hit the lung, but holding lower gives you, the hunter, a better chance of hitting vital organs. You’ll hear stories of people shooting wild pigs from airplanes in Texas, or shooting them with night vision scopes in the dark, but those methods are intended for serious population control.
A closing thought on Wild Pigs—go hunt them. If I were King for a day, everybody would have to go hunt Wild Pigs before they were allowed to hunt any other big game. Pork is familiar and beloved kitchen fare, the hunt is a great opportunity to sharpen skills and familiarize yourself with the process of field dressing. We need a more concerted effort to knock down their numbers and slow their spread. Go hunt pigs this year, and you’ll want to go back every year.
The above is an excerpt from our Guide to Hunting & Eating Invasive Species.