Hal Shouse

YOU HAVE QUESTIONS

WE HAVE ANSWERS

Hunters

How can you offer unlimited hog hunting? Aren’t you afraid of over hunting?

No other large animal can reproduce like wild hogs.  They have huge litters, for an animal of their size (150-400+ lbs).  More than 10+ per litter is not uncommon.  What’s worse, they begin reproducing at 6 months of age.  Left unchecked, the numbers in a food rich area can get out of control, very quickly.  We must harvest 8 out of every 10, JUST to keep the population under control.  Anything less, and the population grows.

We patrol farms nightly, which are in hog hot spots.  The reason they are hot spots is the proximity to swamps’ nasty, thick, hardwood bottoms.  They are incubators for the hogs.  The hogs randomly trickle out onto the farms, at night.  We might see one.  We might see more than you would imagine.  Our job is to kill them all.  We wouldn’t be welcomed onto the land we hunt, if we didn’t hunt it in the best interest of the landowner, and farmer.

Why do you only hunt at night?

That’s when the hogs are out in the open.  Hogs are very intelligent.  Once they experience hunters during the day, the will become nocturnal.  Once nocturnal, they live in the deep, tangled woods and swamps, during the day.  At night, they destroy crops and food plots.  The thermal scopes we use can see them at great range, and in complete darkness.  We see them long before they even know we’re there.  Hunting at night allows us to maneuver in close, and take multiple hogs per stalk.

Isn't it dangerous to shoot at night?

No.  The ‘shooting’ aspect of the hunt is very controlled, by the guide.  We pick you up a few hours early, the first day, and familiarize you with the equipment you will be using.  You are given an in depth safety briefing and live fire instruction, by your guide, to make sure you are comfortable with your weapon and optics.  We do extensive scouting, during the daylight hours.  We know the location of any structures, dwellings or equipment, before we start planning our hunt.  These are fully guided hunts.  Your guide will not put you in an unsafe position.

Won’t the natural predators keep them in check?

No.  Once the piglets have grown, to more than 20-30 pounds, coyotes have difficulty taking them, alone.  Coyotes can’t prey on a healthy adult.  They definitely eat a few.  Just nowhere near the amount needed, to keep the hogs in check.

When do wild hogs mate?

Sows can have up to 3 litters, in 14 months.  There can be up to 13 piglets, in each litter.  They breed continuously, throughout the year, with no specific time of the year dedicated to breeding.  When they are done with one litter, they have the next.  At 6 months of age, THEIR offspring are ready to breed.  No other large animal breeds as often, and as successfully, as the wild hog.

What damage can wild hogs really do?

Hogs plow through dirt, like man made farm implements, tearing up anything in their path.  They are intelligent, strong, and can weigh up to 400 pounds.  Fences, gates, and wildlife feeders, can all be knocked down, and pushed over, with ease.  They will eat everything, including other animals, especially the young ones.  Fawns won’t run, when they are only a few days old, and are quickly gobbled up.  Clutches of quail or turkey eggs are a tasty treat.  Even the mother, if she’s still in the nest.  Wild hogs are not only competing for the food, the native species needs to survive, but actually preying ON the native species themselves!  From extensive crop damage, to native game and habitat destruction, hogs can cost landowners anywhere from several hundred dollars, on the low end, to tens of thousands of dollars on the high end.

Where will I stay while we hunt?

We ask that you make arrangements, with one of the many hotels in Albany.  You can find accommodations to fit any person’s budget.  Albany, Georgia, has shopping, banking, lots of great places to eat, and just about anything else you’d need during the daylight hours, within minutes of the airport.  You can fly into Albany, on Delta airlines.

What happens to the hogs that are shot each night?

Our hunters can take all of the meat, from the night’s hunt, home if they wish.  Or, it can be donated to those families that need it, in and around the Albany, Georgia, area.  For an additional fee, your guide can “field butcher” your hog, leaving you with a cooler full of the best pork you’ll ever have!  Your guide will field dress it, free of charge, if you would rather butcher it yourself.  It is excellent table fare, and a real treat on the BBQ.  All animals shot are either taken by hunters, or donated to familys in need, free of charge.  Hunters choice.

What if I want to have my trophy mounted?

Your guide can cape your trophy for you, for a small additional fee.  They can take it to a local taxidermist, for whatever type of mount you and your taxidermist decide upon.  There are several for you to choose from.  We can help you with that decision, when the time comes.

What weapons will we use on our hunt?

We typically shoot hogs well under 200 yards.  I would say the average range is 75 yards.  We use 75gr BTHP hand loads, from Hornaday.  They are devastating to hogs and, with no recoil, follow up shots are easy and effective.

It’s a widely held misbelief that 223s aren’t enough, for hunting hogs.  That is simply NOT the case.  “Back in the day,” when folks first started using 223s to hunt hogs in Texas, there were no other readily available ‘hunting’ bullets, for the 223.  You used 55gr FMJ, which gave pitiful performance, on any large game.  Now, with dedicated hunting rounds for this caliber, the 223 is a VERY deadly, easy to shoot, platform, for ethical hog hunting.  We have well over 1000 hogs that would agree with us.

How many people can hunt together?

We will take a maximum of 6 hunters (3 per guide), at this time, on spot and stalk hunts.  In my opinion, the best hunt is 2 people, per guide.  When we hunt these hogs, we treat it like a spot and stalk bow hunt, trying to get our shooters inside of 40 yards, before the first shot is fired.  The more people you’re trying to get into close range on these hogs, the more likely it is for someone to make noise, or get spotted, before we are ready.  It’s just not a ‘group’ activity.

When is the best time to hunt?

This is a very common question, and a very difficult one to answer.  Because we hunt all year long, as a hog control company, we have access to dozens of farms.  All with a need to have the hogs, ALL hogs, killed on their property.

When we get new properties, which have severe infestations, the shooting on them, for the first few nights or weeks, can be full of multiple encounters, with large numbers of hogs.  If the property WAS formerly infested, when we patrol it regularly, we may not see a single hog.  We might see 150.  You never know.  THATS WHY ITS CALLED HUNTING!!

We can’t predict when a new property will come in, or for how long it will have hogs still showing up.  As we apply pressure, and kill hogs each night, their presence diminishes.

Our goal is to find hogs and kill them, not to ‘manage hogs’ at the farmer’s expense, so we can book hunts, when we’ve let them build up enough to ensure 20 hogs on the ground, per night.

If we can’t get you a shot opportunity, we will take you another night.  It’s the best deal in the industry.

My suggestion is, hunt the weather you’re most comfortable in, and the moon for the hunt you prefer (long range or short range).  On bright nights, we will typically shoot hogs from farther distances.  On dark nights, we are able to get closer, and moving undetected is much easier.  2-6 hogs is typical harvest for a night.

Landowners

How will ‘Thermal hog control’ interfere with my deer hunting?

It won’t.  Deer moving around, in the open fields we hunt, are already in a night pattern.  You’re not going to see these deer, when you hit the stand, typically.  If anything, it may make them change the schedule they are on.  When we take on a new property, it’s always an option for the landowner or farmer, on the lease, to hunt with us, and see for themselves the impact we have on the property’s wildlife.  We regularly see deer from 150-1000 yards, from where we just shot hogs, look up, and go back to foraging on your crops, like nothing happened.

We hunt only the open fields.  We don’t pursue hogs into bedding areas, or thick cover.  Hogs DO go into bedding areas, and thick cover.  Properties with hog problems, which have us come in and harvest hogs, from 8PM-3AM, during deer season, will see more deer, during daylight shooting hours.  We understand that many landowners rely on the deer lease, to pay property taxes, and not upsetting the hunters is a TOP priority.  It’s a tough decision, when hogs are destroying food plots, and pushing deer off your land.  You don’t want those die hard deer hunters to find property, with less deer and more hogs.  Give us a call.  We can work with you, to help.

Behavior Modification

The wild hogs we deal with are listed as the 6th smartest animal by animal planet.  They learn quickly.  With HogSWAT’s control method, we educate the hogs we don’t kill.

Let me explain how we do this.  It’s very simple.  If you give hogs, which are feeding on your property, something to identify with (sight, smell or sound), before you attempt to harvest them, the survivors will continue to return to your property.  Only next time, they will look for that same “identifier,” and flee, before being found.  For example, if you ride up in your truck, shine a light, and then shoot, you just taught them to look out for the sounds of your truck, and the sight of your light.  This is the same reason you don’t see many hogs hit, on the side of the road.  When they identify any of those previous conditions, they will leave almost immediately, wait for it to leave, and sometimes return to feeding in the same area.  With HogSWAT’s method, the hogs that survive do not have anything to identify, before shooting occurs.  In turn, they will associate THAT spot with VERY unsafe conditions, and go elsewhere.  Now, that doesn’t mean they will be off your property.  They may just go to the other side of an 800 acre field, or to a nearby field.  The more options hogs have nearby, the more prone they are to move on.  That is why constant pressure is needed, to reduce overall hog numbers.

Because we’re a FULL time, YEAR ROUND service, we WILL catch them in the open, sooner or later.  No other company spends as much time in the field, as HogSWAT.

“You gotta be where the hogs are, when they are there, to teach them their lesson” – Lee Ward.

Some will ask why we don’t just kill them all.  We try!  We harvest all we can, while keeping safety as our first priority.  When we encounter a group of 37 hogs, scattered all over a 300 acre field, putting lethal rounds into 80-100% of them, before they reach a tree line, is near impossible to do, consistently.  You may have 45 seconds, or a 3 second shot opportunity, before the hogs run to safety, or unsafe shooting lanes.  What you CAN do, consistently, is teach all the remaining unharvested hogs this is a very bad place to feed, without giving them anything to identify, beforehand.  When we come across smaller groups of hogs, say under 10, we tend to harvest a very high percentage, of those encountered.  Consistency, in implementing HogSWAT’s control method, is the only way to effectively be a solution to landowners’ hog problems.

Hunting Lease

This isn’t meant to be legal advice at all.  Just something to think about, for landowners, who have deer or turkey hunters, on a hunting lease.

Don’t include hogs on your lease.  If you give hunters the rights to the hogs on your land, you lose the right to kill them, when they get out of hand.  Imagine your farmer, who’s paying you tens of thousands of dollars, screaming bloody murder, because the out-of-state hunters (paying to hunt deer, mainly) implement a “quality hog management” policy, which strictly prohibits shooting sows and boars, UNDER 200 pounds.  Your farm is getting torn up every night, by hogs.  What do you do?

In my opinion, you should clearly distinguish that they are paying for the rights to NATIVE game, and that YOU retain the right to the hogs (tell them to shoot all they can verbally).  This is something for landowners, without a current hog problem, to think about as well.  You can have one overnight…Literally.  Talk to your lawyer, and get advice on hunting leases.

"One of the most amazing things I’ve done. Very professional, and knows what he’s doing!"  
William Early
"Great hunts, awesome optics, great guide and they are covered up with hogs!! #helpthefarmers #porkinthedirt"  
Pelzer Springs Ranch
"Hal and the Hog Swat team are all very professional and knowledgeable of their trade.  I am proud to be able to hunt with them and most of all to call Hal one of my closest friends."  
David and Amanda Daughtry

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