For his Elusive Wildlife series, pro-hunter Chad Stevenson details his feeder tips and the best way to bring home the bacon while night-time hog hunting.
“When we get ready to go night-time hunting, we’re night owls,” Stevenson begins. There’s no shame in it for us Outsiders. Many hunters rise at the crack of dawn, but when hogs are on the menu it can become a whole different game.
Hogs aren’t nocturnal by nature. In fact, they’re crepuscular creatures (active at dusk & dawn) just like the majority of mammalian prey. But our own human activity forces wild hogs to become night-time feeders. And this is where Chris’s nocturnal feeding strategy comes in.
Pro-Tip: Arrive 1 Hour Before Hog Feeding Time
“Most of y’all out there probably just want to go sit in the stand and shoot a hog, and if that’s the case then the best thing to do is get there early and wait it out,” he offers for PursuitUp’s Elusive Wildlife.
By early, however, Chris means ‘earlier than your feeder goes off.’ Attempting to creep up on hogs as they’re feeding is not the way to go.
In most areas, wild hogs will begin feeding around midnight when there’s little human activity. Chris recommends scheduling feeders to go off around 11-12 AM as a result. And when it comes to bigger hogs, Chris says, he want’s that feeder going off even later. Or earlier, if you consider 1 AM the morning as it technically is. Then, Chris says, come in about an hour before the feeder goes off to get set up all nice and quiet.
For example: Arriving around 11 PM for a feeder scheduled to go off around midnight, he adds, gives ample time to prepare while also beating habituated hogs to the hunting.
“If I can get in there and get set up – no noise, quiet as I can – before the feeder goes off, then you’ll hear the hogs coming. They’re making their rounds,” Chris cites. And that’s exactly what you want to be able to hear. But a hunter has to be in-place and quiet as a mouse for it to work.
If That’s Not Your Speed, Then a Remote Set-Up Feeder is a Hog Hunter’s Best Friend
If all of the above sounds like way too much waiting around to you, then Chris Stevenson says a remote-fed feeder is the way to go. As hog hunters know, plenty of feeders come with remote controls nowadays and can be set off with the press of a button.
“If you want to stalk or use a rifle, have yourself a remote and spin that feeder before you get to your setup. That way they’re not all around the stand and you spook them coming in,” Chris says. “They’ll go straight to that feeder!”
Having a remote-operated feeder has multiple advantages. For one, spinning the feeder will provide an instant focus for hogs. If you’ve used feeders in your area for a season or two (or more), they’ll know the sound immediately. This brings the hogs running, and also provides a perfect distraction from you – the hunter – so you get in and set up for the harvest.
In addition, a hog focused on the feeder is significantly less likely to care what you’re doing if there’s food spinning to the ground. This provides both the perfect incentive for the hog – and distraction from/for the hunter. It’s a win win.
Happy hog hunting, Outsiders!