Bowhunting Hogs: Night Hunt vs. Day Hunt

Are you looking for a way to stay sharp in the off-season? Few critters allow bowhunters to beat the off-season blues like hogs. Pound for pound, hogs are the baddest beasts in the country when it comes to an affordable bowhunting opportunity at any time of the year. And while hog populations are booming, don’t think for a second that they are an easy quarry to pursue. Hog hunting can be tough. They will dodge hunting pressure as quick as any animal out there, leaving you scratching your head. I’ve had the opportunity hunt hogs in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and Tennessee, each presenting their unique challenges. One of the biggest hurdles I’ve run into with hogs is their habit of running the night shift when pressured, or during the hot summer months. That’s why, where legal, hunting hogs at night versus daytime can be the most fun and product means of killing wild pork. Here’s a closer look at 5 reasons you should try bowhunting hogs at night.

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The author with a big hog shot at 5 yards under the cover of darkness.

Pressure Makes Hogs Move at Night

As mentioned previously, hogs will quickly respond to hunting pressure and traffic in and out of their domain. And while they may not pick up and leave completely, they will begin to limit their daytime travel and move strictly under the cover of darkness. They have a knack for waiting until just after the last shred of light fades away before they make their approach to a bait site or field edge. I remember hunting a small outfit in Texas years ago when I first saw this come into play. The small property we were hunting had plenty of hogs but they had been pressured by hunters on a regular basis for months prior to our trip. The hogs knew the game and wouldn’t step foot into the wide open until after dark. However, as soon as darkness fell, they would slip out of the thicket like clockwork. The hunting pressure pushed them to the point of being nocturnal. The hunter willing to stay on stand and hunt the first few hours of the night would find themselves in the hot seat for some exciting action.

Hogs Hate the Heat

Hog hunting in the south, particularly Texas, can be brutal in the warmer months of summer. It makes for a miserable sit for hunters. Hog don’t seem to like it much either. That’s why when the heat is on they’ll typically run the night shift. They’ll wait to move after dark when the temps begin to fall and the sun is no longer beating down on them. If your hog hunt ties in to the summer months, plan on hunting after dark. That’s when you’ll find pigs on the move.

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Pack a snack and plan to stay until after dark for some of the best hog hunting action you’ll ever find.

Huge Boars Tend to Be Nocturnal

Like big bucks, big boars tend to be nocturnal by nature. They grow old, they get smart. They become wise to the antics of the predators that pursue them. They know where they’re safe and when to move in and out from these haunts. But at night, they’ll let their guard down. Darkness delivers a false sense of security to these big, old boars, giving bowhunters a chance to strike. Want to kill the big boy? Swap a daytime hunt for a nighttime sit and watch what happens.

Nighttime is the Right Time to Be Mobile

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NAP Apache Hog Light

Hogs don’t have the best eyesight. It makes them the perfect critter for spot-n-stalk endeavors. And the excitement only intensifies when these spot-n-stalk moves take place after dark. You want a heart-pounding hunting experience? Just slip in tight on a bunch of hogs with nothing but a bow in your hand in the black of night. Play the wind right, watch your step and you’ll have more fun than you can imagine chasing pigs at night. Night time hunting also allows you to slip from bait site to bait site checking for hogs feeding. They’ll often be found along trails and dirt roads leading to and from these bait sites. You can slip quietly down these roads to check each spot on the farm. Moving under the cover of darkness greatly increases your chances for hog encounters when compared to daytime spot-n-stalk tactics.

Hog Hunting at Night Delivers a Different Kind of Fun

Hog hunting at night with the use of lights is just simply fun. It’s most likely different than anything you’ve ever experienced in your bowhunting career. The excitement of hearing hogs on their way to you, yet not being able to see them until they’re in bow range, will make your heart race, I promise. It’s the ultimate ambush and the hogs will never know what hit them. I’ve found it to be an especially satisfying way to get revenge on those hard-headed hogs that have been giving you the slip during daylight hours.

Gear for Bowhunting Hogs at Night

  1. Bow-Mounted Lights – Red or green lights fastened to your stabilizer mount are a quick and easy way to outfit your bow for hogs at night. NAP offers the Apache Hog Hunting Light. Its sells for $69.99.
  2. Feeder Light
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    American Hunter Swine Shine Feeder Light

    – A green light mounted at the feeder like the Swine Shine light from American Hunter puts off ample light for you to see feeding hogs, yet won’t spook them from making the approach to your setup. The technology built into this light is impressive. It sells for $49.99.

  3. Bow Sight Light – A sight light like the Blue Burst light from HHA is designed to illuminate your pins for low light situations. It’s the perfect option for bowhunting hogs at night. It sells for $34.99.
  4. Deep Penetrating Broadhead – Go with the best penetrating broadhead you can find. I’ve shot mechanicals for hogs, but a solid fixed blade is hard to beat when it comes to hogs for the best in penetration.
  5. Treestand or Ground Blinds – Either option works well for hogs. The key is to watch your wind around feeding sights.

Give bowhunting hogs at night a try if you’re looking for a new adventure this year. It’s a great way to stay sharp and stay in the bowhunting game between turkey and deer seasons.

Comment below and let us know about your hog hunting experience. Have you ever hunted them at night?

(Special Note: Be sure to check state regulations for hog hunting at night in your state. Many states don’t allow hunting at night.)

Brodie Swisher

Brodie Swisher

Editorial Manager at Bowhunting.com
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
Brodie Swisher

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