Feral hogs have been roaming the surface of the United States of America for many years. Their population is greater, especially in the Southern American state of Georgia. When we look at the history of feral hogs in Georgia, we find that Fernando De Soto, a Spanish explorer introduced these creatures into the wild in 1539.
As we all know, hogs have been domesticated for the most part, but there is still a major population of them that remain in the wild. So, as evident as something being in the wild, it is also a brainer to understand that the chances of them being opened for hunting are not a piece of new news too.
So, come along with us as we take you along the journey of knowing everything you have to know about feral hog hunting in Georgia. Are you ready?
About The Feral Hogs
Wild pigs, commonly known as feral hogs, are among the most ferocious animals lurking in gorgeous Georgia’s wild vegetation. Their natural color can be anything from black to brown, and they can be as tall as 35 inches or around 2.9 feet.
Further, often a group dweller with an increase in age, some feral hogs prefer living alone. So make them a good target for feral hog hunting in Georgia. They have stunning tusk-like teeth mainly used to defend themselves or dig the earth.
Like bears, feral hogs eat almost anything from snakes, fungi, frogs, insects, and rodents to tree barks, fruits, eggs, and roots. So, it is safe to assume that these majestic animals are natural omnivores. In addition, while choosing baits during feral hog hunting in Georgia, keep their eating habits in mind.
Also, did you know that feral hogs consume newborn livestock, manure, and even carrion if they like it? Yep, you read that correctly. These hungry mammals consume everything that falls their way.
Further, the feral hogs found in Georgia can live as long as two decades. However, that is if they can survive deadly predators like coyotes, bobcats, and bears when they are young.
Finally, talking about the feral hog population in Georgia. Around 60,000 feral hogs live in the amazing vegetation of Georgia.
Feral Pig Meat For Consumption
If you have eaten pork, you can already guess the taste of feral hogs because they taste almost alike. They are considered one of the tastiest wild meat and are widely liked by hunters and non-hunters globally. Also, since they run around in the wild and exercise almost daily, their meat has considerably less fat.
So, if you want to eat a healthy pork version, consuming feral hog is the way to go. Therefore, many people participate in feral hog hunting in Georgia to enjoy the delicious meat of these wonderful creatures.
However, it is also important to understand that their meat only tastes good if it comes from a considerably young feral hog. The older a feral hog gets, its taste declines. In addition, if your feral hog has been consuming dead and rotten food for a significant amount of time, its taste may be bad.
The Hunting Licenses
Although the number of feral hogs in the United States of America is around three million, and the population in Georgia is over 60,000, we can consider them to have a significant population rate. Also, since these animals are known to create havoc, especially in agricultural lands and backyards, their hunting rules and regulations are quite relaxed. Almost non-existent.
However, to keep feral hog hunting in Georgia as controlled as possible, there are some licenses that you must have before embarking on a hunting adventure. In addition, without the prescribed licenses, you might get in trouble. So, always try to be on the safe side of things and get your feral hog hunting license. It is especially mandatory in Georgia.
For getting a feral hog hunting license in Georgia, the prices differ if you are a resident of Georgia or a non-resident. If you are a resident, the license will cost you USD 15; if you are a non-resident, the license will cost you USD 100.
But if you are a non-resident, we have some good news! If you plan to go feral hog hunting in Georgia briefly, you can get a one-day license that will be considerably cheaper than a regular one. You can buy a one-day feral hog hunting license for USD 20; if you wish to hunt some more, you can add additional days for USD 6 each day.
Further, you do not need to purchase extra permits or ask for extra permission to go feral hog hunting in Georgia. With your feral hog hunting license, you can hunt on public or private land. In addition, even if you want to hunt inside wildlife management areas (WMAs) or national forests, you do not have any other legal documents or orders except your license.
You can get your feral hog hunting license from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division website. So, before you go feral hog hunting in Georgia, ensure you have all your necessary licenses.
Extra License Information
As mentioned, you need a hunting license to hunt a feral hog. But if you are sixteen or older, you do not need a hunting license if you are hunting inside a land owned by your blood relative or a person you can depend on. Also, you do not need to possess a license if you are hunting inside your land.
However, if you are not a resident of Georgia but know someone with private land that you can use to hunt a feral hog, you still need a license. Don’t get sad. Getting the license is the hard part of hunting a feral hog, isn’t it? To have fun as a non-resident, you must pay a nominal price to participate in the great feral hog hunting in Georgia.
Know The Bag Limits
Bag limits mean the number of hunts you can do in one hunting season. Georgia opens hunting season for every permissible animal and bird every year, considered one hunting season. And to regulate the number of hunts you can do, create a bag limit for that season.
For example, the bag limit of turkeys in one hunting season for a single licensed turkey hunter is only two. They can hunt only two turkeys in one Georgia turkey season.
So, are you wondering what the bag limit for feral hogs is? You are in for a treat because feral hogs have no bag limits. Yes, you read that correctly. There is no bag limit during feral hog hunting in Georgia.
That means you can hunt infinite feral hogs as much as you want and whenever you want. Often considered to be free hog hunting season, it is said so because of the lack of bag limit and time limitation the state of Georgia grants upon their enthusiastic hunters.
So, go wild and hunt as much as possible because there is no bag limit.
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Know The Open Season
Hunting seasons are dates prescribed by a state of the Government that dictates a time window in which a hunter can hunt various animals. The season is often pre-determined and published each hunting season. A hunting season has a span of two years. Because, in most cases, hunting dates start in one year and end in the other.
For example, the season for turkey hunting in Georgia starts from April 1, 2023, to May 15, 2023. So, this constitutes one hunting season. You can only hunt during this season and are not allowed to hunt any other time.
But we have another piece of good news. There is no closed season in Georgia. That means you can hunt for feral hogs anytime in Georgia. No need to wait for any season hunting dates. You are free to go any time you want. So, feral hog hunting in Georgia is always open in this beautiful southern American state.
With so much good news, it might be a shock to know that some rules and regulations are in place while hunting for feral hogs. After all, they are living beings, too, and we cannot make their lives completely insufferable. So, Georgia has come up with rules to regulate their hunting.
But do not worry; these rules aren’t something that you cannot abide by. It is easy and might even make your lives easier. You can hunt a feral hog easily at night. That’s right, hunting at night is even better if you are hunting for feral hogs, and you can do this easily with the help of a light. Also, you do not have any voltage restriction in the type of light you use.
So, if you want an extreme voltage level, that is possible too. You can use the light for hunting as a torchlight and a headlight. Or you can even use the light in a hat or belt.
Also, if you desire to use bait while hunting for a feral hog, you can do that too. You can use whole corn, livestock cubes, carrion, sour grain, and commercial hog attractant scents as bait. So, remember to carry your corn during the feral hog hunting in Georgia.
However, there is one thing you absolutely cannot do while hunting for feral hogs: hunting them by using a vehicle. So, if you plan to go on a hunt using a jeep, bike, or car for hunting, you cannot do that, my friend. We know it is sad, but it is a small price to pay for a great hunt, isn’t it?
So, walk to your nearest feral hog target and start hunting today by getting your required licenses.
Inside Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)
If you are a go-getter and desire to hunt for feral hogs inside Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), then there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. WMAs are made for protecting and conserving many wild species other than feral hogs, so there will be some rules to protect the population of other species.
During the small or big game season, you can only hunt for a feral hog inside a WMA. For example, you can hunt for feral hogs inside WMAs while hunting for a turkey during a turkey hunting season in Georgia. Also, the hunting can only be done by using appropriate hunting weapons.
Also, wearing a hunter orange when hunting inside wildlife management areas would be best because it would help you separate yourself as a hunter inside these restricted areas. And any rescue methods would also be easier once officials recognize you as a hunter. In addition, you cannot hunt at night inside a WMA.
Unlike private or public lands that allow night hunting with a night light inside a WMA, you cannot do that. This rule is because many nocturnal animals lurking at night may harm you, or you might disturb some endangered animals and make them more vulnerable.
Even though night hunting is banned inside WMAs, you can still use electronic calls. This rule is again for your safety and for you to contact anybody if you are in danger.
Although previously we mentioned that hunting for feral hogs inside a private or public land is open for all seasons, and even for WMAs, the season is open. You will be shocked to know that a feral hog and coyote hunting season is observed from May 16 to May 31 every hunting season.
During this feral hog and coyote hunting season that lasts two weeks, you can use any primitive weapon or firearm for hunting feral hogs. In fact, you can use the same weapon for hunting feral hogs that you will use for hunting small or big games. However, you cannot use any other type of weapon in areas specified for archery only.
So, hunting for a feral hog inside an archery-only area with a shotgun is prohibited. Ugh!
Inside National Forest Areas
National forest areas are the areas that fall under the forest category and are controlled by the state government. In this case, Georgia’s Government controls the national forest area, which does not include wildlife management areas or (WMAs).
You can hunt a feral hog inside the national forest areas using archery, but this applies only during archery deer season. So while using your bow and arrow to hunt deer inside a national forest area, you can shoot at it if you spot a feral hog. Not a problem. You can also use a firearm used for deer hunting for hunting a feral hog during firearms deer season.
In addition, you can use a firearm for turkey hunting for hunting a feral hog during firearms turkey season. Finally, using small game weapons to kill a feral hog during a firearms small game season is also allowed.
Like the WMAs, you are not allowed to hunt at night. However, you cannot use bait to hunt a feral hog inside a national forest area.
Finally, you need to wear a hunter orange. But don’t worry; you only need to wear one during firearms and primitive weapons deer seasons.
Know Your Legal Weapons
As per the official website of the Georgia Department Of Natural Sciences, you can use any weapon while hunting for a feral hog. However, this rule is only permissible while you are hunting for one inside a private land you own or you have permission to hunt on private land that somebody you know owns.
The Best Places For Hunting Feral Hogs
Although many places in Georgia are filled with feral hogs, there are still some places where their population is higher than others. Feral hogs are higher in population on river sides, such as the banks of rivers Oconee, Flint, Chattahoochee, and Ocmulgee.
Scouting in areas where you suspect a more feral hog population is always smart. In addition, root and wait for feral hogs to show upon areas that you would suspect them to be the most at. Ask around, and also, you can plant cameras if you are sure of the location of these four-legged creatures.
In addition, putting feral hog baits in the area you suspect or know they live around can also be a great option. While hunting in public lands, you can choose from various wildlife management areas (WMAs).
For example, Flint River WMA, Beaverdam WMA, Tuckahoe WMA, or Townsend WMA are filled with feral hogs. Other wildlife management areas include Cohutta WMA, Swallow Creek WMA, Pine Log WMA, Chickasawhatchee WMA, Altamaha WMA, Big Hammock WMA, Ocmulgee WMA, Oaky Woods WMA, and Di-Lane WMA.
These WMAs lie anywhere from central, eastern, and northern to southern Georgia. Some also lie in northwestern or east-central, south-central, or even southwestern regions of Georgia.
So, there you go, folks, every information you might need during the feral hog hunting in Georgia.