With the sun setting and the evening air cooling off quickly I take a moment to slip my jacket on, while I am standing up to do this I hear the doves taking off with a sudden flurry of flapping, whistling wings. Anyone who has spent a lot of time outdoors knows to pay attention to all the wildlife around to alert you that there is a reason for their actions.
As I wonder what they have seen and frantically try to get my jacket on the rest of the way , I hope it is hogs, but maybe a hawk, a deer, or a bobcat. As I cautiously sit back down to see what it was that scared the doves I see, almost surreal, a group of wild hogs rapidly approaching the feeder!
They get to the feeder in a short time and become a writhing mass of furry objects, pushing and shoving to get at the corn. Having been in this situation before I knew that sooner or later one would take a breather and separate from the group and offer me a shot. Sure enough a perfect eater size hog has separated and is standing broadside for me!
As my finger starts to squeeze the trigger thoughts race through my mind,” be sure, be sure” “this will be good on the BBQ” “I won’t be needing my red light tonight”
This is such a typical hog hunting scenario at RCR, every hunt does go a little different, come on in and make your own memories…..
We are the “Heart of Hog country” in North Central Texas. The terrain ranges from dense mesquite pastures to rough cedar break canyons laced with fresh spring-fed creeks to acres and acres of cropland. Most of our property is perched on the rim of the scenic South Wichita River canyons where the abundant wild game has easy access to water, cover and food. Check out Google Earth aerial shot, coordinates: 33deg 38 min N and 99deg 35 min. W to see the terrain..
On the Ranch’s hog hunting areas we set up strategically placed elevated 4 x 6 blinds, tripods, pop up blinds, corn spinners and bait holes containing sour grain (hog candy) or corn topped off with our famous and success proven hog attractant. Once you arrive at 2:00 pm you will get settled into your accommodations, take care of the necessary paperwork, and go through “Hog Orientation 101” with one of the Ranger Creek Ranch Guides. A guide will have baited selected areas the day prior to your arrival and will take you to these pre baited areas to determine the best places to set up for the evening hunt. Once this site has been determined you will make the final preparations for your exciting hog adventure. At this point, you are basically “on your own” to get back to that area and start your hunt. The next 2 days one of the guide staff will meet with you around 11 am to rebait the sites to see first hand on the hog activity at the hunting sites. A determination will be made at that point on where to set up for the evening hunt. Hogs are naturally nocturnal, so we strategically set up for night hunts with the bait holes set up 50-75 yards for rifle hunters. Although during warm sunny days the hogs take a “siesta”, and most of the time after some late night hunting you will want to do the same. We recommend staying on the “hogs schedule” but if you want to stay active you can talk to the guide to arrange a spot and stalk in another hunting area.
One of the biggest misconceptions first time Hog Hunters have about hogs is that by their appearance and unclean habitat that they are “dumb”. This is far from the truth. A hog’s intelligence level is higher than a dog. Their keen sense of smell is greater than a deer along with their keen hearing. The only advantage hunters have is that a hogs eyesight is poor. A hog is a very nomadic type of animal–here today–10 miles away tomorrow not committed to a set daily habit. With all of these traits it makes for one of the most difficult animals to pattern to hunt. Hogs move very fast and can go from 0 to 30-35 mph in matter of seconds. For hunters up to the challenge, who can handle “boar fever”, the satisfaction of accomplishment is greatly rewarding. Along with other game animals the females are the best eating, the boars are the best trophies and biggest challenge.
- Clothing suitable for warm or cold weather, camo and scent lock are
- Rain gear
- Warm, comfortable hunting boots. Snake boots are always recommended.
- Rifle with scope and as far as size….a.223 is alright but we suggest a .243 and we are more concerned about bullet placement than caliber of your rifle (A large objective scope lens will gather more light)
- Option: Night vision scope usually proves to be the most successful
- Rechargeable Green light, Hand held or scope mounted. The green lens seems to offer more clarity.
- Vehicle capable of handling rough ranch roads. 4WD/4 wheelers/UTV’s are an asset.*Other transportaion available for additional fee.Please make necessary arrangements when booking the hunt.
- Game cleaning, skinning and butchering tools (knives)
- Coolers. Ice is available at the Main Lodge for $2.50 per bag
Free Hog Hunt: during the months of May, June, July, and August with unlimited hogs. $175 per person per day includes lodging, snacks, breakfast/dinner prepared for you to warm up at your convenience. No minimum number of hunters.
The Free Hog Hunt consists of a no frill/no thrill hunt which means no baiting prior to arrival. You will need to arrive at 5 p.m. and the guide will show you the areas to hunt, and the property lines.
Hog Hunt: A 2 1/2 day semi- guided, unlimited hog hunt, 3 nights lodging including meals is $799 per person 4 person minimum. w/o Meals is $725 per person no minimum
“First Timer” Hog Hunts: An all inclusive 2 1/2 day unlimited hog hunt, 3 nights lodging and meals. This package is recommended for those that have not hunted hogs. The guide will give you the Basic” Hog 101″ Class and the necessary information to make sure you have the best opportunity to make a successful harvest. The guide will also teach you how to clean and quarter your first hog. $850 per person w/meals a minimum of 4 and w/o meals is $775 per person 2 person minimum.
Optional Services for Additional Fees:
- Guide per group $200 per day
- Non-hunter $150 per day
- Cleaning fee: small hogs may be cleaned and quartered for an additional $50 per hog, Large hogs(250+) are cleaned and quartered for $100 each
- Daytime On your Own Spot n Stalk is an additional $200 per group up to 4 hunters.
Not Included: Hunting license, ammunition, hunting gear/apparel.
Accommodations: The Main Lodge is only available upon request and for those booking with meals. We usually will book hog hunters at a Ranch House during our regular hunting season due to the difference in the hunting schedules with other hunters. This makes everyone more compatible during meal time!
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT HOG HUNTING AT RANGER CREEK RANCH
Q: How do you normally hunt hogs at Ranger Creek?
A: Evenings and well into the night from a blind.
Q: Can they be hunted during the day?
A: Yes, if there is natural daylight feeding activity. Sometimes hogs will feed during the day when it is overcast and they have a normal feeding cycle during this time. Feeding activity can be tracked by watching game movement charts, much like deer. Also when they are having a tough time finding food they tend to feed longer during daylight hours to get the food they need. Remember that hogs are basically nocturnal and 80% of our hogs are killed at night.
Q: What license do I need?
A: License is not required to hunt wild hogs
Q: What clothes do I need?
A: Clothes suitable for warm and very cold weather. The temperature here can drop dramatically in a short time when weather fronts come in so layers of clothing is recommended to regulate your thermostat. Camo and scentloc clothing is recommended but not required. Snake boots are recommended.
Q: Do I need a spotlight?
A: Yes, either a rechargeable hand-held or scope-mounted light will work. You will need to be able to see at least to 50 yards at night, preferably out to 100 yards is better. Night vision scopes work well also but they are very expensive. We do rent the green lens handheld spotlights for $20 per 2 ½ day hunt and the green lens scope-mounted light for $50, with a $100.00 deposit.. Please let us know prior to your arrival that you want to rent a spotlight or scope-mounted light.
Q: What gun should I use?
A: One you are familiar with. Large caliber, scoped rifles are commonly used. It is really an issue of shot placement, your guide will talk about this when you arrive. If you are from an area where night hunting is not allowed it is highly recommended to practice shooting at night before you arrive.
Q: What vehicle should I bring?
A: It is recommended that your bring a vehicle that you feel comfortable driving rough ranch roads.. If we have wet conditions during your hunt you will need a 4WD. Also you will need to be able to transport your hogs back to our processing facility. Other transportation can be provided for an additional fee. Please make arrangements at time of booking.
Q: When I shoot a hog what do I do with it?
A: “Don’t shoot it if you don’t plan on utilizing it” Your guide will talk to you about this and show you our processing facility. Hogs are normally hauled back to the lodge area where they are field-dressed, skinned and quartered. It is the hunter responsibility to do this. The guide cleaning fee is $50 per hog for small hogs and $100 per hog for (250# +) You will need a cooler to keep your hog meat in once it is quartered. Also bring a good quality knife for skinning and butchering. We do have some freezer and cooler space available but it works good to keep ice on the meat, which is available here.
Q: Is the meat from a Wild Hog good to eat?
A: Yes, the meat from hogs is excellent, In some areas it is considered a delicacy. The most common hog, taken for meat, are young ones around 100-150 pounds, Meat from sows to any size is usually good but may get a bit tougher from older sows. Meat from older boars may not be good to eat, they are usually taken as a trophy only. Care must be given to the meat to preserve it, like any wild game. Wild hog has been on menus for many years, wild game cookbooks and the internet are full of different recipes to prepare it.
Q: What is the best strategy to hunt hogs?
A: “ Get in the blind and sit until a hog comes”. Game movement charts play a big role here. Hunt as quiet and scent-free as possible, keep your equipment in good working order. A good pair of binoculars and scope mounted lights are recommended for seeing in low-light conditions.
Q: Do you allow hunters to spot n stalk?
A: Yes an unguided spot n stalk can be arranged for an additional $200 for up to 4 hunters
Q: Can I bring bait?
A: Not recommended at all. Hogs are very sensitive to new things and it usually takes them a long time to come into something new, if ever. We have had hunters bring their own bait and the results are not good. It sometimes acts more like a hog repellent.
Q: Can hogs be hunted by archery?
A: Yes, we have ground blinds and tripods that can be set up on active spots and tripods stands near corn spinners.
Q: Am I limited to hogs?
A: If you will let us know you are interested in another type of hunt we can make special arrangements for you. Please let us know at time of booking.
Q: Can I spotlight hogs from my ATV or truck?
A: No, This is not the way we hunt here and it is usually not productive.
Q: What type of blind will I be hunting out of?
A: Normally we hunt hogs from a 4’ x 6’ elevated box blind large enough for two hunters. The blinds have windows, and 2 chairs. The blinds are positioned in proven hog activity areas near a corn spinner and/or baited hole. When we find hogs frequenting an area where we don’t have a box blind we set up a pop-up blind or build a simple blind out of brush. Most of the archery hunting for hogs is also from tripods or pop up blinds.
This question and answer section is meant to prepare our hunters to hunt “Ranger Creek Style”. We do have spotlights, scope-mounted lights, and blind heaters that can be rented. (We rent these out to keep the cost of the hunt down for those who are prepared)
Note: We are a free ranging ranch and do not have animals inside a fenced area so no guarantees are offered.
Hogs may be hunted throughout the year….There is no season for them!
Please contact Ranger Creek Ranch at 940-888-2478 or email Hog Hunting to book an exciting wild hog hunt.