A Florida hog hunt is the perfect adventure between deer and turkey season. Escape the cold weather of winter to the moderate temps of Florida’s Western coast. You can hunt with bow, crossbow, rifle, or pistol, but be prepared for action. These hogs have just been trapped from the wild and they are mad as hell.
Spot and stalk if you dare.
Perfect Eating Size
Tiger Island’s special has been three 100-pound hogs for $250 and I’ve maxed out on my three trips to hog heaven. Last year, I had to “help” two buddies with their harvest and took a total of five. Using a Wicked Ridge 400 fps bow and Burris rangefinding sight, I took all five pigs with five arrows. I stalked two of them that never moved after the shot, incredible stopping power from an arrow.
150-grain Sevr Robusto heads proved incredibly durable and lethal.
Great Gear Test
If you are considering a new bow or broadhead for 2023, this is the perfect test track. These wild hogs have grown up amongst the gators, snakes, and other predators of the swamps and have great stamina. Your shots need to be accurate and well-timed for instant lethality. Using a 400 fps bow and Sevr broadheads, I’ve never had a hog run more than 30 yards. The Burris Oracle X crossbow sight performed flawlessly, even in dense swamp cover.
Tune up before you hunt.
Tiger Island Outfitters has a small cabin and target range adjacent to the hunting area. Groups of 6 or fewer can stay overnight at the cabin with a campfire and outdoor adventure. Targets are adjacent so that you can assure your bow is precisely on target. This arrow came from an Excalibur 360 Micro using a Burris FastFire red dot scope. Since most shots are 30 yards or less, a red dot sight is an excellent choice.
Several tree stands are permanently set on the property.
Ambush or Stalk
During my three trips to Tiger Island Outfitters, I’ve hunted high and low. The property has several tree stands and ground blinds that are ideal for ambush hunting. Spot and stalk hunting is the most action-packed, yet you must be nimble on your feet. I got within 50 yards of a feeding bore when it suddenly charged me like a freight train. This hog was running as fast as it could right for me. I waved my arms and yelled, causing it to veer off course, but my heart pounded noticeably in my chest.
Wild hogs are tough!
Precise Aiming Needed
You will need your best shooting skills to down a wild hog cleanly. The first shot on this pig was errant resulting in several follow-up shots to dispatch it. If a big buck makes you shake or lose concentration, hunting wild hogs will help settle your nerves. This may be the best “hunting practice” for bigger game and requires you and your equipment to perform.
Thrill to new terrain and vegetation.
Savor the Experience
A hunt in the Florida swamps in February is like visiting another country. Far from the bare oaks and maples of the north, you’ll find palm trees and palmettoes along with countless other new shrubs and bushes. This is the view from one of the property’s tree stands where I took two hogs in half an hour. A small group of pigs fed by and I was able to pick out a 100-pounder that went less than 10 yards after the shot.
Keep a keen eye for bedded hogs.
Spot and Stalk
The soil and ground litter in Florida is usually soft, allowing near-silent stalking. Wild hogs are not supposed to have good eyesight, yet I’ve had several see my silhouette and approach slowly or charge. One 250-pound bore closed to within 20 yards, unsure of what I was. I stood perfectly still and eventually, it returned to feeding. Frontal shots on wild hogs are very difficult, so you don’t have a shooting option on an approaching hog.
Bring your cooler.
Fire up the Grill
Wild hogs are a terrible invasive species in Florida. They are also great to eat and Tiger Island Outfitters will butcher your hog on the premises. Bring ice and a cooler and you will leave the hunt with a cooler filled with as much venison as you can carry. If you don’t want the entire animal, the remainder can be donated.
The Perfect Cure for Cabin Fever
This is a hunt that anyone can afford. If you can’t wait for the fall hunting season, this adventure is the perfect cure for cabin fever. You can find Tiger Island Outfitters online or call Bill at 352-816-0119. Tell him that you found him on Bowhunting.Net