As hunters, we want to give ourselves the best chance of getting close to our prey. This means trying to be undetectable. But will a wild hog be able to smell you? Here’s what you need to know to be prepared for your next hunt.
Hogs can smell humans. They will be able to detect your scent from around eight miles away. If there is a breeze, it will be able to carry your scent for about 10 miles. They can see you from 100 yards away and hear a whisper from 100 yards.
Hogs are very intelligent animals with a keen sense of smell. But there are ways to get around this when you are hunting. Let’s look at the tricks you can use to get close enough to take a shot.
How Good is the Wild Hog’s Sense of Smell?
The wild hog has a very keen sense of smell. Wild hogs will be able to detect a scent from eight miles away. If there is a breeze, they will be able to smell for 10 miles. Even more impressive is their ability to smell underground. It’s estimated that they can detect food 25 feet underground.
There are a few reasons why hogs have evolved this strong sense of smell. First, it’s one of the best ways to find food. During the winter months, they have been known to travel large distances to get food. Because of this, you will be able to bait them. Most hunters prefer soured corn, though any smelly food will work. If they can smell it, they will come to the bait site.
The other reason why they have such sensitive noses is to protect themselves from predators, like humans. The scent of a hunter will be able to linger for a few days. Because of this, you might notice that some hogs will be hesitant to go into the trap, even if they can smell the bait.
There are some times when their sense of smell will be diminished. First, they tend to struggle on a windy day. Even though they will be getting the scent from further away, the wind will be swirling in all directions. This makes it difficult for them to identify precisely where the scent is coming from.
They also don’t like when the rain is falling. The raindrops will dampen the smells in the air. Because of this, the hog’s range will decrease. This means that you will be able to get closer to the hogs without them noticing you. Also, the rain will wash away any scent that might be left on camera or traps.
Finally, most hogs won’t wake up from sleep in response to a smell. But, if you get close enough, it will become so overpowering that they will react.
How can Hunters Mask Their Scent?
If you’re going to get close to a wild hog, you will need to mask your scent. If you don’t, they will know you’re coming and become more evasive. The good news is that there are a few techniques that you can use to hide your smell.
First, you might want to use scents that they will already be familiar with. For example, you might want to rub yourself with mud or pine needles. These will have a stronger scent than humans produce. While this won’t completely mask your odor, it will help to suppress it.
The type of clothing you are wearing will generally contribute to the odors that you are producing. For example, you don’t want to wear anything that smells strongly of cigarette smoke. You might also want to wash with a soap that kills bacteria. This will help to eliminate your body odor. When hunting hogs, it can be a good idea to invest in scent control clothing. These use bacteria to minimize the smells that you will be producing.
You can also get some sprays that you can use to mask your smell. These will work in a variety of ways. For example, you might find some that are designed to overload the scents of the hog. This makes it impossible to identify what you are. Because of this, their brains will choose to ignore the scent.
Regardless of what scent blocking technique you are using, it’s always a good idea to stay downwind. Before you start hunting, you should know what way the wind is blowing. It’s a good idea to check the weather report to know how strong the wind will be. This will let you decide how you are going to approach the hogs. If you are using a tree stand, it will help you choose where you put it.
How Good is the Eyesight of a Wild Hog?
The hog isn’t known for having good eyesight. Their eyes will be closer to the ground, limiting their range. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t see you coming. Hogs can spot movement 100 yards away. Across a field, this might be extended to 200 feet.
It’s best to stay still. Don’t make any sudden movements that will alert the hogs to your presence. If you stay in the distance, many hogs will ignore you. If you have a tree stand, you will usually be above the eye line of a hog so that they won’t see you.
When you hunt for boar at night, you’ll want to use either red or green lights. They won’t be able to see these colors. However, they might be able to see the areas that have been illuminated. Some of the older hogs will be wary about getting into well-lit areas, as they know it’s a sign of human hunters. They might also become skittish if they can see a lot of shadows at night.
How Good is the Hearing of a Wild Hog?
Hearing is the least developed of the wild hog’s senses. However, it can still be very powerful. They will be able to hear things like the twigs snapping and the branches rustling. They will likely ignore these sounds as ambient noise. But they might start to take notice if it happens for a long time.
The biggest risk is when they start to hear human voices. They have learned that this can mean danger. It’s estimated that they can hear a whisper from 100 yards away. If they are in a group, they might not run away after hearing you talk. But they will be warier. If they are alone, they will be more skittish.
Hogs tend to be very loud animals. They will make a lot of ruckus as they break through the undergrowth in the food search. They use loud grunts to communicate. This noise can sometimes mask your approach. You’ll also be able to use these sounds to locate the hogs. Some hunters replicate these sounds, using them as a call to attract the hog into the area.
This video contains some of the noises that wild hogs will typically make.
The senses of a hog won’t be as keen as those of a deer. But they are not to be underestimated. If you want to get close enough to hunt them, you will need to mask your scent. You’ll also need to take steps to minimize your presence, avoiding talking or making any sudden movements. As long as you do this, you should be able to stalk a hog successfully.