Since ancient times, human beings have already been hunting hogs as a means of food procurement. It was also being done as a simple pastime and a way for people back in the day, especially the warriors, to hone their fighting skills as well as to fortify their characters. This tradition was passed down from generation to generation. We may be living in a modern world now, but hog hunting is still very much alive.
In Florida, particularly, this activity is quite popular. You really don’t need to wait for the hunting season to come back around since hog hunting on private land is allowed all year round. All you have to do is to contact an operator of your choice. And, of course, you have to pay a certain fee before you can hunt on that particular property.
Free Hog Hunting in Florida
Now if you want to go hog hunting for free in Florida, you need to look into some wildlife management areas. They do have restrictions on the dates and seasons, so these are things that you need to watch out for. The fun part is, you can take as many hogs as you can.
You may be wondering why it is free to hunt in these areas. Well, as the term ‘wildlife management’ implies, it is a way to control feral hogs, which are considered as the most destructive invasive species in America.
Hogs are heavy in Florida. They are the ones responsible for damaging about 17 thousand acres of land in Hillsborough County alone. These animals “root up” the soil as they search for food. They also prey on native wildlife and livestock or compete with them for food. And worse, they carry diseases that can be transmitted to other animals as well as human beings. Due to these reasons, the government allows hunters to help eliminate these annoying creatures from the landscape.
Ironically, though, despite the joint effort to eradicate hogs, they seem to multiply faster than the blink of an eye. This is why the offer of the authorities in Florida for free hog hunting has already become a regular thing each year.
Public Hunting Land in Florida for Hogs
The state of Florida offers a lot of opportunities for hog hunters. Over 5 million acres of public land have been designated as wildlife management areas or WMA. And so, whether you are a professional hunter or a first-timer, you can definitely engage in this outdoor activity. You just have to look for the nearest public hunting land.
The best way to start your search is to look into the different WMA brochures. You can visit the website of Florida Fish and Wildlife to see the break up of each region. You will also get to see brochures, maps, as well as the rules and regulations, which makes it a lot easier for you to find public hunting land in Florida that you can consider going to.
Here are some of the public grounds that you can check out:
- Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area – 564,000 acres (Franklin, Wakulla, Leon, and Liberty Counties)
- Apalachicola Bradwell Unit – 1,420 acres (along the Ochlockonee River)
- Aucilla Wildlife Management Area – 50,471 acres (Jefferson and Taylor counties)
You can visit https://myfwc.com to learn more about the different WMAs in this particular state.
Cheap Hog Hunts in Florida
Like what we have said earlier, there are also privately owned properties in Florida where you can experience hog hunting. In fact, there are lots of them out there, but their prices differ. The average rate is from $200 to $300. This may go up depending on the package that you would like to avail. If you require more sophisticated equipment or multiple days of hunting, then you can expect to pay more.
If you are looking into affordable hog hunts in the said state, you can consider the following:
· Tiger Island Outfitters (Cedar Key, Florida)
You probably have seen this group featured in “Woods ‘N Water Magazine” already. They offer the most affordable hog hunt in the region, and they can also provide customized packages according to your personal preference.
For a single hog that is up to 100 pounds, you will only have to pay $150. You can also bring your own legal weapon. But if you have none, they have guns for rent.
· Black Tine Outfitters (Central Florida)
From the guide to quartering your harvested hogs, Black Tine Outfitters has it all covered for you. You can also choose from half-day ($245 per hunter), full-day ($300 per hunter), and night time hunts. All of these options include one hog of any size.
If you are a retired veteran or still on active duty, you are entitled to a 25% discount.
Florida Hog Hunting Guides
Hog hunting is fun and exciting, but it comes with dangers too. Take note that your target is a very destructive animal, therefore, you have to ensure your safety. This is why it is highly recommended that you avail of guided hog hunting, especially if you are a first-timer. With a minimal fee, you will be accompanied by a well-experienced hunter, and that will also significantly increase your success rate.
Most outfitters offer guide services, and usually, those are already included in the package. The Alligator Alley Outfitter, for instance, is offering guaranteed single-day or multiple-day guided hog hunts, and their clients are very happy with their services.
What to Wear When Hog Hunting in Florida
When hog hunting, you have to make sure that you are wearing the appropriate type of clothing. Any pattern of camouflage or dark clothes is highly recommended. You also need a baseball or camo hat, comfortable hunting or hiking boots (ankle high or higher), and gloves. If you go on a rainy season, then you have to prepare your rain gear too.
The appropriate clothing for hog hunting largely depends on the weather condition, but you should wear something of high-quality or make with tough materials.