Hog Hunting With Modern Sporting Rifles
SOOOOOOOEEEEY!! The U.S. is experiencing a not so new invasive species, feral pigs. These hogs were brought here solely as domestic stock from early settlers and are now responsible for the enormous environmental damage to big game habitat and destruction to farmers crops. Depending on what map you look at and what year it was updated, you will no doubt see that it’s a scary problem. Studies show that feral hogs will be a problem in every U.S. state in the next 3-5 decades. Texas currently has a population of 2.6 million feral pigs alone. You would have to eradicate 70% of the population annually to prevent further growth.
So, what can be done besides trapping and destroying? One effective and down right fun method is to take out your AR-15, throw on your favorite optics and head out. The AR-15 platform is increasingly becoming a trusted hunting rifle for more than just hogs but for other game as well. Along with the reliability, the modern sporting rifle (M.S.R) is rapidly becoming this generations rifle of choice. The customization choices from custom hand guards, fore grips, optics, and triggers are a big deal for folks. The big question is what caliber/barrel to use on this thick, armor hide animal. Through some tedious reading, it looks like it boils down to personal preference. .223 or .556 is wildly popular and increasingly affordable but may lack the knockdown power needed. Fortunately, we live in the black rifle world where we have options! An increasingly popular caliber being used in AR-15s is the .300 AAC Black out, most likely due to it’s proven .30 caliber knock down power. But let’s not throw out some other up-and-comers, .458 SOCOM, 6.5 Grendel, and the 6.5 Creedmore. All of these different calibers have their situational uses but are all effective at killing big hogs.
The next logical step in building your custom hog gun is a hand guard to attach all the goodies, again, so many choices! There are literally hundreds of free float, custom, designer hand guards to choose from. Tactical to practical and fully functional. When choosing a hand guard some suggest that they have a 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock Picatinny rail position for all your accessory needs. Pictured below is one of our custom one offs we created.
Speaking of accessories good optics are a must! If you live in an area where cover isn’t an option, you may need something with good magnification or good night vision. Yes, night vision. Feral hogs have literally adapted to our hunting behaviors forcing them to become nocturnal. A 4x magnification with a red dot back up is a great choice for close encounters and hogs on the run.
It seems like more and more creative ways are being thought of every day to keep this sport interesting, and the dust from collecting on your custom AR-15. One of the fastest growing hunting endeavor is helicopter hog hunting. There are now several businesses in Texas that offer such services with other problem states quickly following suit.
There will always be that crowd that is not in favor of hunting or the AR-15 for that matter, but the truth is that feral hogs are rapidly becoming a problem and if a rapid solution isn’t brought to light, it will be a problem for everyone in every state. So again, let’s have some fun with our M.S.R. and fill our freezers! Happy hog hunting!
For Hog Hunting Information:
Hog Man Outdoors
Hog hunting tips for beginners