Are you broke but you have good hunting skills? Do you know how to track and hunt wild hogs? If YES, here are 9 best ways on how to make money hunting wild hogs.
For years now, wild hog have been considered as vermin in most places in the United States of America, and entrepreneurs have found certain ingenious ways to make money off them.
Hunters, ranchers and farmers shoot the boars as soon as the set their eyes on them in an attempt to eradicate wild hogs en mass. This move is even encouraged by lawmakers who have legalized hunting them from hot air balloons due to the fact that it is a lot easier than hunting them from a helicopter.
Spanish conquistadors introduced the boars to Texas in the 1500s as a ready food source. In the 20th century, more pigs were brought to game preserves. Since then, they have been breeding rapidly at an annual rate of half a dozen piglets per sow. In just the state of Texas alone, there are over 2.6 million wild hogs.
Texas is however not the only state with hog problems (or a growth curve, depending on your point of view). A recent media report put the total number of feral hogs at a whopping 9 million animals. To put that number in perspective, the wild hog population has more than doubled in less than two decades.
Hogs were once relegated to California, Texas, and the southeastern United States, but since the 1990s, they have moved into the Northeast and Midwest. Meanwhile, previously established populations have exploded.
Louisiana is home to some 500,000 wild pigs. With no natural predators in the area, these pigs are living the good life. Each year, these hogs are responsible for over $1.5 million in damage by rooting up and eating crops and livestock according to an estimate.
But there is also money to be made off these wild animals. The hog infestation has given rise to a variety of businesses capitalizing on wild boars, here are some ways any one can make money from hunting wild hogs.
How to Make Money Hunting Wild Hogs – 9 Best Ways to Do It
1. Helicopter tours: there are some entrepreneurs that are taking advantage of the wild hog problem by starting companies that charge customers some money to machine-gun hogs from helicopters, which is not as easy as it sounds. This is usually because the target is constantly on the move and they may not even be moving in the same direction that the helicopter is flying.
2. Selling special ammo: wild hogs are a very tough breed of animals and as such, killing them is not easy. Ammunition brands like Freedom Munitions sell anti-hog AR-15 bullets like the Boar Buster, designed to punch through their armored hides and “gristle shields”
3. Trapping wild hogs: Hogs can also be trapped live. Some companies make and sell mobile-controlled hog traps the size of studio apartments, with live streaming video. The cage, camera and shipping costs about $6,000.
Ranchers also use of some companies to capture and remove live hogs. Captured hogs are often sold to distributors, and then to butchers or game preserves. Most eventually end up on dinner tables in Texas BBQ joints as well as restaurants in California and New York.
4. Sell them to restaurants: wild hogs are a traditional meat in Italy where it’s served in a ragu sauce with pappardelle pasta. There are also a lot of restaurants in the United States that are willing to pay for these wild hogs so as to cook them for their customers.
5. Hunting lights: In those states where night hunting is legal, hog hunters can be found using everything from $6,000 night-vision and thermal-imaging scopes to handheld spotlights. Among the more popular— and, for the average hunter, affordable-options for night hunting are lights that attach to the rifle, bow, or scope.
Usually, these illuminators employ a red or green LED light, as these colors are much less likely than a bright white light to scare off a hog. The better lights can reach out well beyond 100 yards into the dark. The demand for these lights is definitely on the rise.
6. Guide Service: Hunting guides command substantial fees for a weekend hunt in a private hunting area. Some of them can even command fees that are up to $3,950 for four days with a professional guide. If you own prime hunting land or can negotiate with a landowner, you can open your own private guide service utilizing the skills you already have. If not, apply to be a guide for one of the many hunting or safari services. Consider attending a guide school if you need training on how to assist other hunters.
7. Government-Sponsored Hunts: The government considers some animals pests and arranges to reduce their populations. In some states, it has been legal to shoot wild hog for some time now, but this measure has not prevented the population of this wild pigs from growing.
It got so bad that the government had to put a bounty on their heads. You can receive $50 for every set of boar ears you present in Alberta. The amount of money you make from these bounties depend on the scope of the program. Consult your state’s fish and wildlife department to get your piece of any available bounty hunts in your area.
8. Hides: a lot of conservation-minded hunters try to use as much of the animals they hunt as possible instead of wasting them. In some cases, you can make a substantial amount of money selling the hides of the hogs you hunt to merchants who use them for clothing or other items.
You should first learn how to process a hide from a local taxidermist or your state’s trapping association, because most markets require your fur be skinned, fleshed and dried before shipping it to the buyer for purchase. Every February, the North American Fur Auction helps set yearly fur prices.
9. Videos and Publications: In a challenging economy, it is not unusual for many hunters to have more than one job and work long hours. Since they have little time to hunt, they want to be knowledgeable about the subject so they have the best chance of finding their trophy.
You can consider filming a hunt and making a training video from your experience. If audio-video is not your forte, you can start a blog where you will write about your hunting successes and offering tips for your readers to have a fun and successful expedition of their own.
You can also write paid freelance articles presenting your hunting experiences for one of many outdoors publications. Take pictures of yourself, your hunt and your trophies. These will enhance the article, and some publishers would pay you for this.