Bush pigs are found throughout Africa where there is adequate cover and sufficient water. They are Africa’s more colorful and slightly smaller version of the European Wild Boar. The Bush pig is closely related to the red river hog found in central and West Africa. The Bush pig can be hunted throughout a South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In central and west Africa where the bush pig is not found the red river hog is predominant.
The colouration of Bush pig varies from blonde to dark brown and Reddish coats. The head of a bush pig is typically covered by white hair. Male Bush pigs have long bony heads with big protruding warts on their snout. Both the females and males grow razor sharp tusks which reach an average of three inches, the tusks in males tend to grow longer to about 4or 5 inches. Bush pigs can very dangerous when close quartered or wounded. They use their razor sharp teeth to defend themselves and they can inflict great harm.
The bush pig thrives in areas where there is ample food, water and dense cover. Being part of the swine family they will eat anything from berries, fruits, plants, insects, worms and even rotten and decaying meat. Bush pigs are serious agricultural pests and do tremendous damage to various crops in Africa in each year. Hunting Bush pigs in South Africa is done an agricultural measure to mitigate damage done by these animals.
Bush pigs are mainly nocturnal, but in areas where they do not feel threatened they will often b seen forging during the day time. Sounders usually are made of a single boar and 3 to 4 sows with their young. These pigs can travel great distances when looking for feeding areas and their home ranges can be anywhere from 50 to 2000 acres. Offspring remain with the sounder until about one year of age where the males will then venture on their own and may create bachelor groups.
Many Bush pig are shot when they are seen by chance while out looking for something else. You may be lucky to spot and stalk bush pig in maize crops or sugar can crops where one can often here them feeding at night. During the day majority of bush pig sleep and rest in cool areas so you may even bump one while walking in the field.
Baiting bush pig can be done with rotten meat, sour corn, vegetables and fruits. The pigs willingly come in for bait every night if it is consistently there. Blind construction needs to be done properly though. If the pigs sense or are spooked by human scent they will void coming into the bait area. Many outfitters have permanent bush pig baits that are running all the time. By doing this one can keep track of the animals in the area and target some good trophies. Getting to the blind well before dark is important and if done during full moon, often a spotlight will not be necessary.
Hunting Bush pigs with the use of dogs to flush pigs out of thick cover and then to bay the pigs up has become popular in South Africa. A well trained dog is used to pick up the scent of a bush pig and then the whole pack is released. The dogs usually bay one or two pigs, this is where the hunter comes in and takes the shot. Very challenging as one needs to shoot in-between the dogs which are running back and forth. It is an action packed hunt and physically demanding but every bit is worth it.
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