by Wayne Nichols
Well, the weather this time of year is definitely hit and miss. You wake thinking the temps are starting to fall finally and tomorrow you wake up to 80°. These weather patterns make for hard hunting even on private land a lot of times. Our animals are accustomed to the heat, and generally feed in the evening right before dark on into the morning. Food plots can help increase your success on private land, but even with these things in place, there’s been no shortage of acorns this year, so you can’t count on feeders all the time either…hence our night hunts for hogs. While turkeys are solely out in daytime and deer frequently feed off and on all hours of the day, hogs prefer cooler temps for feeding and are primarily a night feeder anyway. While hunting season is in full swing now in Florida, let’s face it, hunters aren’t traveling here to hunt deer, we’re just not known for quality deer hunting in Florida. Most hunters come to Florida for the Osceola turkey, alligators, and hog hunting. Luckily, we have plenty of all 3 and hogs and gators can be hunted year-round on private land.
We haven’t been seeing good numbers of hogs day or night the last few months, but with night time temps falling it’s picking up fast. Hogs can be hunted on private land 365 days a year here, day or night. For over a year now we’ve offered the thermal hunts at night with 100% success for our hunters. Most hunters need a little convincing on doing a night hunt. Daytime hunts are never a guarantee, especially with our hotter temps. We average about an 85% success rate on seeing hogs in the daytime, but only about 70% kill rate. Night hunts have been 100% success on seeing and killing hogs, it’s just a better way to hunt, for easier follow up shots when needed. When hunting at night, we generally use our thermal scanners to locate hogs in fields, farms, oak hammocks etc… then we do a stalk on them. Hunters can use any weapon they want to bring or can use our thermal gear/guns. We stalk downwind of hogs and usually get you within about 20-25 yards if using pistols, bow/crossbows, shotgun, and 50-75 yards with rifles or thermal gear. With thermal imaging scopes/guns you just aim and fire, with non- thermal gear we get you to your comfort range zone and turn on green or red lights that don’t spook them.