Where To Go Guided For Hogs

Choose the right option and you will be able to expand your hunting knowledge by experiencing new landscapes, challenging or otherwise new habitats, and new hogs

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

Whether you’re new to the game or looking for access to prime, well-managed grounds packed with plenty of hogs, the best outfitters offer some serious advantages.

Mark&Curt 600Enlisting the services of a savvy guide is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of feral hog hunting.  A quality outfitter will not only put you on hogs, he can also teach you a good deal about the hogs themselves, their habits and habitats, proven hunt strategies and the best times to hunt.

You say you’re already an experienced hogger? A quality outfitting service can help you as well. Choose the right option and you will be able to expand your hunting knowledge by experiencing new landscapes, challenging or otherwise new habitats, and new hogs—maybe pigs that are larger, or more numerous, than those in areas you’ve hunted in the past. If you’re looking for a unique or different experience, be sure to ask the right questions before you book.

Outfitters aren’t free. However, considering the amount of work the good ones do to put you on fresh pork, many hunters consider the cost well worth the experienced gained.

If you’re ready to go guided but don’t know where to start, here’s a short list of recommended outfitters that have proven they know how to do things right.

OteroJack 600Red Bluff LodgeSouth Carolina.
At the Red Bluff Lodge, free-range hogs are hunted on two miles of pristine bottomland along the Savannah River. Hog hunting is year-round here; day hunters may harvest two hogs per day, and Red Bluff clients have harvested an average of 100 hogs per square mile during the past 15 seasons, a group that includes impressive brutes like the multi-colored, 235-pound boar pictured above.

Owner Jim Boone notes that Red Bluff’s newest hunt opportunity is tactical night hog hunting, done from February 28 through July 1. Even better, Red Bluff provides all the gear you need for a great night hunt. Night hunts require a minimum two-night booking, and allow the hunter to harvest one hog per night.

Red Bluff Lodge is a family business, and welcomes family hunting groups. For day-time hog hunts, the cost is $550 per day per hunter. As stated, tactical night hunts have a two-day minimum requirement, at $675 per day.

Fees include lodging, meals, guide service, field transportation, game tracking/retrieval, game dressing and cooling, and trophy care. Meat processing and taxidermy services can be arranged for extra fees.

Mark&Curt 600Osceola OutfittersSt. Cloud, Florida.
I hunted here a couple years ago, and discovered some of the most-knowledgeable hog hunting guides I’ve ever come across, headed up by owner Hoppy Kempfer. HuntStand Executive Editor Mark Melotik (above left) also can vouch for the quality of Osceola’s guides, and plentiful hogs, after hunting with Hoppy a handful of times over the years—with each outing a resounding success.

The property is large—a sprawling 25,000-acre working cattle ranch that’s been in the Kempfer family for five generations—with large swaths of prairie and pasture surrounded by cypress swamps and woodlands full of palmetto.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere you can hunt from blinds and treestands set up near feeders, or walk sandy fire breaks in search of sounders. On foggy mornings, you and your guide can put a stalk on hogs rooting up cattle pastures, or ambush them as they head for the thick brush to bed down. Like to night-hunt for hogs? Osceola Outfitters can take care of that, too; pictured above is evidence of a recent successful night hunt with Hoppy and team. Most hog hunters use rifles, but your guides can help get you into close range if archery or handguns are your preference.

Osceola Outfitters offers a comfortable hunting lodge, plenty of good, down-home meals provided, and lots of hunting camaraderie. This is a private-land hunt, so no license or permit is needed, even for non-residents. A three-day hunt, from January through April, with food and lodging and two hogs, runs $1,000. More hogs and days can be added for additional charges. From May through December, the cost is $250 a day and $150 for each additional hog over the first one. The property is located just an hour south of Orlando; the operation also offers hunts for its plentiful Osceola turkeys, deer, and alligators.

HogPic600Chain Ranch OutfittersWestern Oklahoma
Feral hog populations took off in Western Oklahoma a couple years ago, and the growth curve hasn’t slowed a bit since then.  Smack in the middle of this hog population explosion is Chain Ranch Outfitters, which offers more than 20,000 acres of fabulous free-range hog hunting for sizable hogs like the brute pictured above, with yet another satisfied Chain Ranch client.

For $100 per day, and $100 for each hog taken, a hunter and his/her guide can go after hogs via spot and stalk, from blinds set up near feeders, or “safari style.” That fee includes lodging and transportation around the ranch. Meals, hog quartering, meat processing and taxidermy all can be added for additional fees. Whether you prefer to use rifle, muzzleloader, pistols, or bow gear—Chain Ranch guides are well-versed in getting you set up right, with the best opportunities for success.

Chain Ranch Outfitters also offers some fine deer hunting; adventurous outdoorsmen might want to sign up for an exciting deer/hog combo package. A rifle and skeet shooting range are also on site.

ChainRanchLogo 600The Chain hunting lodge can handle up to 12 hunters at a time, has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a full kitchen and a washer/dryer. The nearest town is Canton, which features a small grocery store, gas stations and several restaurants. A hunting license is not required for hogs unless you are hunting during a traditional game season.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMellon Creek OutfittersRefugio, Texas
For the hog hunter looking for a true “full service” experience, Mellon Creek Outfitters pretty much does it all. Hog quality is also very good, as evidenced by the photo above, my most recent Mellon Creek hog taken in October of 2015.

During a two-day, $1,500 hunt, you get one-on-one guiding, lodging in a very nice 3,000-square-foot hunting lodge, three home-cooked meals a day, and enough snacks to require a diet once you get home. There’s also daily maid service, wi-fi in the lodge, transportation to and from the Corpus Christie airport, and a trap and skeet range for your enjoyment. There’s a rifle range on site, too, to make sure you and your firearm are ready for the hunt.

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For the actual hunts, Mellon Creek offers 100,000 acres of some very prime hog hunting habitat that includes mesquite flats, agricultural fields, creek bottoms and stands of hardwood. You can hunt from blinds near feeders, or spot and stalk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe thick mesquite and brush is intersected with numerous “senderos,” or wide corridors cut through the dense vegetation, and you can find hogs here early mornings and late afternoons as the shadows begin to lengthen. Part of the property abuts Mission Bay (which eventually connects to the Gulf of Mexico), and here you can even find hogs out on the beach, feeding in the swampy tidal pools.

And if any of the above sounds remotely appealing, consider one more tantalizing fact: At Mellon Creek, there’s no limit on the number of hogs you can take!



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