Editor’s Note: For the most part, feral hogs are destructive. They’ll tear-up culverts, roads and green fields and root-up wildlife plantings and agriculture. Many people enjoy eating wild pigs. In the South, you generally can fill-up your freezer with all the wild pork you want to eat. In most areas with wild hogs, the hogs reproduce faster than hunters can take them, eat them and/or give away the meat. Female feral pigs can reach sexual maturity at 3-4 months of age and have two litters per year of up to 12 piglets each. Male feral hogs are sexually mature at 4-5 months. Slade Johnston of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has found a way to enjoy more free hunting and fishing trips by using hunting hogs as a trade item. People who have game that Johnston wants to hunt can trade him a hunting trip to their areas to hunt the game he’s interested in, and in exchange, he hosts them on an Alabama wild-hog hunting trip. Whether you want to take meat hogs to eat or a trophy boar with long teeth to mount, Johnston may have a trip to offer you. Johnston has access to private hunting lands that have been passed down through his family in the game-rich section of the state known as the Black Belt. Due to the rich soil there, this family-owned land produces a good number of turkeys and deer and outstanding numbers of feral hogs. To learn more, visit https://trips4trade.com/ and the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/trips4trade/.
Twenty years ago, there wasn’t a hog on our lands in Alabama’s Sumter and Choctaw counties. Fifteen years ago, we started seeing a few feral hogs showing-up on our property. Later when we started putting-out game cameras when they became available, we could better determine how many hogs we had on our land. We learned that each year, the number of hogs we had on the property steadily increased. If we put out 50 pounds of corn and placed a trail camera near it to photograph critters coming to that corn, within two days at the most, the hogs already would have eaten all the corn. So, we started shooting and trapping the hogs.
Our most recent venture has been our Trips4Trade (https://trips4trade.com/). We have more than 1,000 members of this club across the U.S. and 10+ foreign countries, who will swap hunting and fishing trips with each other. We’ve started advertising not only our deer and turkey hunting on Trips4Trade, but more especially our wild-hog hunting. In other words, we may swap a wild-hog hunt in Alabama for a bear hunt in Maine, a Kansas deer hunt or a saltwater fishing trip. We offer to trade feral pig hunts at our place for any other kind of hunting or fishing experience someone may want to trade with us. On our Trips4Trade website, people enter their information of what kind of trips they have to trade (https://Trips4trade.com) – perhaps a beach house, an offshore fishing trip, deer hunting, elk or bear hunting, trout fishing, crappie fishing or bass fishing. The purpose of Trips4Trade is to allow hunters, landowners and guide services to swap trips they offer for trips that other members have. Any kind of outdoor experience that you may have available to you, you can swap that trip for another outdoor experience in another state and/or for a different type of game.
On our property, we trade wild-hog hunting, deer hunting and turkey- hunting trips for trips we want to go on somewhere else. We have a place for people to stay at here on our land when they trade a trip. We’ve discovered we make lifelong friends when people participate in these Trips4Trade. Our first Trips4Trade was a guy from Colorado who brought his son to hunt wild hogs. We traded our hog hunt for a Merriam’s turkey hunt in his area. We’ve made that same swap for 4-5 years now. We enjoy his company almost as much as we enjoy the hunting.
Trips4Trade initially began in 2017. We started off slowly, first with people I already knew who would want to come hunt wild hogs in exchange for letting us hunt or fish where they did. We did those first Trips4Trade to prove the concept before we opened it up to the public. We had some very-successful swaps when we first started promoting Trips4Trade. The wild hogs that have been a nuisance on our lands have allowed us to hunt and fish all over the nation and even in foreign countries. Plus, the people who come hunt with us help us to get rid of hogs on our land and have a different hunting experience than they’ll have where they live. The good news about feral hog hunting in Alabama is that we can offer hog hunts all year long. Our rule of thumb is for our customers to shoot all the hogs they see when they see them.
Feral pigs love to disturb turkey eggs, one of the main reasons for eliminating the pigs. To learn more about turkey hunting, check out John E. Phillips’s book, “Turkey Hunting Tactics,” at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007PK9B2G/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p2_i9
that’s available in Kindle, print and Audible versions. You may have to cut and paste this link into your browser. (When you click on this book, notice on the left where Amazon says you can read 10% of this book for free and hear 10% for free). To learn more about other turkey books by John E. Phillips, go to www.amazon.com/author/johnephillips.