Texas hog hunting - Low tech, Med Tech and High Tech

Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior MemberPosts: 1,548 Senior Member
I own a ranch in north central Texas. Along with deer and turkeys hog hunting probably ranks number 1 with my boys and I, friends and family who come out to hunt. Most of our hogs and the other ranches we hunt are nocturnal critters. Sometimes we get hogs that show up on the cameras 30 to 45 min before dark and every blue moon in the middle of the day. I can count on one hand have a finger or so left over on the number of hogs we’ve shot during day light hours.

We’ve evolved on our night time hog hunting. We started out using HogSniper red LED lights mounted to our scopes. This bad boy can throw a tight red beam 350+ yards. They work very well, however on a few occasions the red light has spooked the hogs and they take off. Usually it’s a single boar that spooks with the red light. I’ve never had a pack of hogs run off from the red light until the gun goes boom. I put these lights in the medium tech hog hunting.

Going hi-tech I picked up an ATN Day/Night scope. This scope works great at night but has a few draw backs. It will chew up 4 AA Duracell batteries in about 45 min to maybe an hour on a great day. The existing FLIR light source that comes with it is good for shots to 85 yards or so, maybe 100 yards on a full moon night. To overcome these short comings I purchased some ultra 9X lasting AA batteries and a $30.00 T-20 5W 850nm LED IR flashlight on eBay. This doubled my distance to 175 yards which is farther than I can shoot at night at the ranch. I use 1” QD rings to attach the IR light to the NV scope. The field of vision during the day is a bit grainy. I use my Leupold 1X6 during the day and pop it off at dusk and put the ATN day/night scope on for the night hunts.

The best, simplest and cheapest solution we’re these $25.00 to $30.00 solar powered green 40 LED flood lights. These lights come on at dusk and turn off at dawn. We mount them about 15’ to 20’ from the feeders. We put a 2X4 in the ground and it takes 4 screws total to mount the solar panel and light. We keep the lights out of reach of my cows and they like to eat the wires. This illuminates the area around the feeder very nicely at dark. We’ve actually gone to 2 of these flood lights for each stand at opposite sides. This makes hog hunting at night as simple as it can be. The deer & hogs get used to the green light in just a couple of days. I just went out to one of my stands and took a quick picture when it was dark out.

I will caution about using any type of flood or spot lights. Check with your state/county game regulations and make sure they’re legal. Also, I don’t run mine all the time during deer season, only when someone wants to hunt hogs. I don’t want the game warden coming on my place and questioning what we’re hunting at night. If anyone ever shoots a deer under the green lights and I’ve made it perfectly clear I will turn them in myself. I take it very seriously. Actually our rule is when the lights come on in the evening deer hunting is done for the day.

My custom Tikka .243 Win with red HogSniper light attached
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Now with the ATN day/night scope
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Night time shot of the green flood lights
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A lone hog from last night, hard to see the green lights with the game cameras IR flash
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Green 40 LED Flood lights
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Link to 40 green LED flood lights
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Solar-Power-30-40-LED-Ultra-Bright-Spotlight-Garden-Lawn-Waterproof-Flood-Light-/381399444650?var=650571350464&hash=item58cd2dacaa:m:m-AuvTeh0eyYk7ldZGCFsLg
Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

John 3: 1-21

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,219 Senior Member
    You have a sweet setup all-around, Jeff. The solar-powered lights are a great idea and I can see the hogs getting pretty used to them over time.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    That's what I Think I want Jeff, the Green LED Solar Charged light. How close do you need to be to the feeder to see the hogs under the light? Can you see to get good shots at 100-150 yards with it? How bright is it? Does it light up the area under the feeder well?

    I rigged up some cheap leds like that once but couldn't really see that well, but we were trying to scope out under the feeder from 300 yards back.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    That's what I Think I want Jeff, the Green LED Solar Charged light. How close do you need to be to the feeder to see the hogs under the light? Can you see to get good shots at 100-150 yards with it? How bright is it? Does it light up the area under the feeder well?

    I rigged up some cheap leds like that once but couldn't really see that well, but we were trying to scope out under the feeder from 300 yards back.

    You pose an interesting question. We've found 12' to 20' to be optimal. The closer you get them to the feeder the brighter they are (to a degree) however you lose coverage area. Most of our stands are on small acre to two acre food plots so our shots are 75 to 120 yards. However we do have one stand we call the Side Rd stand, it splits my property from my neighbor. It runs 1200 yards north to south. At the midway point we have a feeder and two stands 153 yards N to S and 163 S to N so it can hunted in the different winds. With one light and the distance it doesn't light it up enough to hunt without the red HogSniper light. This is why I got the the ATN day/night scope. I added a second green led flood light and it helped a bit. My oldest added a third green flood light and that did the trick. Now anyone can hunt it without additional add on lights.

    One more thing don't position the lights so they are pointing in the direction of your stand so that you're looking directly into them.

    One interesting hunt I had two weeks ago. I decided to head out about 20 min before dark. I parked on the trial heading to our back corner stand. It's about 100 yard walk to the stand from where I park the 4-wheeler. I was about 50 yards to the stand and threw my bino's up to look across the food plot to the feeder. There was the 185 pound hog I posted about a couple weeks ago. By the time I stalked to the stand the hog was gone but I knew he didn't leave. It was midway between dusk and dark with light fading fast. The green lights were on but with the remaining ambient light outside it was a greenish haze around the feeder. I couldn't see the hog but I knew he was there. The hog was there in plain view but with his dark color and the light conditions he was totally invisible. As the seconds passed to a minute or so the darker it got and brighter the green lights got and wallah the hog was standing there in plain view. It was an easy head shoot but really screwy hunt with the light conditions.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 8,525 Senior Member
    That is one heck of a set up :up::up:
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,658 Senior Member
    Sweet set-up :up:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    You pose an interesting question. We've found 12' to 20' to be optimal. The closer you get them to the feeder the brighter they are (to a degree) however you lose coverage area. Most of our stands are on small acre to two acre food plots so our shots are 75 to 120 yards. However we do have one stand we call the Side Rd stand, it splits my property from my neighbor. It runs 1200 yards north to south. At the midway point we have a feeder and two stands 153 yards N to S and 163 S to N so it can hunted in the different winds. With one light and the distance it doesn't light it up enough to hunt without the red HogSniper light. This is why I got the the ATN day/night scope. I added a second green led flood light and it helped a bit. My oldest added a third green flood light and that did the trick. Now anyone can hunt it without additional add on lights.

    One more thing don't position the lights so they are pointing in the direction of your stand so that you're looking directly into them.

    One interesting hunt I had two weeks ago. I decided to head out about 20 min before dark. I parked on the trial heading to our back corner stand. It's about 100 yard walk to the stand from where I park the 4-wheeler. I was about 50 yards to the stand and threw my bino's up to look across the food plot to the feeder. There was the 185 pound hog I posted about a couple weeks ago. By the time I stalked to the stand the hog was gone but I knew he didn't leave. It was midway between dusk and dark with light fading fast. The green lights were on but with the remaining ambient light outside it was a greenish haze around the feeder. I couldn't see the hog but I knew he was there. The hog was there in plain view but with his dark color and the light conditions he was totally invisible. As the seconds passed to a minute or so the darker it got and brighter the green lights got and wallah the hog was standing there in plain view. It was an easy head shoot but really screwy hunt with the light conditions.

    Yes Jeff, I have one field about 250 to 300 yards across. My Feeder is at the NE corner of the field at the side of the sendero that runs on one side of the field. Most of what I've killed has been in that field. I want to put lights like that on my feeder or close by where I can see shadows of the hogs when they get under the feeder. I have a portable tent blind I can move according to the wind direction. Also I can drive my Suburban to one side of the field and sit it in the dark. With lights like you showed me here I can kill hogs there.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    Snake 284,

    I think your setup adding the green lights with a portable blind would work out well. I can’t wait to see some pictures of the setup and a few fallen hogs.

    It’s really an interesting phenomenon hunting with the green lights at night. If there are critters inside the light you’ll see them, if they are a millimeter outside the light they’re totally invisible. There are no shadowy figures outside the light, just total blackness. I have to say the first time you see hogs or deer move into the light it’s a really cool but an eerie sight as they appear and disappear.

    Best of luck my friend!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Snake 284,

    I think your setup adding the green lights with a portable blind would work out well. I can’t wait to see some pictures of the setup and a few fallen hogs.

    It’s really an interesting phenomenon hunting with the green lights at night. If there are critters inside the light you’ll see them, if they are a millimeter outside the light they’re totally invisible. There are no shadowy figures outside the light, just total blackness. I have to say the first time you see hogs or deer move into the light it’s a really cool but an eerie sight as they appear and disappear.

    Best of luck my friend!

    Thank you Jeff, I will be more than happy to show you. Well I guess, now that I have the talking part done all I have to do is shoot some hogs,

    :tooth:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    Mike,

    Toughest part of setting up the lights is digging the holes for the 2X4's. Other than that it's 4 screws and plug the solar panel to the light...easy peasy!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Mike,

    Toughest part of setting up the lights is digging the holes for the 2X4's. Other than that it's 4 screws and plug the solar panel to the light...easy peasy!

    Well right now it's been such a wet winter the ground is soft so I can get down 2'-3' or so and stick the 2x4 in the ground and anchor the light to it. Mine are supposed to arrive here on the 23, that's Tuesday, so I figure it will happen within the next three days. Then I'll get em up and working before the weekend giving the hogs time to get used to them. The moon is pretty full still right now and I wish I had em set up already. They, the hogs, get out or roam around more in the full moon but I still can't see em well enough at a hundred or so yards in moon light. So the lights will make the difference.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Well Jeff, I still don't have my lights in yet, supposed to be here tomorrow. But I went out to the lease anyway, to swap the SD Card out in my Game Cam. The damn coons had struck and knocked my cam on the ground breaking the bracket the strap fits through. I took it and put it near the gate for now where I've been wanting to move it. When I put the poles in the ground to mount my green solar powered lights on I'll move the cam up on that higher off the ground.

    Anyway, I swapped the SD Card out and brought it home and down loaded it to my computer and what did I find? No hogs but I found a nice 10 point buck. I'll run it through Photo Bucket and put it up here later. I am curious to see what's snooping around at the entrance gate but hope the Squirrels don't get it there.

    Here's the 10 point.

    02150539_zpsk0pghisa.jpg

    Also, Bisley, as you may notice, I did straighten out the camera, that is before the coons knocked it down.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Well Jeff, I still don't have my lights in yet, supposed to be here tomorrow. But I went out to the lease anyway, to swap the SD Card out in my Game Cam. The damn coons had struck and knocked my cam on the ground breaking the bracket the strap fits through. I took it and put it near the gate for now where I've been wanting to move it. When I put the poles in the ground to mount my green solar powered lights on I'll move the cam up on that higher off the ground.

    Anyway, I swapped the SD Card out and brought it home and down loaded it to my computer and what did I find? No hogs but I found a nice 10 point buck. I'll run it through Photo Bucket and put it up here later. I am curious to see what's snooping around at the entrance gate but hope the Squirrels don't get it there.

    Also, Bisley, as you may notice, I did straighten out the camera, that is before the coons knocked it down.

    Mike,

    He'll be a dandy buck next year and a real prize the following year if he makes it that long. Best of luck with your setup and lights. Sometimes it's all about tweaking the light positions/distance and heights. That's what I've been doing with mine over the last couple of weekends.

    For my game camera's I've gone simple but effective and mine have been cow proof. I use a T Post and a 5" long 4" dameter PVC pipe attached to the T post. I also use two self taping screws on the camera straps to keep them in place.

    Game%20camera.jpg

    Camera%202.jpg
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Mike,

    He'll be a dandy buck next year and a real prize the following year if he makes it that long. Best of luck with your setup and lights. Sometimes it's all about tweaking the light positions/distance and heights. That's what I've been doing with mine over the last couple of weekends.

    For my game camera's I've gone simple but effective and mine have been cow proof. I use a T Post and a 5" long 4" dameter PVC pipe attached to the T post. I also use two self taping screws on the camera straps to keep them in place.

    Game%20camera.jpg

    Camera%202.jpg

    Hey, that's my game cam right there. But the coons got up there and broke the loops where the straps went through it and I found it on the ground. But i used a piece of electrical wire and went through the groove in the front and tied it to a tree. I think when I put the lights up I'll wrap the lights AND the cam in chicken wire to keep the pesky little turds from messing with them.
    I've even had Coons attack my feeders. Shame on em if I catch em.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Mike,

    He'll be a dandy buck next year and a real prize the following year if he makes it that long. Best of luck with your setup and lights. Sometimes it's all about tweaking the light positions/distance and heights. That's what I've been doing with mine over the last couple of weekends.

    For my game camera's I've gone simple but effective and mine have been cow proof. I use a T Post and a 5" long 4" dameter PVC pipe attached to the T post. I also use two self taping screws on the camera straps to keep them in place.

    Game%20camera.jpg

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums? /v98/jharmon23/Camera%202.jpg[/IMG]

    Jeff, I'm not sure from your picture but do you aim your solar panel up Like toward the sun?
    or do you have it straight out, where rain water won't pool in the face?
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Also, the light in the pic is much better than any LED I ever put on my feeder. I believe it will work great and I won't have to worry about any spotlight. Just raise my rifle and have at it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Mike,

    He'll be a dandy buck next year and a real prize the following year if he makes it that long. Best of luck with your setup and lights. Sometimes it's all about tweaking the light positions/distance and heights. That's what I've been doing with mine over the last couple of weekends.


    For my game camera's I've gone simple but effective and mine have been cow proof. I use a T Post and a 5" long 4" dameter PVC pipe attached to the T post. I also use two self taping screws on the camera straps to keep them in place.

    Game%20camera.jpg

    Camera%202.jpg

    Also Jeff, I'm so starved for seeing a nice buck It's going to take will power to keep from committing crimes against Bambi while I'm hog hunting. I'm pretty much a legal eagle, but if that damn deer shows up at night, it will take a lot of restraint to keep from doing the unthinkable, hehehe!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Also Jeff, I'm so starved for seeing a nice buck It's going to take will power to keep from committing crimes against Bambi while I'm hog hunting. I'm pretty much a legal eagle, but if that damn deer shows up at night, it will take a lot of restraint to keep from doing the unthinkable, hehehe!!!

    I'm a stickler for the game laws. I've come to enjoy (and hopefully you will too) watching the deer, hogs and other critters who show up during the night under the lights. I think it's really cool how they appear and disappear as soon as they enter of leave the light. There's no middle ground. I've also made it quite clear to anyone who hunts on my place. You shoot a deer under the lights and I will personally turn you in. I feel it's a very fine line hunting with the green lights on especially during deer season. My rule is during deer season when the lights come on legal hunting light or not, deer hunting is done for the day. I've got a great relationship with my local game biologist and neighbors. I don’t want problems with the laws coming on my place like my former neighbor.

    Good luck and I bet it takes one or two evening for the critters to get use to the lights. Send pics of your successful hunt!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    I'm a stickler for the game laws. I've come to enjoy (and hopefully you will too) watching the deer, hogs and other critters who show up during the night under the lights. I think it's really cool how they appear and disappear as soon as they enter of leave the light. There's no middle ground. I've also made it quite clear to anyone who hunts on my place. You shoot a deer under the lights and I will personally turn you in. I feel it's a very fine line hunting with the green lights on especially during deer season. My rule is during deer season when the lights come on legal hunting light or not, deer hunting is done for the day. I've got a great relationship with my local game biologist and neighbors. I don’t want problems with the laws coming on my place like my former neighbor.

    Good luck and I bet it takes one or two evening for the critters to get use to the lights. Send pics of your successful .hunt!

    Jeff, rest assured that won't happen, I was joking only, but it does put a bit of strain on things. I really don't want to see that deer until next November. I too am pretty much a stickler for Game Laws. For one thing, I couldn't afford the fine. But the main reason, if you shoot something under lights or out of season or both, who you gonna share it with? There would be little pleasure in it and every time you looked at that rack you'd know you took it unfairly. That alone has kept me pretty straignt Hell one year one of the hunters in my personal party shot a spike, but the spike mysteriously grew another point and it was an illegal 4 point. The person who did it swore it was a spike. Some times it's almost impossible to see even with good binos. Hell, I didn't even shoot it and I felt bad. Crap happens but I don't ever do that intentionally. I too enjoy watching deer and game. I watched a lot of under 13 inch bucks this year go by me. Even though I know we have too many doe on our lease and in the area in general, I won't nor will I permit someone to shoot a doe out of season illegally. I guess we could talk to the game wardens and see if the biologist would permit a doe cull, but that's the only way that's happening. Nope, the only things i shoot at night is hogs, rabbits, and other vermin.
    One thing I know, once you cross one barrier, the other legal barriers are easier to cross, and I don't want to be in that mode.

    Also, did you get my original question? About do you face your solar screens up, or do you leave them straight out? I was concerned about rain water sitting in the screen and leaking inside.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    I've had my solar lights up for a few years and haven't had an issue with any of them. Actually the only issues I've had is when I had the lights within the cows reach and the ate the wires. My cows think the wires tastes great. I had to cut the wire and take the lights and solar panels apart and rewire them. Pretty easy and straight forward as it's only two wires. Didn't even need my EE degree to figure it out! :applause::applause: I try to point mine south west and tilt them toward the sun at a bit of an angle.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    I've had my solar lights up for a few years and haven't had an issue with any of them. Actually the only issues I've had is when I had the lights within the cows reach and the ate the wires. My cows think the wires tastes great. I had to cut the wire and take the lights and solar panels apart and rewire them. Pretty easy and straight forward as it's only two wires. Didn't even need my EE degree to figure it out! :applause::applause: I try to point mine south west and tilt them toward the sun at a bit of an angle.

    Jeff, I got both lights up now and working. I went out Saturday night and sat about 200 yards out at the treeline across the field from the feeder. Even at that range you'd be surprized how well I can see with these lights. However, I suspect it was a little soon yet so I'm giving them a couple more days to let the hogs get more used to them.

    I have a couple questions. Do you shut the lights off during the day, or just leave em burning? I've had the first light burning since last Wednesday and it's plenty bright and it burns all night. Now, I'm thinking to put a few polls in the ground where I sat in my Vehicle the other night and buy me some camo netting and tie to them. Then I'll just pull the suburban behind them and sit, and cut me a little shooting window. BINGO! Instant Hog Blind with all the comforts of home, well almost.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,548 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Jeff, I got both lights up now and working. I went out Saturday night and sat about 200 yards out at the treeline across the field from the feeder. Even at that range you'd be surprized how well I can see with these lights. However, I suspect it was a little soon yet so I'm giving them a couple more days to let the hogs get more used to them.

    I have a couple questions. Do you shut the lights off during the day, or just leave em burning? I've had the first light burning since last Wednesday and it's plenty bright and it burns all night. Now, I'm thinking to put a few polls in the ground where I sat in my Vehicle the other night and buy me some camo netting and tie to them. Then I'll just pull the suburban behind them and sit, and cut me a little shooting window. BINGO! Instant Hog Blind with all the comforts of home, well almost.

    Snake 284,

    Once the lights are up I rarely mess with them. I only turn them off during deer season and that's only a few of them. They'll turn off during the day and stay on all night. I was going to ping you to see how it's going. Have you pulled the camera SD cards to see if they're coming in yet? I'm liking your set ups.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,802 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    Snake 284,

    Once the lights are up I rarely mess with them. I only turn them off during deer season and that's only a few of them. They'll turn off during the day and stay on all night. I was going to ping you to see how it's going. Have you pulled the camera SD cards to see if they're coming in yet? I'm liking your set ups.

    No, I don't have my cam there. The coons or the cows knocked it down and broke the brakets where the strap goes through so now I have it tied to a tree in a different spot. I pretty well **** proofed the new lights with a fence around them, I'll get a pic or two and show you. Thanks for all the advice, you got me where I wanted to be.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,978 Senior Member
    Looks like you are really set up nice
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
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