The Guide to Buying the Best Hog Hunting Lights
The best lights for hog hunting will light up hogs for an accurate shot without exposing a hunter's presence. There are several key features that separate marginal pig hunting lights from the best hog hunting lights, and you may be surprised by what these features are. Before we get into the details on what makes the best hog hunting lights, let's discuss if you should even consider using lights for your pig hunting adventures.
Do I really need lights to hunt hogs?
If you are hunting pressured property, hogs are more likely to come out at night versus the day time. Hogs will come out in the early morning and late evening on property that is not pressured, and may even come out in the middle of the day during the winter time. This is primarily due to their increased need to search for food in the winter time. During the heat of hunting season, from December to February, we most commonly see hogs on our game camera between 11:00 PM and 1:00 AM.
Key Features to the Best Hog Hunting Lights
The best lights for hunting hogs will have the following features, and the price range is largely dependent upon the lights' performance in each category. If you are considering a light that doesn't have any of the following features, it is better to pass on that option and invest in one that meets these minimum criteria. If you're like me and have a day job, you can only hunt hogs on the weekends or on a strict number of days you took off for vacation. It's best to make the most of these experiences with a quality hog hunting light that will maximize your chances for more successful hunts.
The Right Color for Hog Hunting
The most commonly used color for hunting hogs at night is green, but that doesn't mean it's the best color light for hog hunting. Hogs have dichromacy, which means they have two functioning color receptors in their eyes. By nature, mammals with dichromatic vision have a hard time seeing longer wavelength colors. Green is approximately 540 nm wavelength while red is approximately 660 nm wavelength. The longer wavelength color of red makes it far more difficult to distinguish in comparison to a shorter wavelength green color. This is what scientifically proves red is the best color light for hog hunting. Most people use green because it is an easier color on the visible spectrum for humans (who have trichromatic vision) to see and distinguish versus red. A quality red hog hunting light is capable of providing the same illumination as green hog hunting lights, while doing a better job at staying unnoticed by wild boars.
Here is a jeep setup for hog hunting with Predator Cannon Hunting Lights
Adjustable Intensity to Draw out Shy Hogs
As the season goes on and hogs are more pressured, they become more conscious to small changes in their environment. In order to have a successful hunt in even the most pressured territories, adjustable intensity is a must-have. It's best to scan fields or spot hogs with low intensity light. Once you believe there may be a hog in the area, slowly increase the light intensity to confirm. If the hog is there, it's best to keep the intensity down while preparing for a shot and then slowly increase intensity when ready to take the shot.
Regardless of the color of light you use, pressured hogs will pick up on changes in their environment. A quick blast of light is almost guaranteed to scare off pressured hogs. However, if you slowly illuminate the sounder of pigs from 0% intensity to 100% intensity, they may not even realize you're there. We've literally taken a light from 0% to 100% over the course of a couple minutes and walked up within 15 ft of a sounder of hogs on a dark night. When combined with a properly colored hog hunting night light, your success rate will go through the roof.
Weatherproof Lights for Wild Boar Hunting
Whether you're hunting your own property, public land or are part of a hog hunting lease, your lights are going to be left out in the weather. The best hog hunting lights are capable of staying out year-round, through the rain, snow, heat, ice, etc. They are made of quality components that can stand the abuse associated with the outdoor environment.
The Right Type of Light for Your Style of Pig Hunting
Hog hunting comes in all shapes and forms. You can hunt hogs from a blind, high rack, ATV, UTV, vehicle, utilize dogs for chasing down wild pigs, and even stalk down hog sounders. Some of these lights can be used for multiple situations, but having the right type of light for your hog hunting needs can vary. Let's talk more about the different types of hog hunting lights.
Types of Hog Hunting Lights
The most commonly used form of lighting for hog hunting is LED hog hunting lights. LEDs are portable and have a low power draw, allowing them to light up fields and be mounted in a wide variety of orientations. There are 5 primary types of hog hunting lights:
Hog Hunting Light Bar for Vehicles
Hogs can be anywhere. It's best to increase your visibility with a hog hunting light bar for your ATV, UTV, side by side or other hunting vehicle. There is only one light bar capable of meeting the criteria we listed above, and that's the Predator Cannon™ Hunting Light Bar. It's a dimmable red light bar capable of illuminating an entire field, but also has adjustable intensity for bringing out shy hogs.
This particular hog hunting light bar has a center long-range spot beam, capable of out-shining most spotlights. It also has flood reflectors on the side, which can literally light up an entire field in the one color hogs can't see: red.
Spotlights for Hog Hunting
If you're covering a lot of ground, spotlights work great for hog hunting. They allow you to see what's up ahead, the only downside is the hunter has to constantly scan the fields looking for wild pigs.
Hog Hunting Light for Feeder
Deer hunting and hog hunting typically go hand in hand. The deer come to the feeder first, and then hogs follow after the sun goes down. Deer corn makes for the perfect bait to attract hogs, so all that is needed is a hog hunting light for feeder to light pigs up after dark. The best feeder lights should still abide by the criteria we presented above. They need to have adjustable intensity and it is best if they are red, so the hogs do not shy away from coming up to the feeder. Remote control feeder lights are typically the best option for hog feeder lighting.
Hog Hunting Bow Light
Hog hunting lights for bows are mounted directly to the stabilizer on a compound hunting bow. These are also referred to as a hog hunting flashlight, but there is technically a difference in the two types of lights. This key difference is the ability of a bow light to mount to a compound bow out of the box, versus a flashlight having to be fitted to mount to a bow. A good hog hunting bow light is going to meet the criteria we discussed above in terms of being the right color, having adjustable intensity, and being made to withstand the abuse associated with hunting hogs at night.
One key feature to look out for when buying your next bow light for pig hunting is the ability to install stabilizer accessories on your bow. Whether you are looking to mount a stabilizer camera to film your hunts or even the stabilizer that helps you shoot straight, a light with an attachment compatible for all situations is a great choice.
LED Headlamps for Hog Hunting
When hunting hogs with dogs, it's easiest to chase them down with your hands free. Typically dogs will bay the hogs up, the catch dogs hold the pig down, and then the hunter comes in to do the pig sticking. The best lights for hunting hogs with dog are mounted to your vehicle or most hog hunters opt to utilize an LED headlamp for hog hunting. While strapped to your head, it's easy to light the way down trails when searching for hogs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can wild hogs see red or green light?
Wild hogs cannot see red light and they have a hard time seeing green light. When comparing the two light colors, hogs are more likely to distinguish a green light before they are capable of picking up a red light. This is due to the their inability to see longer wavelength colors as a result of their dichromate vision.
What is the best light for hog hunting?
The best light for hog hunting has the characteristics of the Predator Cannon Hunting Light: a red LED light with adjustable intensity that is made to stand up to the abuse associated with hog hunting.
Can pigs see red light at night?
Pigs cannot see red light at night. The red color is very difficult for them to distinguish from other colors due to its long wavelength.
What is the best time to hunt wild hogs?
The best time to hunt wild hogs is at night, between the hours of 11:00 PM and 1:00 AM. If you are hunting in an area that is not pressured, then hogs may be around during sunrise and sunset.
Do green lights scare hogs?
A green light can scare a hog if shined directly at the hog with high intensity, it's important to keep your light shine indirect of the hog and utilize lower intensity lights until you're ready to shoot.
Can hogs see infrared (IR) light?
Infrared light is very long wavelength, longer than red. Hogs are not able to pick up on long wavelength lights, so no, they cannot see infrared light. If you shine an IR light on a hog and it spooks, it was likely due to something other than the IR light.
Can hogs smell humans?
Yes, hogs can smell humans. It's best when setting traps, setting up feeders, baiting, or other hunting methods, to wear gloves and do your best to minimize the body contact you have with the bait or tools you are leaving behind. It is believed that hogs can smell better than deer, and we've seen hogs eat the corn leading up to a trap but not get close to the trap because we didn't use gloves when we unloaded the trap.
There are over 9 million feral swine across the U.S., and through their ongoing invasive development they've maintained a heightened awareness to humans. Since this experience with our traps, we always wear gloves to move our traps and feeders and prevent them from smelling us.
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