Hog Hunting in the Florida Swamps

by Sam Kellenberg

Feral hogs or boars are not native to America and are suspected to have been introduced to Florida in the 1500s by Spanish explorers. They have been recorded in each of Florida's counties, and according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website, "prefer oak-cabbage palm hammocks, freshwater marshes and sloughs and pine flatwoods." Because these animals are considered pests, hunting regulations regarding them are more lax than those governing other species.

Florida Swamp Hunting Gear Tips

Hunting hogs in swamps can be muggy, hot and uncomfortable -- especially given that most hunting trips are several hours long. It is usually recommended for hunters to wear dark forest print camo gear and to wear pants and long sleeves regardless of the season. Long pants and sleeves will protect a hunter from Florida's healthy mosquito population and ticks. Waterproof boots -- knee high, if possible -- also are recommended because a hunter likely will need to move through water.

Private Property Hunting

On private property, Florida laws allow hogs to be hunted year-round without a hunting license, with no size, bag or sex limit. Hogs also may be trapped on private property, providing they are not released on public land or private property without permission. Applicable firearms safety regulations and laws still do apply.

Wildlife Management Area Hunting

On Wildlife Management Areas, hogs may be taken in almost any season, provided other rules (such as restrictions on weapon type) that apply to that season are also followed. Hunting licenses are necessary, and different management areas will have different requirements: some might have daily bag limits, and others might have minimum size limits.

Guide Services

There are several hunting guide services and charters in Florida that employ seasoned area hunters to take customers through privately owned portions of the everglades known to be frequented by boars. Such services often cover multiple-day trips, and include ancillary services such as carcass processing and taxidermy services. Some even offer no-kill, no-pay guarantees, protecting customers from the potential expense of a fruitless hunting trip.