Before I start I would like to say I am not a big fan of feeding deer and wild boar. The area I shoot wild boar in Poland is a mixture of forestry and farmland (40:60) and there is plenty of food all year round and feeding makes little sense there, maybe except for really severe winters when animals struggle to find food. My dad never had any feeding stations and I was raised and brought into hunting without any knowledge of how to feed and encourage wild boar. On the other hand when I met my wife her father was really into feeding wild boar mainly because he was in charge of organizing commercial hunts for foreign hunters and on the type of ground he had, feeding was required to keep wild boar population at high levels. His prime stalking ground was 100% forestry and wild boar numbers were limited, hence feeding kept wild boar in the area otherwise they would have just moved outside his ground and stayed close to farmland, more attractive to them with various food available.
Selecting a good spot
There are various reasons why people feed wild boar. One of them is reducing crop damage. In Poland hunting clubs and syndicates compensate farmers for any crop damage deer and wild boar do, so feeding pigs in the forestry keeps them away from precious crops. In this case selecting a good spot for feeding is not so important as long it is quite far away from the crop that needs protection. On the other hand if the place is mainly for hunting selecting a good spot is quite important. Wind direction is most important and good feeding spot should be accessible from two different directions. One of the successful feeding places my father-in-low has is located between two tracks that are about 100m apart and he feeds wild boar in the small clearing between them. It can be quietly accessed stalking each track and it is actually visible from the track and easy to check without going out of the car whether boar visited the place or not.
The place should offer safe backstop and should be at least a bit open to see animals at full moon. Wild boar are usually very wary of large open areas and will stay away and be suspicious. Small clearing in the middle of the forestry or side of the unused track or blind forestry ride should be good enough. After some practice there is not much light needed to shoot wild boar at night and safe range is anywhere between 30 to 60m. Too close and they will wind you soon, and feeding place should be arranged in such manner long shots are not needed.
Remember that pigs will do some damage when feeding and any young plantation is not a suitable place. If you don’t want other people to find your feeding place, keep in mind there will be tracks and signs leading to the spot. If you don’t have ideal place, use pigs to improve it. I remember seeing my father-in-low to select very unusual place with high weeds and undergrowth bordering spruce thicket. After a couple of days pigs got rid of any vegetation and left nice open space offering good shooting space. So if you have promising place, but it has high bracken, brambles or it needs clearing, throw some maize out there and the pigs would do the rest. 😆
When to feed wild boar
If the area is not to be stalked it does not matter when animals are fed, but if you want to shoot them in the evening two might be required: one to put out fresh food at least a few hours earlier, and second for actual outing. Wild boar are quite sensitive and would not go out when they smell human presence. One or two hours might not be enough and they will stay under cover. This is often true when pigs are not really hungry and there is plenty of other food available. They will be just coming to visit known place where they previously found food, but at any sign of danger they will not come out.
Maize – food wild boar can’t resist
Any food is good at winter. Apples are not too bad and also deer like them. Pigs would eat anything and deer, badgers, foxes and birds would also visit the feeding spot. Maize probably the best food there is to encourage wild boar. They simply cannot resist it and will travel often a long distance to get some.
How to feed wild boar
When you are just starting you would need a bucket or two of maize and spread it out. Wild boar will need to find it first and it might take some time. No need for topping up, just check the area and feed more only after the pigs found it. Use them to improve visibility, throw maize on the sides and into high vegetation and pigs would do the rest. You also want them to spend as long time feeding as possible. Last time you want is a large group of boar to come and eat everything it 15 minutes and go away. 🙄 It should not be just easy food, they should be moving and working to get their food. It is a good idea to throw some maize between branches, stumps and encourage them to dig it out. If the area is mainly for hunting, little food should be offered, but frequently (everyday if possible). Only on the night you plan outing, more food can be required just to keep the animals feeding longer.
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