The sport of wild hog hunting has a long history that spans over many years and many different cultures. The first major references of hog hunting can be traced to 700 BC with Homer’s epic, the Odyssey. In the famous poem, Odysseus was injured during a boar hunt as a child. Another Ancient Greek reference to wild hog hunting came with the legend of Heracles. In this legend, the city of Ephesus was built upon the ground where a boar was killed by the city’s prince. Following the Ancient Greeks, the Romans often documented wild hog hunts through their literature in hunt. In Roman times, boar hunting was a popular sport among boys and was seen as a way to exercise and build character.
During these early years, wild hogs were hunted without the use of firearms. Instead, hunters would use spears while riding on horseback or traveling on foot to try and take down a boar. This was known as pigs ticking and was a much more dangerous sport back then and sometimes resulted in death. King Philip IV of France was killed when he fell of his horse and was charged by a wild hog during a hunt. It wasn’t until the Renaissance period that hunters began using firearms to kill hogs.
One common theme throughout the history of hog hunting is the use of hunting dogs to capture and kill the boar. Boar hunting dogs are put into two different categories: bay dogs and catch dogs. Bay dogs are used to harass and aggravate the hog while keeping it cornered in one place, which is known as keeping the boar at bay. By barking, the bay dog is able to alert the hunter to the location of the boar and prepare the hunter for a shot once he arrives.
Catch dogs, on the other hand, are known for physically biting or catching the hog’s ear. Once the catch dog has the boar it will hold the boar down by it is head until the hunter arrives. This role is typically reserved for a rougher type of dog such as the American Bulldog or Pit Bull. Many times a hunter will use both a bay dog and a catch dog during the same hunt. When this happens, the bay dog is used to find and chase the hog until it becomes cornered, at which time the catch dog will be released to keep the boar from moving until the hunter has arrived.
Over the years, a lot has changed when it comes to the sport of wild hog hunting. No longer are hunters required to approach these wild animals with just a spear or dagger in hand. Instead, most hunters now use hunting rifles such as the .223, .30-06 and .308. Hunters are now also equipped with a wide range of accessories and gear to help make the hunt much easier.