When it comes to successfully trapping wild hogs a trapper needs to be familiar with their signs and habits. This page will deal with identifying the hog signs and activity such as tracks, scant (poop), beds, wallows rooting and others.


Identifying wild hog tracks is the first step and a must for trappers.





Hog scat or poop is an important find sometimes. Social groups of hogs will often designate a specific area to defecate/poop. Not sure why they do it though. These areas can be identified by locating a spot usually around 400 sq ft (20'X20') area with lots of poop in it {smile}. This type of find is significant in letting a trapper know that a particular group of hogs has been in an area for a lengthy period of time.


One of the most common and most frequent signs of wild hogs is rooting. It's quite unmistakable and can cause extensive damage. In some states ecological balances have been devastated from the presence of wild boar.

 Hogs most commonly dig for roots. That may be why it's called "root~ing". Rooting activity is at its peak in late spring, summer and winter. In these times hogs rely more heavily on the tender roots and other morsels found below ground. In many cases the wild hog won't turn down a grub or worm uncovered by the rooting. Hogs need the more tender easy digestible foods because, like us humans, they only have one stomach.  With only one stomach hogs can't digest the dry tough grass very well. So, they dig for more tender roots such as the roots of Johnson Grass, bulbs, Nut Grass, Wild Onions, Bermuda and other morsels hidden in the ground. 

Hogs can often be found digging in old hay and cow dung. It's not for worms. In old hay and cow dung it's for the long, tender, high protein shoots of grass and roots that are associated with piles of hay and cow patties.  Go turn over a dry cow pile or dig in old hay on the ground and you'll find the long white chutes I'm referring to. Fresh cow dung may also be eaten by hogs for the digestive aid.


Often trails will be found leading into the area where hogs are rooting. Hogs use the same trails over and over again much the same as cattle. These trails will lead under fences over roads and across creeks and even rivers. Where the hogs have been present for many years and the populations are heavy these trails will be worn deep into the ground.
When cattle and hogs share the same land the trails are shared also. This can sometimes make it hard to distinguish which trails the hogs use most often. This brings us to the next subject.


Hog trails will always lead to the more interesting and useful of all the signs which are wallows and Rubs

Wallows and rubs are a ritual for hogs. They use the wallows and rubs as their means of health care. It helps reduce the number of parasites such as ticks and lice that like to hang out on the animals.

Wallows and rubs can be found in most any location hogs are found. But there are some locations that attract hogs more than others.

Clay banks around creeks, ponds and springs are favored the most for wallows. The clay sticks much better to the hide and hair than sand or other soils.

When your looking for rubs go no further than the local telephone pole. Hogs absolutely love them for the creosote that's in them. Another favorite are small pine trees. The powerful sap that drips from the scars of the pine tree serves the same purpose. Hogs will certainly rub on most anything around and near the wallows. In fact the two go hand in hand. Where there are rubs a wallow will always be nearby.
But nothing beats a telephone pole. If a hunter or trapper is on new ground and wants to make a quick check or find a good hunting or trapping spot ALWAYS check for remote power lines and the poles that go with them.

while we're on the subject of rubs I would like to clear up another confusing thing. When hunters and trappers see mud up four feet high on trees and poles it does not mean that a hog actually stands on all fours that high. While hogs are rubbing they will bring their front feet off the ground and raise their head up higher than normal leaving mud higher than their normal walking height.



When your looking at those rubs on the trees you might take a closer look.
Look for scars, nicks or deep cuts in the wood.

Mature boar make these marks with their tusk or "cutters" as I call them. If these marks are in the same wood where the rubs are then a mature boar with cutters visits that rub.

Powerful smell near the rub and wallows that can be described as rotten urine or a wet dog smell comes from the scent glands of boar hogs.

Boar Hogs will scar small spots on the ground with their front feet and then release the liquid from their glands near the penis. The smell is powerful.


Underneath these low hanging branches, briars and vines are hog beds. A hunter or trapper could easily miss'em.

This photo shows the bedding area underneath the limbs and vines. The hogs have dug shallow beds exposing the cool dirt in which they rest and pass the hot days in.

Bedding areas are often overlooked. On most occasions hogs bed under extremely thick cover. Such as thick overhanging cedar trees, old cut-overs, briar patches, thickets, fallen trees and other areas that offer complete cover and heavy shade. Often to thick to walk in.

Many times the hogs will stay put and let hunters and trappers walk right by them.

To find bedding areas look for trails leading into this thick cover then follow them in. If you're not having to crawl then you most likely aren't close yet.