Wild boar hunting
Why wild boar hunting? There are probably many answers, but my answer is: Wild boar is an asset when it comes to meat, hunting, excitement and challenge. I hunt for wild boar whenever I get the chance. First of all, I hunt wild boar with stray dogs. But I sneak, watch and hunt for prey too. The prey hunt has recently become rare for me and is something I do most to get tracks for the young dog.
Wild boar as a resource
Wild boar has meat that tastes good, a touch of game clearly, lean but can also offer fatty cuts depending on individual and season.
The excitement and challenge lies in the fact that it is a well-adapted intelligent and instructive game that can rarely be fooled particularly easily. They have an excellent sense of smell and are well aware of unusual things and potential dangers in their environment. If you add that they are nocturnal and can also defend themselves with some weight, we have a challenging game.
Wild boar may be hunted all year round in Sweden, with small exceptions such as adult wild boar is protected from 1 Feb to 31 March (2022), and then only annual pigs are hunted. With a stray dog you can hunt wild boar 1 Aug-31 Jan. It is worth noting that in my experience it is unusual with wild dog hunting of wild boar from 1 Aug, much due to the difficulty of ensuring that the dog will not hunt other game that is still protected from wild dog hunting 1 Aug. The more common is to wait until other game that it is conceivable that the dog can be hunted is also legal for hunting dog training.
I usually sneak wild boar on one and the same land, about 120ha in Uppland. So what I describe is based mainly on my own experience and the conditions on the said land but also a combined experience from many hours on various lands.
The land consists of about 40 ha of mixed forest, and consequently 80 ha of agricultural land where what is cultivated varies a little but mainly grain.
I hunt stray dogs on most different lands, especially around Stockholm and Uppland.
As mentioned, wild boars are nocturnal and in addition they generally move quite a lot during a night. They are omnivorous opportunists and adapt their behavior depending on food availability, among other things. They eat different things depending on the season, which also affects both where they (the wild boars) stay during the day but also where they move at night. Seeing a wild boar in daylight other than if it is bumped by someone / something and therefore sneaks away is unusual. It happens that they come out in the evening light when the food attracts e.g. a field, spring or summer, but as I said, the usual thing is that they arrive during the dark hours of the day. Their gears or route choices are not infrequently different from other ungulates and in general one can suspect slumps / depressions / ditches, seals, sea edges and snares, compared to e.g. deer who may choose height r and openings mm.
Unlike other ungulates we hunt in Sweden, you can hardly set the clock after the wild boar's heat. Not infrequently the sows litter in and around the period when only yearling pigs are allowed to hunt (1 Feb-31 March that is) but both before and after the period, and in fact all year round you should be vigilant about the sow or sows and make an overall assessment of teats, size, stomach and behavior. A wild boar female is pregnant for 3 months, 3, weeks and 3 days. If the litter is lost or there is nothing, she can heat again within a week. So theoretically a fertile female can have 3 litters in a year but in practice you can probably count on, as the Swedish Hunters' Association believes, that in rare cases so much as 3 litters in 2 years is more likely, and also that they can get their litter when you as a formal person do not expect it at all.
Most wild boars live in groups. The group is led by a sow (matriarchy) but it is not uncommon to find two larger sows that stand out and more wild boars of different sizes and sexes in a group. The leading sow is protected all year round.
It is common for large boars to live alone, at least in periods, and for smaller / younger boars that have left the group they grew up with to live together for a period. Boars are rejected at about 7-8 months of age.
Distinguish Wild Boar
To determine the sex of a wild boar through distance optics, I look at several things, what I think usually distinguishes most is the length of the snout. If you compare a large boar with a large sow, you see a clear difference in the length of the snout. In addition, the same comparison gives a stronger neck and back on the boar. If soil vegetation and viewing angle allow, you also see the brush clearly on a boar. Pastures are found in both sexes but are stronger / longer in the male animals, but my experience is that it is distinguished first in the larger wild boars. In addition, teats and bulges for the mammary glands of many of the females should be noted. More differences between female and male animals can be distinguished, but the basis is that experience and training help in the assessment. The more experience you gain of studying both live and dead wild boars the better the ability to sex them one can count on. Details such as body shape, tail length, genitals, etc. then become more and more helpful in assessment.
The basic rule for me is consequently that if I'm sure it's a male animal, I do not have to be sure that it's alone, but on the other hand I can shoot it hunter-wise, as long as it is the right time of year (taking into account whether it is an annual pig or not) and that it is in line with the desired management in the area. If, on the other hand, it is a female animal I am looking at, I should bear in mind that it is rarely lonely. I should look for signs such as size, teats, and if it is near dense vegetation e.g. grain or similar where more may be present but hidden. The conclusion of this is that I rarely shoot a female animal if it is not clear that it is a younger animal in a group with larger / older sows or that size and appearance gossip that the animal in question has not reached an age where she got a litter itself. It is worth noting that a sow can leave her young in bed to search for food etc. on her own.
Year pig. Annual pig as a term used to describe wild boar that is a maximum of one year old and it is not uncommon to distinguish between calving and annual pig. For example. on a battue, you may have decided to shoot annual pigs but not cubs. Then you are not a jerk if you ask for a definition, it shows that you want to be responsible and respect given rules of the game. A common answer to the question is often that wild boars that are striped are protected but red and brown wild boars between 20-70kg (this varies, why the question may be justified) shot as an annual pig. Brown who started to go against gray and black usually weigh 70 + kg and consequently go as adults.
Another term that recurs is gilts and means a female who has not yet had a first litter, which could be described as reminiscent of the concept of small animals in