The wild hogs (Sus scrofa) are not native to Florida and may have been introduced by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539.
Wild hogs occur in all of Florida's 67 counties within a wide variety of habitats, but prefer oak-cabbage palm hammocks, freshwater marshes and sloughs and pine flatwoods. They can reach weights of more than 150 pounds and be 5-6 feet long. They usually travel in small family groups or alone.
Wild hogs eat a variety of plants and animals and feed by rooting with their broad snouts. They may cause disturbance of the soil and ground cover vegetation and leave the area looking like a plowed field.
Trying to prevent wild hogs from coming onto your property is usually futile, but adequate fencing can keep them out of small yards and gardens. On private property, nuisance hogs may be trapped using pens with trap doors and baited with acorns or old corn. Trapped animals may not be released on public land, and can only be released on private property with landowner permission. See the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Regulations for Transporting Feral Swine.
Wild hogs are legally defined as wildlife and are a popular species to hunt.
On private property with landowner permission, wild hogs may be trapped and hunted year round using any legal to own rifle, shotgun, crossbow, bow, pistol or air gun (including airbow). There is no size or bag limit, and you may harvest either sex. Also, no hunting license is required. A gun and light at night permit is not required to take wild hogs with a gun and light on private lands with landowner permission.
Florida's Limited Entry/Quota Hunt Programs offer quality public hunting opportunities and prevent overcrowding, while controlling the harvest of game on wildlife management areas.
On wildlife management areas (WMAs), hogs may be taken during most hunting seasons, except spring turkey. But, if it's during archery season, you must use a bow - during muzzleloading gun season, you can only use a muzzleloader. You need a management area permit and any other necessary permits to hunt wild hogs during particular seasons on WMAs - where on some, daily bag limits on wild hogs do apply, and on a few, there's even a minimum size limit on what you can take. On wildlife management areas, you may not use a gun and light at night.
Best Hog Hunting WMAs
Northwest Region - Aucilla, Blackwater Hutton Unit, portions of Blackwater, Apalachicola Bradwell Unit, Choctawhatchee River and portions of Joe Budd
North Central Region - Andrews, Flying Eagle, Big Bend Hickory Mound Unit, Big Bend Snipe Island Unit, Big Bend Tide Swamp Unit, Mallory Swamp, Steinhatchee Springs and Devil's Hammock
Northeast Region - Tosohatchee is the best hog area where hunters get to use dogs. In terms of sheer numbers of hogs taken, Three Lakes typically is tops, followed by Tosohatchee, Triple N Ranch, Guana River, Bull Creek, Three Lakes Prairie Lakes Unit and Fort Drum.
Southwest Region - Green Swamp has the largest harvest each year, followed by Green Swamp West, Babcock/Webb, Chassahowitzka and Myakka State Forest.
South Region - Dinner Island Ranch, J.W. Corbett, Dupuis, Okaloacoochee Slough, Allapattah Flats and Hungryland
- University of Florida IFAS
- Intrastate Movement of Feral Swine - Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services
- Health Advisory - Swine Brucellosis and Pseudorabies
Spring and Summer Hog Hunts
Numerous spring and summer wild hog hunting opportunities are available at wildlife management areas from April to September. Most of the areas for the spring/summer hunts don’t require a quota permit, but you will need a $26.50 management area permit.