Hog hunting season never ends in the Carolinas, and March is a great month to target bacon on the hoof. Whether you are hunting with a firearm, bow, or dogs and knives, one tip can help you bag more hogs.

Hogs respond well to bait, and the stinkier, the better, according to John Paul McPherson of 704 Outdoors in Albemarle, N.C. But many hunters make a crucial mistake when putting bait out. They leave their scent, and most don’t even realize how critical that is when dealing with hogs.

“Hogs have a great sense of smell,” McPherson said. “One of the best tools hunters can use when baiting for hogs is a pair of clippers to trim the limbs as they walk into the woods. And these aren’t for ease of us getting around; it’s to make sure you have an open path so that you’re not going to brush against anything. 

“Hogs have such a great sense of smell, I want to minimize the amount of scent I leave. You don’t want to brush up against anything, because if you do, you’re going to leave your scent, the hogs are going to smell it, and you’re going to have a tougher time because the hogs aren’t going to come around,” he said.

MacPherson also recommends hunters stay on their ATVs as much as possible, to spray themselves down with their favorite scent-blocking products, and to tuck their pants into their boots. 

“When I go out to bait for hogs, even though all my clothes are sprayed down with scent blockers, I still stay on the ATV as much as possible, because no matter how careful you are, no matter how well you are sprayed down, you’re going to leave something behind if you’re walking all around the property,” he said.

Gloves are also important in leaving as little scent as possible, and MacPherson said it’s important to have gloves specifically for hog baiting, and to also spray them with scent neutralizing products.

“Make sure the gloves you use are for baiting hogs, and not the ones you used to work on your truck and then go out and bait hogs,” he said.