Farmers just about everywhere will quickly denounce the wild pig. Every year, wild pigs, aka feral hogs, are responsible for excessive crop and habitat destruction that contribute to tens of thousands of dollars every year. And their increasing numbers and expanding range are tough to combat under normal hunting conditions.

While feral hogs may seem big, fat and stupid, they are a long way from stupid. They have adapted very well in the southeast and can be very difficult to encounter when pressured. The hog hunter using modern technology similar to gear used in the battlefield is about what it is going to take to gain control of the population boom.

Ken Truesdale of Predator Pro in Lugoff, S.C., has found a way to outsmart feral hogs when they aren’t expecting it.

“Over the past few years, we have been using night-vision scopes to get them at night,” said Truesdale (803-513-9246). “And just recently, we started using a thermal-imaging monocular and scope to locate the hogs at night.”

Even though thermal-imaging equipment appears to be new technology, the military has used this equipment for more than 20 years. Today, the consumer market is thriving, providing hunters with economically-reasonable options for thermal-imaging gear for the legal take of animals under dark skies from companies like Flir, Sightmark, Morovision and Armasight. They allow hog hunters to see crisp and clearly through fog, dust, smoke and most importantly, darkness.

“We find this works very well in the recovery of (downed) hogs and other game species as well,” said Truesdale.

Following blood trails to find downed game is going to be a thing of the past when hunters have thermal imagers in their gear bag. Before hunting at night for feral hogs or any game with of without the aid of night-vision equipment, hunters should always check state and local laws for legality.