Hunting hogs with dogs is a very effective way for a successful hog hunt. While the success rate is higher hunting with dogs, you need to have the right equipment for hunting hogs.
Cut Collar – The “cut collar” is a collar to protect your dogs vital neck area. Most times, the cut collar will also accommodate GPS and lights if needed. They are typically made of a lightweight Kevlar, which is durable, yet light enough not to exhaust your dog. It is best to get a brightly colored collar to make sure your dog is visible in the field. I’ve seen camouflage collars, but that is not beneficial on a hog hunt. You want to make sure you get the right size collar. The way to get the correct dog collar is to take a tailors measuring tape, and find the circumference of your dogs neck in the thickest part. From that measurement, add 4 inches to be able to buckle the collar.
Typically, Your “Strike” or “Bay” dogs will use just the collar. Your “Catch” dog will more likely need the collar as well as a “Cut Vest”.
Cut Vest – The “Cut Vest” is used to protect your dogs body and upper torso from the sharp tusks of a wild boar. Mostly used for the “Catch” dog responsible for holding the boar until you arrive to either dispatch the hog, or hobble for transport. Cut vests have varied bright colors, and also come in camouflage, (which I still find non-beneficial). Only the good vests are made of Kevlar material. Some vests protect the neck, while others protect just the torso to have a dual capability of mobility for the neck.
GPS Tracking Collars – Though an investment, GPS tracking collars ensure you don’t lose your dog, and can get you to the scene faster to prevent injury to your dogs after the hog is cornered. Typically, you would mount the GPS unit to your best tracking “Strike” dog to ensure success.
Water For Your Dogs - Self explanatory to carry water for yourself, don’t forget to carry water for your dogs as well. They are doing the running, tracking, and cornering of the boar. If your not near a water source, it could really jeopardize your dogs life without water. Carry a bowl, and enough water for your whole team.
Boar Hunting Knife – Every hog hunter needs a good boar hunting knife by their side even if your using hobbles to take the hog alive for transport. The blade needs to be quality steel that is rigid. The length of the blade needs to be 8-10 inches for good penetration. Another feature it should have is a no slip grip. It’s tough enough to get a hog cornered, and to stay still without the added danger of cutting yourself or your dogs with your own pig sticker.
Medical Equipment – Your dogs will most likely need some medical attention in the field at one point, and to go out without a basic first aid kit could be detrimental to your dogs life. Lets face it, hog hunting is a dangerous sport, and your dogs face the brunt of that danger.
Hog Hobbles – This is helpful restraint tool if you plan on taking your hog alive from the field.
Hog Dog DVD’s – Some instructional DVD’s on hog dog hunting can be a beneficial way to get the information needed to start hunting hogs with dogs.
Hog Dog Books – Some great books on hog hunting with dogs are available, but may not be at your local bookstore. Try buying hog dog books at Amazon for cheap good instruction.
Of course this is just the basic gear needed for hog hunting with dogs. Below are some additional resources that are useful in a successful hog hunt.