Bayly Sippel Safaris in South Africa offers many species of animals to hunt on dozens of concessions. One thing South Africa has plenty of are Warthogs. Having had the pleasure to recently hunt with Bayly Sippel, I know they have plenty of warthogs, along with just about all the plains and dangerous game animals hunters are after. But, there is just something about a warthog.
Before continuing with this article to learn more about warthogs, check out this video as Gibby Gibson smokes a giant Warthog with a crossbow. If you like what you see, get in contact with Bayly Sippel Safaris to learn how affordable it is to book your own hunt.
Many people have only seen photos of warthogs, and don’t know a lot about them.
Out To Africa has some information to help you learn a little more about these critters.
Neither graceful nor beautiful, warthogs are nonetheless remarkable animals. They are found in most of Africa south of the Sahara and are widely distributed in East Africa. They are the only pigs able to live in areas without water for several months of the year. By tolerating a higher-than-normal body temperature, the warthog is perhaps able to conserve moisture inside its body that might otherwise be used for cooling. (Camels and desert gazelles have developed a similar mechanism for survival in hot, arid environments.
Males weigh 20 to 50 pounds more than females, but both are distinguished by disproportionately large heads and the warts-thick protective-pads that appear on both sides of the head. Two large pairs of warts occur below the eyes, and between the eyes and the tusks, and a very small pair is found near the jaw (usually just in males).
The face is fairly flat and the snout elongated. Eyes set high on the head enables the warthog to keep a lookout for predators even when it lowers its head to feed on short grass. The warthog’s large tusks are unusual: The two upper ones emerge from the sides of the snout to form a semicircle; the lower tusks at the base of the uppers are worn to a sharp cutting edge.
Sparse bristles cover the warthog’s body, although longer bristles form a mane from the top of the head down the spine to the middle of the back. The skin is gray or black (or yellowish or reddish, if the warthog has been wallowing in mud). The long tail ends with a tuft of bristles. The warthog characteristically carries its tail upright when it runs, the tuft waving like a tiny flag. As the young run in single file, the tail position may serve as a signal to keep them all together. Warthogs trot with a springy gait but they are known to run surprisingly fast.
Warthogs are found in moist and arid savannas. They avoid rainforest, deserts and high mountains.
When water is available, warthogs drink regularly and enjoy wallowing in muddy places. As part of their grooming they also take sand baths, rub against trees and termite mounds and let tick birds pick insects off their bodies.
Warthogs live in family groups of a female and her young. Sometimes another female will join the group. Males normally live by themselves, only joining the groups to mate. Warthogs engage in ritual fights in which they charge straight on, clashing heads when they meet. Fights between males can be violent and bloody.
Warthogs sleep and rest in holes, which at times they line with grass, perhaps to make them warmer. Although they can excavate, warthogs normally do not dig holes but use those dug by other animals, preferably aardvarks.
The warthog is mainly a grazer and has adapted an interesting practice of kneeling on its calloused, hairy, padded knees to eat short grass. Using its snout and tusks, it also digs for bulbs, tubers and roots during the dry season.
Caring for the Young
Before giving birth to a new litter, the female chases away the litter she has been raising and secludes herself. These juveniles may join up with another solitary female for a short time before they go on their own.
Female warthogs only have four teats, so litter sizes usually are confined to four young. Each piglet has its “own” teat and suckles exclusively from it. Even if one piglet dies, the others do not suckle from the available teat. Although the young are suckled for about 4 months, after 2 months they get most of their nourishment from grazing.
Lions and leopards are the warthog’s chief enemies. Warthogs protect themselves from predators by fleeing or sliding backwards into a hole, thus being in a position to use their formidable tusks in an attack.
Did you know?
The warthog has poor vision (though better than most other African wild pigs), but its senses of smell and hearing are good.
When alarmed, the warthog grunts or snorts, lowers its mane, flattens its ears and bolts for underground cover.
What standard do we have as hunters for our TV celebrities and those in the hunting media and industry? What standard do we demand of our fellow hunters and ourselves?
Unfortunate incidents like this one with Outdoor Channel’s Wildgame Nation Host Bill Busbice Jr., provide an opportunity for the hunting community to speak up on what is Ok and what’ isn’t.
Bill Busbice Jr., host of Outdoor Channel’s Country Nation and A&E’s Country Bucks was recently fined $23,000 and given a suspended jail sentenced for poaching an elk. Busbice has also has his hunting & fishing license privileges revoked for two years, including in his home state of Louisiana, after a game warden in Wyoming discovered that Busbice had accidently killed a calf elk while trying to harvest a large bull. The details of the case and alleged poaching still seem a bit murky.
News Release from Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks:
NEW YORK (June 27, 2017) – Following charges of poaching an elk in La Barge Creek, Wyoming, Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks has suspended the show Wildgame Nation and host Bill Busbice, Jr. from appearing on Outdoor Channel. The announcement was made today by Jim Liberatore, CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. The suspension is effective immediately.
“Outdoor Sportsman Group is committed to legal and ethical hunting,” said Liberatore. “We have strict policies and procedures in place that require all of our talent and producers to abide by all hunting regulations. We hold our employees to the highest of standards in order to ensure that we are effectively serving the outdoor community. As a result of the recent charges in Wyoming involving Bill Busbice, Jr., we have suspended the show and Busbice indefinitely from Outdoor Channel.” [Continued]
Unfortunately not every deer shot by hunters will be easy to recover. Maybe the hit was too far back or too high. Maybe, there is not much blood sign to follow. I learnt many years ago that there is still a very good opportunity to recover your shot deer by letting your dog follow the sign to your prize. Yes, this might sound weird, but a properly trained dog just might be the extra help you need.
Why can’t a dog be trained to follow the scent of deer blood? The answer is that he can. With just a few minutes each day in as little as one month, any dog, no matter the breed or size, can be trained to be a “blood-hound”. The trick is to train your dog to follow the scent of blood, not the scent of a deer. You do not want your dog chasing every deer it smells.
A dog wants nothing more than to make his owner happy. There is no question that a dog that is well cared for and treated with respect 365 days a year is more likely to perform well for his handler the few times you might actually need him. Compared to a dog that is not treated well.
Start the training by teaching the dog basic commands like stop, stay and slow. It is good to be able to control the dog while in the woods. After your dog has mastered these commands, it is time to start training your dog to trail blood.
I start working with my dog a couple of months before deer season begins. I use blood from a deer that was killed the previous year that has been kept in the freezer*. A couple of days before you are ready to start training take the blood out of the freezer to thaw. By the time season roles around two months later, the dog will be more than ready to trail the scent of blood.
A hunter has two ways to obtain the blood for training. Either from a previous kill, or blood obtained from a butcher shop. Drop the blood for a couple hundred yards or so along a trail in a zigzag fashion. Use more blood when you first start training your dog, than what you will use as the dog advances in his training. At first, you might have to use as much as two pints. As your dog gets better as a blood-hound a few drops every 7 to 8 yards is enough.
When starting out, use a short lead that is no more than 10 feet long to control your dog while on the trail. Keep your dog calm by rubbing him and talking to him in a gentle voice.
Allow your dog to smell the blood. If you have to put the dog’s nose down to the blood, do it. But be gentle. Repeat the command “search” a few times. Eventually he will be able to associate the word search with the smell of blood. Let your dog follow the blood trail while you control the pace. Do not let him run. A slow walk is best until the dog has trailing understood. Continue to follow the blood trail until the dog has a grasp of what it is suppose to be doing.
Just like when you take a young child hunting, do not let your dog get bored with the experience. If the dog is no longer having fun, he will not want to go back out and try it again. As soon as the dog shows that he is tired, stop for the day.
The dog has to know when he has reached the end of the trail during the training. Saturate a rag with deer blood to simulate a dead deer. Place the blood soaked rag at the end of the blood trail. When your dog finds the rag, reward him. Pleasing you pleases your dog. When he knows how to make you happy he will want to do it again and again.
Work with your dog 15 minutes a day for a month. By the end of the month your dog will be pretty darn good at the art of trailing deer. Two months of this and he will be as close to perfect as you can hope for. After your dog has been out of action between seasons, remind him of what to do by having him run a couple mock blood trails.
While on the blood trail, if your dog starts moving erratically, his tail is still and he stops smelling the ground, chances are that he lost the trail. Take your dog back to where you know there is blood and let him go at it again. When he begins to bark and growl, your deer is close by. Keep in mind that the deer still might be alive so be ready for a follow up shot.
While you are hunting, make sure your dog is well cared for. Supply your dog with a bed and blanket for comfort. Keep this in the floor of your truck while you are hunting. Your beloved dog is sure to be thirsty after spending time on the trail. Have water available for your dog when you return to your vehicle so he can quench his thirst. A dog that is warm and well rested will perform better when the time comes, than one that has been left in the cold.
This is a new approach to find a wounded deer. Other hunters may think you are little nuts at first. This will quickly change when they begin to see the results. It will not take long for your dog to be the most popular amongst your hunting buddies. Do not be surprised if your friends unexpectedly want to baby sit your dog one night shortly after sun set.
* Blood can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for several weeks or in the freezer up to a year.
Check out how this 14 year old dog finds a gut shot deer in just a few minutes.
Deer season has been over for several months now. Some hunters are OK with waiting for fall to roll back around, but most are ready to get outdoors and enjoy what summer has to offer. Now is the perfect time to start shooting your bow at home, at a 3-D course, or in a league.
Maybe you are looking to purchase a new bow, or just tune the one you already have. It varies among archers how often they bring their bow in for a check-up, but I recommend not waiting more than 2 years. If your gear sees a lot of action, bring it to the shop yearly.
Now is the time to make changes to your bow and accessories if at all possible. Two years ago, my bow limb cracked while I was hunting out of state waiting for my home opener. With only three days before the Illinois bow season opened, I was buying a new bow. Now this was something that was out of my control, but too many hunters make changes too close to the beginning of season that could and should have been done months before.
Don’t make changes, like a new arrow rest or type of broadheads, and expect your arrows to fly true. To avoid frustration and undo stress, make any changes to your gear as early in the year as you can. This will give you plenty of time to work out any flaws in your set-up, and to get your arrows shooting tight groups.
Something as simple as changing the type of release you use can cause negative consequences to your shooting. Knowing this, make any changes to your equipment, what is on your bow, or in your quiver as early as you can.
It is especially important to make changes early if you are buying a new bow, shafts or broadheads. Even though I killed a nice deer eleven days after having to purchase the new bow I mentioned before, I feel lucky to have been able to get my bow ready in time. Under normal circumstances it would have taken me the entire summer to feel comfortable enough to take a new bow to the woods.
One thing hunters do not think about are the muscles used to pull a bow back. These muscles are rarely used for other activities, and take some time to get built up. The best way to do this is to shoot your bow every day. Not only will you become a better shot, but your muscles will have gained the necessary strength back.
I mentioned at the very beginning of this article about getting out and shooting your bow, or joining a league. I can’t think of anything better to get you prepared for the upcoming season. Not only does practice make you a better shot, but the more time you spend shooting, your confidence will skyrocket and you will be a better hunter for it. If you are confident hitting a target at 30-yards, a 15-yard shot at a deer will be simple.
Also, practice helps you judge distance. Rangefinders are nice, and I recommend all hunters having one, but you can’t rely on one at all times. With practice at unknown yardage, judging distance will be easier when the battery is dead on your rangefinder, or you don’t have time to use it.
A change that sometimes skips the mind of hunters is that you might have to adjust your sight pins if you increase or decrease the poundage your are pulling. It might also mean changing the size of the arrow you are shooting if you change you draw weight.
Fall is the best time to be a deer hunter, but hunting is a year-round endeavor, and that includes having your bow ready.
The best bowshot that a hunter can take on an elk is when it’s standing broadside. The amount of penetration required to hit a vital organ is minimal when an elk is standing broadside. This shot placement is also the best when try to hit both lungs in one shot which would result in the collapses of both lungs and a much quicker death. You’ll need to make sure that you adjust for elevation before you take your broadside shot. You can find the best spot by following up the back of the front leg 1/3 to 1/2 up the chest cavity of the elk. By using that method you’ll find that your arrow is now aimed at the center of both lungs and the top of the heart. If the elk happens to have its front legs spread apart then simply just follow up the upside down v-shape of the legs 1/2 to 1/3 up to the chest.
The quartering away shot isn’t ideal for larger game such as elk due to the positioning of their intestinal tracts and that their girth is broader than small game such as deer. The positioning of an elk’s intestinal tracts will degrade arrow penetration and while it may mortality wounded it can suffer for days and make recovery impossible. Sometimes the contents of an elk’s stomach can decrease the arrow’s energy and even prevent the arrow from reaching any vital organs.
If you do attempt to use this type of shot placement on an elk it’s important that you wait for the best possible quartering away shot. The best spot to place your razor tipped arrow will be in line with the far front leg about one-third to one-half up the elk’s body cavity. The bow hunter needs to try and take shot that will penetrate both lungs and the heart while passing through as little intestines as possible. The actual location where you attempt your shot will be different each time and depend which way the animal is quartering away. Never take a quartering away shot if you are farther than your effective range