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Tips and What to Expect for Hunting Pigs and Deer at Howell Woods

  1. Always bring at least one pair of knee boots or hip waders. This place is wet!
  2. Insect repellents can really improve your visit here. Early fall and late spring hunts offer plenty of excitement for hunters who love ticks, gnats, and mosquitoes, don’t let them ruin your hunting experience.
  3. Most shots here are 100 yards or less. Choose a comfortable firearm that will harvest your game cleanly and also leave the animal intact. A bigger gun does not make up for poor marksmanship, make sure your weapon is properly sighted and working properly.
  4. Bring a pair of binoculars and learn how to estimate a deer’s age! We strictly practice Quality Deer Management on the property. This philosophy encourages liberal harvesting of adult does, letting young bucks walk and only harvesting mature bucks (3 ½ years and older). Use your binoculars and other clues we will teach you to discern a buck fawn (button buck) from an adult doe.
  5. Howell Woods provides roomy ladder or box- style blinds with automatic feeders. The automatic feeders are active nine months of the year to keep the deer or pigs use to the feed. You may choose to add supplement bait to your assigned stand if you wish or use your own stand at your designated area. If you desire to add additional bait or scout to put up your own stand, you will have to make an appointment with a staff member.
  6. Be prepared to take something home. Bring a cooler and a good skinning knife. You will have to dress your game if a volunteer is not available to assist you. Lack of a limit for pigs and doe deer causes some hunters to harvest more than they can handle. If you are real hungry you can score some meat just by helping an overzealous hunter out.
  7. Staff and/or volunteers will help track and retrieve game and when possible may assist with skinning or dressing your harvest. The hunter making the kill is primarily responsible for skinning or dressing the animal. Howell Woods provides a large covered skinning area with gambrels, running water, ice, skinning tools (except knives) and disposal service. Due to the size of the property and the amount of help available, there could be a short wait at the end of each hunt before someone can assist you. Take this time to relax and enjoy one of the best parts of the hunt; listening to the stories told.
  8. Howell Woods can provide transportation to and from the stands via an open back 4x4 truck with bench seating. Your drop-off/pick-up time will depend on your stand location. Hunters may drive their own vehicles to their stand's designated parking area during the hunts. ATV’s are allowed but must stay on designated roads or trails. Some walking will be required to reach stand locations.
  9. A bow or pistol may be used. A rifle or shotgun will help you "close the deal".
  10. Visit us before your hunt. Check the website and make sure you know the rules and regulations. Hunting here is a little different, you can learn a lot from our staff and volunteers. Safety, education, ethics, and hunt quality are primary objectives for all of the hunts we have.
  11. Remember-there is no guarantee of hunting success-it's called hunting!  The locations for the stands are selected every year based on observed animal activity and past hunter’s recommendations. The staff does spend a lot of time outdoors on the property and all are accomplished hunters; we would hunt any of the stands ourselves that we put hunters in. Howell Woods is a part of Johnston Community College. The hunts are fundraisers for the ongoing property improvements and educational programs and displays of the environmental learning center.

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