Controlling Feral Hog Damage

Discussion in 'Hog Hunting Tactics & Tips' started by LONESTARBOAR, Jul 4, 2013.



  1. LONESTARBOAR

    LONESTARBOAR Grand Poobah

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    Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are members of the same
    family as the domestic breeds, and in Texas include
    the European wild hogs, feral hogs, and hybrids.
    Feral hogs prefer the cover of dense brush for protection, but may also be found in open range and
    grassy areas. During hot weather they spend much
    of their time wallowing in ponds, springs and
    streams close to protective cover.
    Feral hogs are omnivorous and will eat anything
    from grain to carrion. Vegetable matter constitutes
    an important part of their diet. When available,
    acorns are preferred. They also consume roots and
    invertebrates such as centipedes, leeches, earthworms and crayfish. In certain areas cultivated
    crops and row crops make up a significant portion
    of their diet. Wild hogs also prey on young native
    and exotic wildlife, livestock, and other small vertebrates.

    Identification
    Feral Hogs
    Feral hogs are domestic hogs which have escaped
    into the wild or have been released for hunting
    purposes and have become free-ranging (Fig. 1).
    Their size and color depend upon their breed and
    their nutrition during development.
    European Wild Hogs
    European wild hogs (often referred to as
    “Russian” boars) differ in appearance from feral
    hogs. The wild hog usually has longer legs, a larger
    head, and a longer snout. The young are reddish
    brown with black longitudinal stripes. As the animals mature the stripes disappear and their color
    changes to black. Wild hogs have continuously
    growing tusks, in addition to multiple splits at the
    ends of the hair shafts, and mane from the neck to
    the base of the tail.

    Hybrids
    In the 1930s, European wild hogs were released as
    game animals in areas of the Texas hill country
    that already had feral hog populations. Crossbreeding between the two species occurred. As a
    result of the hybridization, few individuals of the
    pure European strain are found in Texas. However,
    the hybrid offspring retained many characteristics
    of the European wild hogs.
    Distribution
    Hogs were first introduced into the Americas in
    1498 by Christopher Columbus during his exploration of the West Indies. After hogs were introduced into Florida in 1593, free-ranging populations
    spread into Georgia and the Carolinas and eventually became established in all southeastern states.
    Feral hogs have been present in Texas since 1689.
    Today, feral hogs and hybrid feral hogs are reported
    in almost every county of Texas

    Biology, Reproduction
    and Behavior
    Adult weight: 100 to 400+ pounds.
    Adult height: 3 feet (males are generally larger than
    females).
    Color: Varies from solid black, brown, blond, white,
    or red to spotted or belted.
    Feet: Similar to deer tracks, except toes have more
    round or blunt tips.
    Gestation period: 115 days.
    Litter size: Four to eight, but may be as large as
    thirteen.
    Number of litters: Two litters per year, and young
    may be born at any time of the year.
    Social structure: Generally travel in family groups
    comprised normally of two sows and the young.
    Boars are generally solitary, only joining a herd to
    breed.

    Damage
    Damage caused by feral hogs has been reported
    in many Texas counties. Crops commonly damaged by feral hogs include rice, sorghum, wheat,
    corn, soybeans, peanuts, potatoes, watermelon and
    cantaloupe. One of the most common types of
    damage to these crops occurs when the hogs root in
    the fields. Hogs not only consume, but also trample
    the crops.
    Hog predation on livestock is a serious problem
    in some counties. Feral hogs kill and consume
    lambs and kid goats, especially during lambing and
    kidding seasons. Physical evidence of hog predation may be hard to detect because the entire animal may be consumed. Ewes and nannies with
    swollen udders but no nursing lambs or kids may be
    an indication of hog predation. Hog tracks and
    droppings may aid in identifying the predator. If
    hog predation occurs when kids and lambs are larger, the entire carcass may be turned inside out, leaving the hide with little or no flesh except on the
    head, neck and hooves.
    Feral hogs also will kill ground-nesting birds such
    as quail and turkey and destroy their nesting sites.
    On some management areas, feeders used to assist
    native wildlife are damaged or destroyed by feral
    hogs attempting to consume the feed.

    Control Methods
    Feral hogs can be effectively controlled by snaring, live trapping, shooting and hunting them with
    dogs. There are currently no toxicants or repellents
    registered for the control of feral hogs.

    Snares
    Snares are used in travel ways under fences that
    surround crop fields or livestock pastures. Three
    sizes of galvanized aluminum aircraft cable are recommended for snares: 5/64 inch; 3/32 inch; and 1/8
    inch. An extension cable, 3 feet long or longer,
    should be tied from the snare to a log drag or fence
    post to effectively restrain the animal.

    Live Traps
    Live traps are extremely effective for capturing
    feral hogs. There are many different trap designs,
    ranging from single-catch traps with a drop gate or
    one-way swing gate to multi-catch traps. One kind
    of multi-catch trap is shown in Figure 3. This trap is
    constructed from 2 inch x 2 inch angle iron and
    stock paneling. The trap door measures 2 feet x 2
    feet and when closed should lie at an angle of
    approximately 30 degrees. The assembled trap measures 10 feet x 10 feet x 5 feet. It may be necessary
    to enclose the top of the trap to prevent hogs from
    escaping. All sides of the trap, except that with the
    gate, may be camouflaged with brush. If the trap is
    not secured to trees, it should be secured to the
    ground with 24-inch stakes so that the hogs do not
    escape by rooting under the sides.
    After the trap is assembled and secured, the door
    should be propped open with a stick that is
    attached to a screen door spring. The door should
    be opened approximately 18 to 20 inches, and the
    spring should have enough tension to pull the stick
    away from the door when a hog enters the trap.
    Grain and domestic livestock carcasses are the
    preferred trap baits. Since a hog has a keen sense of
    smell, place the trap so the wind will carry the
    smell of the bait toward the areas where hogs are
    most active. This will attract hogs to the trap.
    Prebaiting may be necessary in areas where crops
    have been damaged.
    Once an animal has been caught in the trap,
    other hogs can enter by pushing open the door. As
    with other multi-catch traps, a decoy animal in the
    trap will aid in attracting other hogs to enter. The
    trap should be checked daily for animals. Decoy
    animals should be fed and watered as often as necessary.

    Shooting
    Shooting at night is an effective control method,
    especially if the areas of greatest hog activity are
    known. A spotlight with a red filter is a valuable
    aid to the hunter. Before using a spotlight, notify
    Texas Parks and Wildlife officials.

    Hunting with Dogs
    In certain situations, trained dogs may be used to
    locate individual hogs or small groups of hogs.
    Dogs should be properly trained for hog control to
    lessen the possibility of their being injured. Hogs
    will become particularly wary of dogs after they
    have been continuously harassed. Therefore, other
    control methods may become necessary.

    Restrictions
    In Texas, feral hogs are considered free-ranging,
    exotic animals and may be taken at any time of the
    year by any legal means. Consult with the Texas
    Parks and Wildlife Department regarding any question about the legal status of feral hogs.
    For more information and assistance, contact
    your local Texas Wildlife Damage Management
    Service office

    (Source: Texas Wildlife Damage Management Service.)
     
  2. LONESTARBOAR

    LONESTARBOAR Grand Poobah

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    Hogs Are smart and constantly evolving to hunting and trapping tactics. Hogs have learned to run from dogs, not stopping to fight. There are studies showing hogs avoiding traps after watching other hogs trapped, then teaching their young to avoid the traps. So far the most effective tool for hog hunting/control is night vision and thermal followed by visible lights. Hunting at night in combination with traps has been very effective in controlling hog populations on several large ranches I hunt.
     
  3. Afalex1

    Afalex1 The Kit Kat Kid! SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    This is a great article with a load of valuable information. I have also found that hunting at night with night vision and thermal to be the most effective way to control the population.

    Yes, trapping will get large numbers at first. However, the hogs that learn to avoid the traps are still there and that is when the NV and Thermal come into play. Without them a landowner will still have damage from the hogs that remain.

    Along with the NV, a suppressor on the guns is very valuable. Even with supersonic ammo it seems to confuse the pigs on what is happening for a few seconds and provide a few more follow up shots. Sometimes they will even run a circle until they decide which way to go to get away!
     
  4. Ratdog68

    Ratdog68 LSB Official Story Teller LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    And... my baby back ribs are almost done slow cooking in the Weber grill.
     
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  5. DaveABQ

    DaveABQ Albuquerque, NM

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    I think the quick way to control them is put a bullet in them, hand grenade for a sounder lol
     
  6. pruhdlr

    pruhdlr Cantonment,Fla. SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    As to what is happening or HAS happened in other states,including Texas IMO ------> Florida has huge tracks of land that are not hunted for hogs. To me,this is the main problem with the expanding hog population and range. Hog hunting is allowed 24/7/365,both day and night on private property in Fla. ANY gun can be used,ANY ammo can be used,ANY mag can be used,visible lights at night,and NVD's also. They can be baited. They can also be trapped.

    BUT........on some of the private property hunting clubs there are extremely stoooopid rules and regs set in place by the leadership. No hog hunting during deer season,no hog hunting during turkey season,no hogs at night,no trapping, a limit on how many killed,register them in the club book,take a pic of each hog and submit it to the clubs president,contact land mgr/owner on each hog killed,etc,etc.

    During deer season I have overheard hunters whining about how the hogs were rooting up their plots. I have volunteered to come in with my thermal and take care of their problem for them either before,after,or during deer season. The reasons why that just could not happen are waaaay too numerous to list here. BUT......the very best one is....."nope....you gotta be a member of the club to hunt on our property".

    The WMA's(state owned or leased property)have some of the damn strangest rules and regs concerning hog hunting possible. The one that "takes the cake" is: "You can only hunt hogs during the open season on deer." Just recently only several(out of dozens and dozens)of the WMA's have allowed hog hunting by drawing or "special" permit. BUT.....this "special" season only lasts several days to a week or so. NO BAITING....period ! (HUH ??????)

    In Eglin AFB,here in NW Fla, there is a HUGE hog problem.There is tons of whining about the hogs on the runways,taxiways,and rooting up the parks and little league fields. Eglin's property is measured in square miles. Just guessing I would say 250-300sq miles. NO hog hunting is allowed EXCEPT during deer season. Then with limited guns,mags,and ammo,and not at night. NO BAITING allowed....period ! The feds have been PAYING trappers to come in and trap the hogs. I have heard reports of p/u trucks coming out of Eglin with the bed "rounded up with dead hogs". I have also heard tell of poison being used.

    Florida is right behind Texas. We are where Texas was 30 years ago and quickly catching up. BUT......it is not the hogs fault. It is mans fault. A farmer has a hog "problem" yet will not allow anyone to hunt his property. It becomes a hog sanctuary where they are fed well,can hide,plenty of water,and more importantly,can breed at will. Eglin AFB incorporates 250sq miles yet the public is only allowed to hunt them from 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset,using NO BAIT,6-8 weeks a year ???????? Yep there is a problem. ---- pruhdlr
     
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  7. Ident Marking

    Ident Marking Rockwall, Texas Vendor

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    Farmers and landowners are very picky about who has access to their property and I don't blame them. Some people aren't responsible or don't care for the property. I now all the landowners we hunt for love us because not only do we kill the pigs we respect the land.

    -hd
     
  8. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Exactly. It's surprising how many hunters shoot cows!
     
  9. Wildfowler

    Wildfowler Mis'sippi SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    Hi, I'm new here and hope it is appropriate for me to make this request in my first post.

    Would you mind posting some links to these studies that you were referring to above?

    I have heard from a reliable source that the Mississippi game and Fish commission is considering outlawing the hunting of wild hogs. They believe that hunters are proliferating the hogs into new areas of the state and otherwise causing them to be even more difficult to kill by hunting them.

    Their plan is to only allow hogs to be captured in traps and then killed. Apparently our local state biologists are convinced that trapping hogs is the only effective way of controlling them and that hunting them only makes them more wary and difficult to kill.

    I would like to have some good information to present to the commission prior to them making any drastic changes. Not to mention I have invested a significant amount of my time and money hunting these things and would be devastated to see that go away.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  10. ZenArchery

    ZenArchery LSB Active Member SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Gonna send this to every idiot who tells ask, "why do you shoot so many hogs..."
     
  11. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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  12. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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  13. Wildfowler

    Wildfowler Mis'sippi SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    I've seen those videos, thanks. Are these videos considered the studies that were being referred to above?
     
  14. FrankT

    FrankT Destin FL LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    They also have a branch op in FL, at least the guys claim to be affiliated. Some WMA's let them on the land and some don't, we want nothing to do w them as they could wipe or hogs and hunting out.
     
  15. TEXASLAWMAN

    TEXASLAWMAN Lone Star Boars Owner LSB TURKEY BUZZARD PRESERVATION SOCIETY SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    There were others a much better one where they made a large coral trap with a whole panel missing. And several adult hogs would never go in. They would walk up to the entrance and then jump back like they had been shocked. But I could not find it last night. A google search returned all kinds of info on trap shy hogs.

    It is well known that trapping alone will not fix the problem. A combination of trapping and shooting is the most effective means besides poison. If they ever approve a poison you can kiss hog hunting good by.
     
  16. Wildfowler

    Wildfowler Mis'sippi SUS VENATOR CLUB

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    Thanks for your help with this. We've got a lot of cut corn in my area. I'm hoping the swine are going to show up for a little action after dark.
     
  17. rob072770

    rob072770 Lewisville NC SUS VENATOR CLUB LoneStarBoars Supporter

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    Here down the street from me my neighbor used to let people hunt deer on his land until 2 years ago some dumb SOB shot one of his horses. It does amaze me some times some hunters are just stupid.
     
  18. Wildfowler

    Wildfowler Mis'sippi SUS VENATOR CLUB

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