Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 40 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Houston-Area Suburbs Now Suffering From Feral Hogs

BY Herschel Smith
6 months, 1 week ago

Houston Chronicle:

If you have noticed more feral hogs in your Houston-area neighborhood recently, you are not alone. Neighbors across the Greater Houston report the wild animals are more frequently making their way into their subdivisions and streets, leaving properties destroyed in their wake.

The Houston area is not unfamiliar with the battle between feral hogs and residents; last year the Chronicle reported hogs were disrupting neighbors in Liberty and San Jacinto counties; taking over  Spring, Tomball and Cypress areas and driving neighbors in the Woodlands insane. 

The hog epidemic is a problem particularly in Texas; the state’s estimated feral hog populations are in excess of 1.5 million, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

In 2017, feral hogs created an estimated economic toll exceeding $1.5 billion in the U.S. In Texas, it is estimated they cause $52 million in agricultural damages every year, according to the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute.

Steven Horelica, co-owner of Deep South Trapping, a Texas-based hog trapping business, said the Houston area has seen a significant increase in feral hog sightings. He has trapped pigs all over suburban areas in Houston, including Kingwood, Missouri City, Cypress and Liberty.

Over the last few years, the number of hogs he has trapped has increased significantly, from 742 in all of 2016 to 1387 in 2018. So far in 2019, he has already caught 306 hogs.

“Instead of being out in rural agricultural land, they are starting to move into subdivisions and cities,” Horelica said.  “It is starting to affect everybody, not just farmers or ranchers.”

The biggest negative impact these animals have is the destruction they cause to property due to their feeding habits, Horelica said. The pigs use their snouts to root up ground in search of insects or food.

” They can tear up a golf course or a park or someone’s yard that has been well maintained and watered and… in one night they can destroy acres and acres of property and cropland,” Horelica said.

Catching hogs.  Catching them.  To do what, release them later?  Pretty soon they’ll be hiring super-duper SWAT cops to run around Houston suburbs with bolt action sniper rifles to kill them because no one can be trusted with a gun except cops.  Lethal removal.  But still not enough.

In order to keep up with the rapid propagating hog population in the South, everyone with a gun would have to be shooting hogs day and night.  But they don’t want to do that, so instead, feral hogs will chase and gore little children, threaten adults, destroy crops, make back yards nasty with feces and cause massive health problems, and cause more erosion than can be imagined in a horror movie.

As reader and commenter The Alaskan says:

Lethal control works. Alaska uses aerial wolf control to manage wolf populations as well as long term hunting and trapping seasons with generous bag limits. Wolves will have dramatic impacts on moose and caribou populations if allowed to increase in numbers unchecked. Natives in western Alaska will tell you that there was never any moose in western Alaska until wolf suppression was initiated. Moose in Alaska have been expanding their range because of wolf (lethal) control. State Fish and Wildlife personnel use aircraft to control wolf populations. Abundant moose and caribou populations are the result.

Your pig problems could be managed the same way. Aerial lethal suppression coupled with an open hunting season on pigs until you achieve the numbers, in terms of managed populations, that you want.

If eradication is your goal, then lethal removal is the only option. If the State is serious, your pig problem can be solved.

Remember, countless millions of bison, packs of wolves, plains grizzles and the prairie chickens (extinct,) were removed from the great plains with single shot front-stuffers (in large part.)

The scoped AR seems IMO, to be the best platform for ground based pig control. What fun!

Lethal control works, but only if that tactic is actually used – enough.

Hog Apocalypse Delayed In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 9 months ago

Dallas News:

Mike Brewer has tried all kinds of corn bait to lure feral hogs into a $1,000 trap at his Sunnyvale pecan orchard. He even mixed the corn with strawberry gelatin because the pigs love strawberries.

Nothing.

The hogs dig around the trees and trample the earth. They eat his pecan harvest off the ground. It costs Brewer and his wife, Kathy, weeks and weeks of labor to patch up the soil around the trees.

“It’s a constant battle,” Brewer said this month.

Wild pigs may not look like much, but they’re among the most intelligent animals in the United States, which makes them formidable adversaries. And they’ve taken over Texas and have been documented in every county, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

“If you’re not already dealing with pigs, you’re going to,” said Brett Johnson, an urban biologist for the city of Dallas.

The pigs cost Texans about $52 million in agricultural damage every year.

Even if you’re not a farmer, here’s why you should be concerned: Feral hogs tear up lawns, parks and golf courses; they skulk around highways and train tracks; and they poop in our water supply. Estimates peg the number of wild pigs in the U.S. at 4 million or more—  and somewhere between 2 million to 3 million are in our state.

Sure, Texas is a gun-friendly state, but don’t assume that getting rid of wild pigs is as easy as shooting or poisoning them. Population control is far more complicated than the state agriculture commissioner’s stalled plans for a “Hog Apocalypse.”

[ … ]

Guns: Texas law requires a hunting license and the landowner’s permission to shoot wild pigs. If you are the landowner or a designated agent, however, you don’t need a hunting license to dispatch a hog causing damage on your property. But who is a “designated agent” is fuzzy, so check with your local game warden. In the end, you may not be able to shoot at all: It’s illegal to discharge a gun in some cities, including Dallas.

So what action has been delayed in the state?

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller spoke enthusiastically about a “Hog Apocalypse” earlier this year when he approved the use of a controversial poison called Kaput Feral Hog Bait. The poison contains a chemical called warfarin, an anticoagulant that makes pigs bleed internally, ending in slow, painful deaths. Some people voiced concerns about the unknown effect on the food chain, and the manufacturer withdrew its state registration for the poison. Because it was classified as a state limited-use pesticide, Texas can no longer license people to use the bait.

Good Lord.  I cannot imagine a worse idea for hog control than to introduce that into the environment not knowing the effects on the food chain, and besides that, while these are awful and destructive creatures, we should still be concerned about “ethical kills” as good hunters.  This is a profoundly bad idea all around.

Hey, here’s the low-down on that stupid statement in the article about hog removal not being as simple as shooting them.  A kill shot is ethical, and removes the hog from the population.  If lethal removal isn’t enough in America – and so far it hasn’t been and is a long way from being enough – then we aren’t doing enough lethal removal.

Prior:

Save The Planet: Buy An AR-15

Texan Takes 416 Pound Hog With AR-15


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