Boar Down!

Herschel Smith · 30 Oct 2022 · 9 Comments

Readers may have noticed I was absent the last several days.  It was a good time away.  A very good buddy and neighbor of mine, Robert, and I went hunting courtesy of the fine folks with Williams Hunting in South Carolina. I was shooting a 6mm ARC rifle with a Grendel Hunter upper, Aero Precision lower, Amend2 magazines, Brownells scope mount, Radian Raptor charging handle, Nikon Black scope, and a Viking Tactics sling.  I have no complaints about the gun.  It's at least a 1 MOA gun…… [read more]

Feral Hogs in Canada (and the Northern U.S.)

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 22 hours ago

Here is the report.

I say parenthetically and the Northern U.S. because an imaginary boundary line won’t stop them.

You know they’re already in the Northern states.  See, you thought that hogs were a Southern problem, an issue only Georgia, Texas, S.C., Mississippi and Louisiana had to deal with.

You’d be wrong about that.  They reproduce faster than lethal removal can take them out, they’ll adapt to their surroundings, they’ll dig up the ecosystem to the point it looks like a rototiller came through, they’ll kill indigenous game, and they’ll come after humans too.

If you live up there, get your rifles ready.  Oh, Canada won’t let you have those.  Too bad.  If you live in the rest of the U.S., get your rifles ready.

That goes for Alaska too.  There aren’t enough bears to kill them all.

Feral Hog Fends Off Entire Wolf Pack

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Field & Stream has the backstory.  “A wildlife photographer named Slwomir Skukowski recently shared rare video footage of a mature wild boar fighting off a wolf pack in a Polish forest near the village of Mrzeżyno. The three-minute clip was filmed with a trail camera, and it’s amassed hundreds of thousands of views since Skukowski uploaded it to Youtube on December 13. It shows the big Eurasian boar thwarting multiple advances from at least seven wolves working in unison to bring it down.

In the video, the big hog is seen charging into the encircling wolf pack with reckless abandon. The wolves continue to approach the boar, but they never actually take it down—at least not in front of the camera. Eventually, the snorting pig scatters the canines, and they retreat to a nearby ridge before regrouping for another attack. Around the three minute mark, the wolves disperse and the clip cuts out.”

Of course, we don’t know what eventually happened, but it’s significant that one hog dispersed a pack of seven wolves, not once, but multiple times.  They are smart enough to know when there is danger of being gored by an animal that can run as fast as they can.

This is why you carry in the bush regardless of where you are.  In the Northwest it might be brown bears, but in the South it’s snakes, wild hogs and black bears.  There is danger everywhere.  Never go out in the bush without a sidearm.

Here is the video.

Here is a related video from the Southlands of the U.S.

Animals Tags:

San Francisco’s Feral Hog Problem

BY Herschel Smith
11 months, 4 weeks ago

Daily Dot.

The man who was mocked on Twitter in 2019 for raising concerns about feral hogs is now being defended as a modern-day prophet due to a “feral swine bomb” that is ravaging the San Francisco Bay Area.

The New York Times detailed in an article on Tuesday how feral pigs have been threatening drinking water and damaging property outside the Golden Gate City, leading many local residents to seek out their destruction.

“They are tearing up lawns, ripping through golf course fairways, threatening the drinking water and disturbing the harvests at Napa vineyards,” the Times wrote. “Many Californians want them dead.”

The issue has become so significant that legislation was introduced in California last month that would make it easier for feral swine to be hunted. While hunters are currently required to purchase a $25 “tag” in order to hunt a single pig, the bill would allow hunters to target an unlimited number of swine instead.

“In California, 56 of the state’s 58 counties have wild pigs. The swine are inflicting a mounting economic toll in Lafayette, a suburb in the East Bay, where the pig invasion seems most acute,” the Times added. “Before the pandemic the city shelled out $110,000 when pigs, rooting for grubs, churned soccer and baseball fields like a rototiller.”

The financial costs—as well as concerns over water supply contamination due to the many diseases feral swine can spread—have led residents to begin recognizing the havoc states such as Texas have long dealt with.

As we have discussed before

The environmental destruction caused by this invasive species (or combined with an escaped farm population) is extreme.  There is no more destructive wild animal in America than feral pigs.

It isn’t just the deer hunters wanting to keep pressure off of the herd.  You know why the government of West Virginia doesn’t want to decimate the feral pig population?

Because they make money off of it.

This will be fine until some little child gets gored by tusks, or crops get decimated instead of the wild pig population.  Then they’ll write stories about the out-of-control pig population in local newspapers and lament how there’s nothing that can be done to control it.

Then hunting guide companies will spring up out of nowhere to guide out-of-state hunters who want to kill feral pigs.  Just like in Texas, where they have chosen not to eradicate the population.

Yea, in Texas too, where land owners charge money for hunting feral pigs, and so they have a vested interest in having the nasty critters around.

In Georgia, entire crop fields have been rooted up and farmers put out of business.  But wait, this is the Bay area.  The water supply is nasty, golf courses and soccer fields have been rooted up, and children may one day be gored to death.

So solve the problem then.  Lethal removal works, you just have to stop trying to stop the lethal removal.  What folks have found is that the AR-15 is perfect for the job.

Oh wait.  California restricts magazine capacity and forces owners to have that bastardized grip.  Too bad.  You’ll have to suck down your nasty water, Bay people.  Or change the gun control laws.

Animals Tags:

Can You Really Kill Feral Hogs With An AR-15?

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 1 month ago

Nina Pullano.  The actual title of her piece is Scientists: No, you cannot kill 30 to 50 feral hogs with an automatic rifle.

So while the hype raged on, Inverse turned to the science to see if McNabb’s statement had any truth to it.

Turns out an automatic rifle would simply not be an effective way to get rid of the feral pigs ravaging parts of the country. That’s according to pig experts and Clemson University researchers Shari Rodriguez and Christie Sampson.

“They’re difficult to get rid of in a way that doesn’t educate them on our methods of mitigation,” Rodriguez told Inverse at the time. If you trap and remove most of a particular group of hogs, the others will quickly learn to avoid your tricks next time. To get rid of them, you have to get rid of the entire group.

“So while you may get an animal or two [with a rifle], it’s a drop in the bucket,” Rodriguez said. “It really does nothing to decrease the population of hogs.”

“Also, because hogs are so smart, they will habituate to that method and begin avoiding areas where they think they might get shot,” she said. “It’s not a long-term, sustainable solution.”

Instead, governments need to take feral hogs into account in policies that protect livestock from carnivorous predators, the researchers said.

Hmm … and this passes for research in academia.

Okay, so we have a few things to cover, Nina, Shari and Christie.  First of all, an AR-15 isn’t an automatic rifle, at least, not unless it’s a machine gun that was registered before 1968.  No one uses that for hunting.

The rifles in question are semi-automatic, and if you’re hunting a large population that groups together, that’s the preferred method.  Furthermore, no one with any sense would prefer to have a bolt action rifle if a group of hogs enters your neighborhood and you need to protect your children.  People have indeed been killed by feral hogs, and even in the daytime hours.

The question being addressed by the researchers and you are two different questions.  You’re asking if it’s possible to kill a lot of hogs at one time with an AR-15.  Well of course it is.

At his farmhouse, Campbell goes to his gun safe.

“It will hold about 40 guns, and I’ve got about 25 in there. But I’ve got some really neat guns,” Campbell says. “I’ve got my grandfather’s .22. I have an STW. I have an AR-15. I have a Smith & Wesson .22-250.”

Some of the rifles are for deer. Campbell has many beautiful shotguns because he is an avid duck hunter. He uses the AR-15, which is essentially the military’s M16, to hunt feral hogs. We go out back, and the judge lets fly with the semiautomatic.

“I’ve got a night vision scope on it. And the hogs only come out at 2 o’clock in the morning. There are certain spots they come out at. I drive up very quietly. I’m normally only 200 yards out, and I turn on my little trusty night vision scope and I smoke ’em. All of ’em,” Campbell says. “I can shoot 30 shots in eight seconds, and I’ve killed as many as 26 out of 30 shots at night with that gun.”

The question being addressed by the researchers is one of the strategy of population control, and that’s more complicated.  What they’ve suggested, to wit, “governments need to take feral hogs into account in policies that protect livestock from carnivorous predators,” is completely infeasible, impractical and too expensive.  It also wouldn’t do anything to protect the indigenous species, protect the potable water supply, or prevent crops from being destroyed.  You do realize that all of your food comes from land where these hogs are a problem, right?  You do realize that entire crops have been destroyed and farmers run out of business because of feral hogs, right?

They eat the eggs of the sea turtle, an endangered species, on barrier islands off the East Coast, and root up rare and diverse species of plants all over, and contribute to the replacement of those plants by weedy, invasive species, and promote erosion, and undermine roadbeds and bridges with their rooting, and push expensive horses away from food stations in pastures in Georgia, and inflict tusk marks on the legs of these horses, and eat eggs of game birds like quail and grouse, and run off game species like deer and wild turkeys, and eat food plots planted specially for those animals, and root up the hurricane levee in Bayou Sauvage, Louisiana, that kept Lake Pontchartrain from flooding the eastern part of New Orleans, and chase a woman in Itasca, Texas, and root up lawns of condominiums in Silicon Valley, and kill lambs and calves, and eat them so thoroughly that no evidence of the attack can be found.

And eat red-cheeked salamanders and short-tailed shrews and red-back voles and other dwellers in the leaf litter in the Great Smoky Mountains, and destroy a yard that had previously won two “‘Yard of the Month” awards on Robins Air Force Base, in central Georgia, and knock over glass patio tables in suburban Houston, and muddy pristine brook-trout streams by wallowing in them, and play hell with native flora and fauna in Hawaii, and contribute to the near-extinction of the island fox on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California, and root up American Indian historic sites and burial grounds, and root up a replanting of native vegetation along the banks of the Sacramento River, and root up peanut fields in Georgia, and root up sweet-potato fields in Texas, and dig big holes by rooting in wheat fields irrigated by motorized central-pivot irrigation pipes, and, as the nine-hundred-foot-long pipe advances automatically on its wheeled supports, one set of wheels hangs up in a hog-rooted hole, and meanwhile the rest of the pipe keeps on going and begins to pivot around the stuck wheels, and it continues and continues on its hog-altered course until the whole seventy-five-thousand-dollar system is hopelessly pretzeled and ruined.

So as to the question of lethal removal, here is your answer.

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!

As long as leased hunting property owners make money on hog hunting, as long as the use of firearms in suburban areas is frowned upon, and as long as ignorant people are taught that there is any other method to deal with this invasive species, there will be a feral hog problem.

When people get serious, for example, when there isn’t enough food to go around for urbanites, they will decide that feral hogs need to be killed.  Until then, researchers are tilting at windmills.

This video shows what a scoped AR can do to feral hogs, even in daylight.

Something tells me you’ve never been in the bush before, have you Nina?

Animals Tags:

Woman Killed By Feral Hogs Outside Texas Home

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 2 months ago

USA Today.

A woman was attacked and killed by a group of feral hogs Sunday morning outside the Southeast Texas home where she worked as a caretaker, authorities said.

Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said in a press conference Monday that Christine Rollins, 59, arrived around 6 to 6:30 a.m. when she was attacked at the Anahuac home, located 40 miles east of Houston.

The 84-year-old woman who has been under her care for almost two years went outside and found Rollins in the front yard between her car and the front door, Hawthorne told reporters.

He said Rollins had a severe head wound and several other injuries consistent with different sized bites indicating multiple animals were involved.

[ … ]

“In my 35 years, it was one of the worst things I had ever seen,” Hawthorne said about the scene.

The coroner in neighboring Jefferson County ruled Monday that Rollins bled to death after an attack by feral hogs.

Hawthorne told reporters that feral hogs have been a problem in the county and throughout the state of Texas, however, incidents like this are extremely rare.

So rare that you are willing to risk you life to being eaten by feral hogs?  Why not carry a gun with you wherever you go?  It’s a pain, I know.  But it all comes down to mitigating high risk outcomes.

If an event is high probability and low consequence, it is at least moderate risk, and may be high risk because of the high probability.  Risk = probability X consequences.  If an event is low probability but high consequence (as loss of life would certainly be), it is certainly of moderate risk, at may be high risk because of the high consequences.

That’s risk analysis 101.

Animals Tags:

Houston-Area Suburbs Now Suffering From Feral Hogs

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 10 months 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.

Animals Tags:

Hog Apocalypse Delayed In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 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.


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.


Save The Planet: Buy An AR-15

Texan Takes 416 Pound Hog With AR-15

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