View Full Version : Myth that feral pigs ruin the hunting environment & deer herd?
April 30, 2007, 08:04 PM
OK, people badmouth pigs a lot, saying that they tear up everything, compete with deer for food and thus harm the size & health of the deer herd, etc.
I know they do root up and tear up crops and other ground making wallows and looking for food, so put aside farmers & crops for a moment - obviously they are not good for farmers.
But just considering pure hunting land that is not farmed or grazed for cattle....it seems to me that the hogs=bad idea is more myth than reality. I've watched many videos of guys hunting in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas, and esp. in Georgia & Alabama, the land is as beautiful & pristine as can be, the deer get HUGE and are plenty healthy, and I see little to no downside in having hogs on your land - just gives you more to hunt, seems to me. As for competing for food, there are more acorns here every year than the deer and other animals can eat in any 2 years, so some go to waste and rot every year. So there's plenty of food for the hogs too. I can't wait until they reach my hunting grounds - they're only 15 miles off right now.
April 30, 2007, 08:10 PM
No argument from me. They are legally varmints in TX, so we get chops year around. They are not fun to field dress and get their pajamas off in the summer though. Ticks, ticks, and more ticks. We need to get a creosote log and diesel pond/wallow going to help with that. I'm not sure how to keep the cattle and horses out of the wallow and they will get sick if they drink the tainted water.
April 30, 2007, 10:21 PM
Here in central alabama pigs are allot like crows. We don't walk around cussing their existence, but we shoot at them every time they show their hide. I'm pretty sure a pig will eat turkey eggs, and thats reason enough to shoot every one you see.
My friends property is covered up with hogs, and I dont have any on my land. I consider myself lucky and its one less thing to worry about.
Shoot, trap, and catch all you can. If you had them to begin with you will probably still have pigs and lots of them.
May 1, 2007, 03:53 AM
Yes hogs are fun to hunt and can provide year-round hunting.
They will eat every turkey egg on every nest sight they find.
A doe will have one maybe two fawns a year. A sow will have one maybe two litters a year and expect from 4 to eight in a litter. A herd of hogs will push deer off any food source the hogs want. Deer will eat the tops of a grass or clover, turkey will go through and take some seeds or insects.
Hogs leave dirt. No roots grubs stems or odor of food is left.
They will leave a wheat field looking freshly disked.
My camp's policy is to kill every one you can whenever and however you can.
Any size any time. And there are times I still see more hogs than deer and turkey combined.
Double Naught Spy
May 1, 2007, 07:21 AM
Well, they do compete with deer for resources, promote soil erosion, and do have a documented negative impact on ground dwelling species such as quail and turkey.
Of course they are hated in Hawaii, but that isn't deer country...
john in jax
May 1, 2007, 09:40 AM
I watched a small pack of sows and piglets run off a few does, a yearling, and a fawn last year from my stand. There was no fighting or threats that I noticed, the pigs simply browsed/moved in close to the deer and the deer browsed/moved away. It was as if the deer just wanted to keep a safe distance between them.
As far as food, competition for resources, etc . . . yeah they eat a lot of the same stuff but there seems to be plenty to go around.
May 1, 2007, 06:26 PM
Hogs are nothing but pests, their only redeeming value is they are tasty(at least the smaller ones are). They will destroy a field in short order if there is anything planted in it that they take a fancy to and really make a mess in some of the smaller ponds around here that I used to enjoy fishing in.
Besides that once when I was a kid I was surrounded by a bunch of the evil beasts and one tusked me in the leg, if it wasn't for my old yeller dog holdin em off me long enough to get away...ok, maybe I just saw that in a movie.
A boar in a bad mood or a sow with a pigs will tree you if you wander onto them or they onto you, one more reason to kill as many as you can.
Fat White Boy
May 1, 2007, 07:16 PM
In California, there is no limit on hogs but you must have hunting license and a tag for each pig. They are excellent eating, especially if they have been in a grain field...
May 3, 2007, 04:41 PM
I wonder when those ugly things are going to get to Oregon?
May 3, 2007, 05:18 PM
Did you eat today? Thank a farmer. Would you let a pig into your garden? They all need exterminated. In Ohio, you are supposed to kill as many as you can if you see them.
May 3, 2007, 06:02 PM
ok, maybe I just saw that in a movie.I think a lot of people saw that movie and think that pigs are vicious and bulletproof. I just had a guy try to tell me how dangersous pigs are and he is going hunting with his 300WSM because he needs the extra energy (over a 30-06) to put a pig down. Whatever. I must have been shooting wimpy pigs with my .30-30 all those years.
I guess the only effects I know pigs are having on the deer populations is that they breed faster so they outcompete them, they travel in large groups and deer don't like being bothered, and they will eat fawns if they catch them. Possibly carry some diseases, but I'm not sure.
May 3, 2007, 08:41 PM
It's only a matter of time before these things are everywhere. I can't wait to hit one in my car on the way up north. All the more reason to kill as many as you can.
May 3, 2007, 09:17 PM
Much pig bashing. Can't add much, except to say that I like pigs. A dog will look up to you, a cat will look down on you, but a pig will treat you like an equal. (Churchill, att.)
Fat White Boy
May 4, 2007, 12:31 AM
Pigs will run if they can but if they get cornered they will turn and fight, like any wild animal. The must be respected because of their size and tusks. They can be large, up to 600 pounds and can do a lot of damage to a human in a hurry. They are much faster than you think. That's why I prefer to shoot them from a ways off. I am too old and fat to be running and climbing trees.
Thank god they can't jump very high...
May 4, 2007, 02:25 AM
Pigs are disease carrying, filthy, crop wrecking pieces of crap as far as im concerned.... but its great!!!! over here dingos eat piglets for breakfast and i shoot dingos at breakfast time :p for $100 at the local council because the council thinks dingos are more of a threat than pigs. I just cashed my latest cheque from the council with a big smile, hunting dingos is a bit of a challenge, fun and you get great money for the hides.
But back to the main thread. There are deer in Aus and pigs dont really interfeer with deer tucker, Deer eat grass if crops arent handy... pigs eat roots, crops, dead animals, ants, who knows what else.... but they dont eat grass. so i dont think they have any affect on the deer population
May 29, 2007, 12:41 PM
Pigs are disease carrying, filthy, crop wrecking pieces of crap as far as im concerned.... but its great!!!! over here dingos eat piglets for breakfast and i shoot dingos at breakfast time for $100 at the local council because the council thinks dingos are more of a threat than pigs. I just cashed my latest cheque from the council with a big smile, hunting dingos is a bit of a challenge, fun and you get great money for the hides.
I really, really hope you don't out-hunt the dingos to the point of population remission. You'll have BIG hog problems sooner than later, then.
I'm personally of the opinion that we need a remission of wild predators, bounties on pigs, or maybe both. The ecosystem is out of balance when a single species can dominate and decimate like feral pigs do. Sure, it'd balance itself out eventually, but only after possible dozens of other (plant and and animal) species were destroyed in the process.
In the future, we really need to be careful to not introduce any fast-growing/breeding, resilient species to our environments. Both cats and pigs have proven to be problematic. We also need to allow coyote populations (and hwatever else will kill pigs) to grow, even if it's damaging to livestock.
Personally, I've never had wild pig to eat. I don't particularly care for most pork products due to their texture, but bacon and ham are two I like quite a bit. I don't suppose those come from a pig without a great deal of processing. :P Even still, I hate the animals - they're disgusting in containment (you can die in a matter of seconds by falling in a hog waste containment pond from the toxins), and they're, from all accounts, disgusting in the wild.
May 29, 2007, 01:41 PM
Not really the hogs per se but a bunch of small ones will do damage a few matures ones will not do.
May 29, 2007, 01:57 PM
Caimlas, you can't get bacon from feral hogs but you do get hams.
May 29, 2007, 02:12 PM
Out here in Cali it's no myth. I've seen springs destroyed, and oak trees killed by pigs rooting under them. IMHO hogs are really just rototillers with legs.
May 29, 2007, 02:22 PM
Like a lot of wild game animals, the primary disease they carry is Trichinosis (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/trichinosis/factsht_trichinosis.htm).
Wild pigs can be dangerous, especially if they charge while protecting piglets. Those tusks exist for a reason and they are sharp! One of our local rural town mayors announced he saw no need to hunt pigs in his area and the next day at a county park BBQ, a feral pig gored him from knee to crotch in one shot. They medivac'd him by heilo to a hosptial. He angered the eco-freaks by changing his mind about hunting pigs.
As I recall from reading historical accounts, wolves used to find piglets especially tasty and were one of the primary predators against wild pigs.
May 29, 2007, 05:08 PM
WOW, poor pigs:rolleyes:. Ok it is true that hogs will eat turkey and quail eggs, but so will possoms, coons, snakes, yotes, cats of all types and stray dogs. They will destroy crops but thats a good way to get in good with the farmers. Most of the time they are after the seeds, roots and grubs that the turned soil brings to the surface. Here in florida we have over 1 million deer and God only knows how many hogs- well over that I am sure. The only thing that I believe that the hogs eat that would interfere with the deer is nut crops and fruit crops. Not corn for darn sure. If you ever watch hogs eat corn they leave half of the kernals behind- JUST right for grazers like deer or for turkey, quail or dove. If you want to get factual about it, there are more deer here now than when the pilgrams landed. Quess what, there were NO hogs here then-Spanish import-. Things that make you go Hmmm.
Double Naught Spy
May 29, 2007, 05:35 PM
You have a source showing the deer population is higher now than in the 1500s? What Spanish biologist did the population study?
May 29, 2007, 05:49 PM
LOL on the Spanish biologist. I am looking for the artical now, pretty sure it was in Outdoor Life. It stated that the population of deer in the US is now greater than then because of farming and game management by like 30%, but don't quote me on th %.
May 30, 2007, 05:04 AM
If that happens, there is always the pig box which gives $1 per kilo for wild game pigs. Dingos are far cleaner animals and more of a challenge to hunt. if Dingos get wiped out enough that the pig population gets out of control this will be countered by the roo/pig shooters focusing more on pigs. Id hunt pigs for money... but i agree too much with Caimlas...hate touching them, brucelosis, lepto.... and all those other wonderful diseases, no thanks. Although i dont agree that pigs are affecting deer population, i do think that pigs are a threat and a quick and effective way of spreading disease. If Mad-Cow disease hit Australia a major slice of our agricultural industry would be screwed within months because i know for a fact pigs would spread it around faster than anyone could quarantine.
May 30, 2007, 09:56 AM
In Ohio, you are supposed to kill as many as you can if you see them.
where in ohio have you seen wild hogs? ive been trying to find a place to hunt them but i dont know anyone whos even seen one. the hunting regs say open season but I wouldnt even know where to find one. it sounds like they would be more fun to hunt than deer two weekends a year, and who doesnt like pork. theres some pretty good videos on youtube of people hunting hogs with dogs and knives, no guns. if you know somewhere in ohio that has wild hogs pm me or post it here.
May 30, 2007, 11:15 AM
Ok it is true that hogs will eat turkey and quail eggs, but so will possoms, coons, snakes, yotes, cats of all types and stray dogs. They will destroy crops but thats a good way to get in good with the farmers. Most of the time they are after the seeds, roots and grubs that the turned soil brings to the surface. Here in florida we have over 1 million deer and God only knows how many hogs- well over that I am sure. The only thing that I believe that the hogs eat that would interfere with the deer is nut crops and fruit crops. Not corn for darn sure. If you ever watch hogs eat corn they leave half of the kernals behind- JUST right for grazers like deer or for turkey, quail or dove. If you want to get factual about it, there are more deer here now than when the pilgrams landed. Quess what, there were NO hogs here then-Spanish import-. Things that make you go Hmmm.
This is what I'm sayin... 'xactly. Set farmers aside. Do deer seem to have trouble thriving in the same areas, due to food competition or any other reason attributable to hogs? No, I don't think so. Does the landscape look like the moon - aesthetically challenged - because of the hogs? Seems to me that in the vast majority of cases, the answer is no - it remains quite beautiful overall. But I dunno...just commenting from what little vantage point I have on the subject.
By the way, it seems to me that there may be a real benefit from having the soil churned up by the hogs - it aerates the soil and makes it ready for new seeds of trees & grass to germinate and take root (like a fire would), which can help combat species that take over and dominate an area. Seems like it's just generally a rejuvenating of the land to have it churned up a bit. I dunno; I'm no aggie man.
It has indeed a fact that ungulates/deer thrive in todays flora across the continent, due to the way we've cleared land for farming, and the browse & graze that that creates for the deer. As a result, their populations are booming; I believe SS is correct in saying that the deer population is higher now than when the Spaniards were here, but don't have specific evidence of that at present. Certainly, the population is many times higher than in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when they were hunted to endangered levels.
May 31, 2007, 01:21 PM
I hunt alot on public land, mostly in the Green Swamp. Pigs galore, if you can track them down. I don't know if they interfere with the deer population much but if I am after deer and I see pigs I know I might as well pack up and move, I've never seen deer in the same area as pigs unless they were leaving. Pigs a make lots of noise, sound like a Buffalo going through the brush, deer like quiet and being quiet. I really enjoy hunting pigs more than deer though, to me they're craftier and you never know whether it will be a 100lb sow or a 350lb boar (that I never manage to get a clear shot on!:mad:)
June 1, 2007, 09:36 AM
I come out of the world of farming and ranching, with a bit of vocational ag in my high school daze. I've been a hunter and outdoorsman since I was a kid, and that's more than just a little bit of time. I like to think I know a bit about the land and what happens.
Look up the term "carrying capacity". How many critters per acre or acres per critter are needed for the health of a herd or species. For instance, in central Texas, you can run an animal unit (a mama cow and calf) on about eight acres. In the grasslands of western Texas around Marfa, twenty acres per AU. I disremember how many sheep or goats are equivalent to an Animal Unit. One horse = three cows, for grass need.
Anything that eats grass is competing with anything else that eats grass. Same for herbs and forbs.
Cows, horses and sheep and rabbits compete for grass. Deer and goats compete for herbs and forbs. I don't know that much about elk and antelope, but they compete in there, somewhere; grasseaters, I guess.
Feral hogs are introduced and they compete with everything. They're omnivores by opportunity, although predominantly vegetarian. They'll kill lambs and kids in birthing season, so the sheep/goat ranchers hate them.
I've seen areas where a bunch of hogs have rooted through, and it looks like a drunk got hold of a backhoe. I didn't like that happening on my land. It makes walking, horseback riding or driving into "no fun". Fortunately it was "just" pasture land and not cropland with corn or alfalfa there for "hog bait".
The ad valorem tax man doesn't care whether or not a farmer or rancher makes a profit. He wants the tax money; if you can't pay, shame on your butt. Pack up and leave and don't go to the Sheriff's auction. Anything that reduces the productivity of your land is taking your money that otherwise could have been spent on food, utilities, car payments or ammo.
And that is why my attitude is that the best feral hog is a dead feral hog. Shoot it and eat it. If your freezer is full, shoot it and feed the buzzards and coyotes. A hog's redeeming social value accrues only to city people who normally think meat comes cut and wrapped from the Hoggly-Woggly or the A & Poo Feed Store.
Then again, if an enterprising farmer or rancher can persuade some city guy to actually pay to perform garbage disposal, more power to him! :D
June 4, 2007, 08:07 PM
Well, I'm not very fond of them. They pretty much demolished my food plot and prime deer hunting area and yet we cannot kill them because they are "marked" wild hogs(owned by a nearby farmer).
June 4, 2007, 08:18 PM
Well, I'm gonna have to defer to Art's expertise on that one. However, other than the difficulty of walking or driving on the tore-up ground, all complaints are related to farming/ranching. On the competition for food, sure I think that that plays a role, on second thought, in sparser/harsher/drier environs like Western TX. In God's garden - AL, MS, GA, etc. where the ground is terribly fertile and the rainfall plenty, it's not really an issue as a practical matter, IMO.
June 4, 2007, 08:24 PM
I just got my hunting license in CA and expect to go Pig hunting in the next few weeks. I go to the Los Padres Forrest North of Santa Barbara. It will be my first time hunting and I'm looking forward to it. Hope to bag a fatty. Pig tags last year were $16.
June 4, 2007, 09:09 PM
Hope to bag a fatty
We are talking about hunting here? I mean pigs? I mean, shooting wild game. :)
June 4, 2007, 09:25 PM
June 4, 2007, 09:27 PM
well i used to raise hogs, and when fenced into a spot on forest floor or grass they turn it into a mud pit in no time. i dont doubt they could really tear up some land. since they cause all these problems, I bet not too many people would mind if you help fix their problem by hunting the hogs. Ive got summer break coming up so I should have some spare time. If anyone needs some hogs removed from their property send me a PM or post it on here. I'll help remove them for free!!!:cool: If i can make the drive from ohio in a day or so Im interested. maybe i could start a hog removal business:D
June 5, 2007, 11:00 PM
anyone? the offer is still on the table
Double Naught Spy
June 6, 2007, 07:18 AM
So then the bottom line is that feral pigs may not necessarily "ruin" the hunting environment and deer herd, but that they are an introduced parasite on the landscape that can do considerable damage to the environment and compete with other game for resources, such as with deer, outright killing of some species, hence having a negative impact on indigenous populations of wildlife. The extent to which this happens is determined, in part, by the carrying capacity of the landscape and the make up of the physiological environment and indigenous population compositions.
They may not ruin the hunting of deer in bountiful areas, but it certainly may be a different story in more marginal areas. The one thing you never seem to hear is how feral hogs have improved the hunting environment and deer herd.
June 6, 2007, 05:31 PM
Excellent encapsulation. But you're gonna miss the Mensa meeting if you keep fooling around online though, college boy. I'm just kiddin - that is meant in a fun endearing sort of way. :)
June 6, 2007, 07:51 PM
One problem with the danged things is fertility. A sow can have two or three litters of piggies a year, of as many as a dozen or more each litter. And the females can breed in a year. The geometric progression is left as an exercise for the student. But think, "Bum deep in pig poop."
There are photos of herds of over a hundred, feeding in mesquite-brush pasture in south Texas. I'd have to say that indeed is competition among all herbivores in the area, whether domestic or wild.
Fire ants with hooves...
June 6, 2007, 08:47 PM
In Michigan, you can shoot them anytime with any valid hunting licencse. We don't have as many here as there is down South.
They are ugly, and should die. And I like bacon.
June 7, 2007, 09:58 AM
June 10, 2007, 09:12 AM
In GA they are classified as vermin and it's open season year round on them, except in WMA's, park lands and military bases; but there are waivers and special permits issued because they are such a nuisance. Especially down on Fts. Benning and Stewart because they wander out onto the airfields and are a serious potential liability to planes landing.
June 10, 2007, 04:52 PM
They will eat fawns...and like any other specie, they must be managed. The drop litters of 6-10 at least twice a year...They used to be prevalant on our lease...until I showed up:D Pigs tremble at the sound of my name!!!:eek:
June 10, 2007, 09:07 PM
Hers my policy on wild pig control.
Shoot the mother sow in the head. She drops. Thats a slow roaster.
Wait up to an hour, downwind.
Try and line up on her teets.
Piglets show back up to suckle the last of her milk.
Line up a FMJ and see how many grillers you can get in a single shot.
The best part is, IT WORKS.
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