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Old June 5, 2013, 07:50 PM   #51
thallub
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There is a slowly growing population in northern rural New York; in a few years, states that rarely see them may begin to experience the land and crop destruction that is so abundant down south. And I do blame the hunting ranches (as opposed to cattle and sheep ranches, or farms).
Methinks the state of NY will be able to control their hog poplation. i wish the wild hog population of OK was slowly growing. The hunting "ranches" in OK have greatly contributed to the wild hog problem.

We have a huge problem here with rednecks releasing hogs into the wild. They raise hogs or buy them cheap at the stock sale and turn them loose. We have a new sounder of recently released pigs at one of our places. The neighbors teenage son says they were released about two weeks ago. Gave him a hog trap and told him to have at it. That kid is a stone cold hog killer.

With the exception of the far western counties; the state of OK has received a lot of rainfall this year. There will be plenty of food and water and the sows will have large litters.
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Old June 5, 2013, 10:25 PM   #52
Double Naught Spy
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The earliest notation I have found for feral hogs being a problem, and a significant one at that, comes from 1609 from the book linked below from 1870. New London Company's importation of hogs in Virginia in 1609 that were allowed to free range had resulted in the colony nearly being overrun by 1627 as they had become wild feeding in the woods (p. 63). Free-ranging was also noted in several other colonies at this time. Page 64 also refers to native hogs of the west, the description being of feral hogs from various earlier settlements.

http://books.google.com/ebooks/reade...der&pg=GBS.PR2

Note that the allowance to free range hogs was the norm and this has continued through time until the last 50 years or so.

Blame the ranches, but feral hog problems have a 300 year history here in the US.
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Old June 5, 2013, 11:52 PM   #53
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But then why did it take 300 years to explode? Did it just come down to the math? (algebra, calculus, or something else I can't do?) Was it just a tipping point? A few years ago seeing a boar was a novelty, kind of exciting. Then it was like, whoa... what is going on here???

Wolves, cougars, bears... they are dangerous to people and livestock, but they are part of the heritage of this country. They are supposed to be here. Wild boar are not.

Btw, earlier I watched our trapper bait his large cage, and about twenty minutes later I called my neighbor to tell her the cage was full of pigs. And that's during the day! I'm not sure if the trigger is on to catch them yet, but I can't wait till tomorrow to check it out!

Thallub, why are these people purposely releasing wild pigs into the area? To hunt later? Isn't that illegal in Oklahoma? I wouldn't want to be spotted in Texas dumping wild pigs. Wow, if someone dumped some pigs near my place... that's even worse than buying chili sauce from New York City.
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Old June 6, 2013, 04:18 AM   #54
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I think it's one of those things than moves in cycles. I recall reading somewhere that the wall of Wall Street was built to keep wild pigs out of NY City.

Even though there's a smaller percentage of people that hunt in the US, there are more hunters than ever. I think part of the problem is because there are so many more places that they cannot be shot. I think this is also part of the recent boom in the coyote population.

Tony
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Old June 6, 2013, 08:49 AM   #55
thallub
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Was it just a tipping point?
i've talked extensively with old time hunters from SW and south central OK. There were small populations of wild hogs in SW OK until the mid-late 1990s. Then within a few years the wild hog population went out of control. There were several years of bumper acorn and pecan crops. The infusion of Eurasian boar blood did not help the situation. About the same time there was a proliferation of hog hunting "ranches". Then folks started releasing hogs into the wild.

Quote:
Thallub, why are these people purposely releasing wild pigs into the area? To hunt later?
Yes.

Quote:
Isn't that illegal in Oklahoma?
Yes, it is. It's also common practice and is seldom enforced.

Saw my first hog track on one south central OK property in 2006: Within two years sounders of hogs routinely visited that property: One sounder took up residence in the thickets that evolved after a wildfire on the place.

A man and his wife inherited a property several miles from that place. They opened a hog hunting "ranch" with about 100 acres under high fence. They claimed to have 10,000 acres of private land leased for hog hunting. In fact, the scam artists had no land leased for hog hunting or anything else. He released hogs all over the area. He took his hunters out and turned them loose to trespass on private property.

After a bunch of people raised cain about the trespassing, dumping of hog carcasses and a couple trucks belonging to trespassers burned up, that practice stopped.

There was a guy NW of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge who kept 300-500 wild hogs that he was selling out of state. The OK Dep't. of Agriculture got wind of his operation and tested his hogs. They found pseudorabies, swine brucellosis and other diseases and shut the guy down. The idiot stopped feeding the hogs and they were starving to death. Some neighbors cut the fences and released the hogs.
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Old June 6, 2013, 11:33 AM   #56
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But then why did it take 300 years to explode? Did it just come down to the math? (algebra, calculus, or something else I can't do?) Was it just a tipping point? A few years ago seeing a boar was a novelty, kind of exciting. Then it was like, whoa... what is going on here???
I think a lot of what you are perceiving as a problem is media/internet hype, however, to get to the actual math, maybe historical human example might be helpful. At the time of the Black Plague in 1340s, the human population was estimated at only about 450 million people and the plague likely killed 1/4 to 1/3 of them. In less than 700 years, we surpassed 7 billion people. Keep in mind that pigs breed faster than humans. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

In middle or high school, did you ever do the fruit fly experiment with the jar of agar? I seem to recall that we did a couple of males and four females. and then watched the population grow and then all die. It was seemingly slow at first until it seemed to explode. Population Math.

In the US, our population was only about 3.5 million in 1800 and has gone to over 310 million today. Over 100 million (1/3) of that population growth has occurred since 1970.
http://geography.about.com/od/obtain...ta/a/uspop.htm

Do you know what has gone with that? Pigs. You think the pip population has exploded? It is nothing compared to the human population. However, there is a correlation that is significant. Habitat for hogs, like so many other animals is being compressed by the growing human populations. We see this repeatedly with other game that is also doing well, but being compressed into smaller and smaller areas due to encroachment.

How are we feeding those additional 100 million people from the last 40 years? We can look at crop production. We find that crop production has increased, but not only has it increased, but has become more concentrated in the process as well. For example, in June 1970, winter wheat was listed at 1.076 billion bushels with an average production of 32 bushels per acre. In June 2012, it was up to 1.68 billion bushels with an average production of 47.3 bushels per acre. So that is 50% more wheat per acre than we were getting in 1970. That is some significantly stepped up concentration of resources. Plus, that means winter wheat for June had expanded by about 2 million acres from 1970 to 2012 from 33625000 to 355517970 acres (assuming I got all the math correct).

You can check the ag source if you like, but pretty much most of the crops I checked showed increases in production that were significant over the last 42 years back to 1970. In short, production has increased and yield has increased which means a concentration of resources. Pigs like concentrated resources.

Add to all of this the fact that the pig population is expanding in the US like other animals such as the armadillo (historic, natural invader that first crossed the Rio Grande Valley into Texas around 1850, but didn't start a northerly expansion until about 1900). In about 113 years, the Armadillo has managed to invade 10 additional states without being a game animal or domesticated food animal allowed to free range or turn feral. It isn't bred by the millions on commercial farms here in the US, either. It is limited geographically by its inability to deal with extremes of colder weather, something not as problematic for hogs. While I have not found any population estimates for the armadillo, no doubt the population has multiplied several times over the last 113 years along with its range expansion.
http://armadillo-online.org/expansion.html All in all, that is pretty good for a little critter with a primitive brain, not considered smart like pigs.

In short, you drop a new animal in a habitat where it can grow largely unchecked, and it will do so. Pigs are not a unique example.

So you have a lot going on here. You have concentrated resources, encroachment, growing pig population, range expansion for pigs, growing human population, and then combined with media and internet hype and you have a situation that is significant, but also likely blown out of proportion. If you saw Discovery's "Pig Bomb" or Animal Planet's "Invasion: Mutant Pigs" programs, the notion of being blown out of proportion cannot be overstated. Pig Bomb strongly implied if not outright stated that hogs in the US were growing faster, meaner, and bigger because of the infusion of Russian boar stock and had various scientist and a geneticist on the program to discuss the point, but had ZERO genetic data to prove the point and the geneticist said there were no results. The Mutant Pig program billed the hogs as killing machines that attacked people frequently with seeming regularity.
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Old June 6, 2013, 12:44 PM   #57
justplainpossum
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First of all, DoubleNaught, thank you for all the information. You clearly have done your research, and I appreciated reading it.

I did see both documentaries, but I don't consider that "internet hype". I'm looking out my window watching sounders of fifty pigs, where there were no pigs just a few years earlier. I'm walking around my ranch listening to pigs attacking each other a few feet from me. I'm tripping over hay pastures being destroyed. I'm watching the local news reports of the accidents on what was my favorite toll road. We trap a sounder of 10, and the next day a sounder of 20 shows up to take its place. As far as attacking people 'frequently'... the more interactions we cannot avoid, the more there will be attacks.

I'm not concerned about the little armadillo running around my place, or the shy coyotes howling at night, or even the very rare mountain lion. I am concerned about the wild pigs that are all over the place, that charged my neighbor and rammed his cart, that have no fear of hanging out in my front yard, back yard, and garage, that attacked another person I know and caused him to lose his leg. I can't go down to my creek anymore, because it's just too dangerous. I've taken down brush and down controlled burns, but it doesn't make much of a difference. That's not hype. That's reality.
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Old June 6, 2013, 01:38 PM   #58
Double Naught Spy
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No, Pig Bomb and Mutant Pigs were media hype, not internet hype. There is a lot of hype on the internet as well. Yes, the population is growing, but it isn't growing as much as claimed, or at least the math doesn't add up as claimed. Yes, the range is expanding. Pig Bomb and Mutant Pigs made up information or discussed it in manners that were unrealistic and it has definitely tainted people's views.

That you have a sounder at your feeder isn't unexpected.

Here is another such example of INTERNET hype...
http://www.basecamptexas.com/2012/09...-go-from-here/

The pig expert, Higginbotham, says that we (Texas) are removing about 29% of our hogs annually and that the growth rate is still about 20%. So unchecked by humans, we are looking at roughly a 50% growth rate. HOWEVER, to keep the population in check/stable, we need to kill off 60-70% per year. Interesting math.

Oh, and the estimate for the number of hogs in 2010 was 2.6 million, he says.

The testament to the lack of math predictions comes in this exchange that I really liked. Higginbotham must be running for office the way he sidestepped the query.

Quote:
BCT: If no dramatic change occurs in our control methods, what will the Texas population of wild hogs be in 10 years? Twenty years?

Higginbotham: I believe there will be continued growth in the next few years but a number of conditions can check that population growth—the 2011 drought is an example that probably caused negative growth in some parts of the state.

We estimated that in 2010, human-induced removal through our 4 legal control methods: shooting, trapping, dogs and snares removed about 29% of our current population or roughly 750,000 pigs annually from an estimated population of 2.6 million in Texas. Also, as we become more efficient at control, educate landowners on the use of proper control techniques and new tools for control become available, we should be able to remove a higher percentage of the population. Populations appear to be increasing at roughly 20% a year. With current tools available, eradication is not possible in Texas. However, we have shown we can be very successful at damage abatement by removing pigs. Wild Hogs in Texas: Where do we go from here?
So since he didn't do it, let's take his 2.6 million in 2010 and 20% growth after abatement and find out, eh?
2011 - 3.12 million
2012 - 3.74
2013 - 4.49
2014 - 5.39
2015 - 6.47
2016 - 7.76
2017 - 9.32
2018 - 11.18
2019 - 13.42
2020 - 16.1

Keep in mind that in 2005, we already had 2 million hogs in Texas, yet with the 20% growth, they only grew to 2.6 million by 2010. That math doesn't work.
http://www.hpj.com/archives/2005/may...nwreakingh.CFM

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I'm not concerned about the little armadillo running around my place, or the shy coyotes howling at night, or even the very rare mountain lion.
Nobody said you were concerned about the armadillo et al. You noted your lack of understanding about how the pig population could blossom. You seemed to be unfamiliar with how it could occur or that it could occur. So I provided you with examples. Other animals are doing the same thing even without the help of humans breeding them. The phenomenon is not unique to pigs.

Quote:
I am concerned about the wild pigs that are all over the place, that charged my neighbor and rammed his cart, that have no fear of hanging out in my front yard, back yard, and garage, that attacked another person I know and caused him to lose his leg. I can't go down to my creek anymore, because it's just too dangerous. I've taken down brush and down controlled burns, but it doesn't make much of a difference. That's not hype. That's reality.
I am concerned about them as well, but the RARE encounters such as you described are just that, rare. I understand you are fearful. Good luck to you.

BTW, controlled burns are wonderful for ATTRACTING wildlife. After a burn, the soil benefits from the extra nitrogen and nutrients, plant regrowth is stimulated, and animals flock to the fresh vegetation, including hogs. You may be your own worst enemy when it comes to you hog problem.
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Old June 6, 2013, 03:24 PM   #59
justplainpossum
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Double Naught, I'm happy for you up there in Montague County, repeller of wild pigs. However, they are NOT rare where I live, they are aggressive, and they are destroying the land. Maybe you should put down the math book for a minute and try listening to people. The feeder traps were put out last month to... oh, forget it. But I will say this: it's pretty patronizing to lecture the people of Japan on the general rarity of tsunami from your house on top of the Himalayas.

Thallub, I have enjoyed learning about what's going on in your part of Oklahoma; please keep sharing your experiences.

Last edited by justplainpossum; June 6, 2013 at 03:31 PM.
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Old June 6, 2013, 04:06 PM   #60
Art Eatman
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Looks like time to close. No doubt the subject will recur.
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