View Full Version : We need more wild hogs up here in Washington State!

February 2, 2002, 01:13 PM
We have a few on the Olympic Peninsula, wish we had many more in the Cascades.

Art Eatman
February 2, 2002, 08:01 PM
I think I'd be a bit careful, there, Salt; you might get what you ask for.

Feral hogs are quite destructive. They'll work through an area, leaving it looking like some drunk with a backhoe got to playing. Pure burning horror on some crops. They do kill baby goats and sheep. Tear up fences.

This is all well and good for city folks who just want to hunt, and for whom the economics of agribusiness seem of no concern.

The equivalent would be for somebody to wish that your house was full of fleas and cockroaches.

:), Art

February 2, 2002, 08:42 PM
No, man!:eek:

(Yes, shouting was intended!)

Take the damage an armadillo does and multiply it by 100. Not only will they root around and kill the young trees and anything else green they will eat any animal they catch. So they end up killing all the ground dwelling birds, field mice and other critters.

They will churn up lakeshores and swamps causing erosion along stream beds and sometimes making enough mud to kill fish. They will wait until the corn in the fields is half grown then come in and eat acres worth at a time in one night.

The farmer I used to work for ages ago used to send us out to kill with .22s any hog that got out of the fence. The landowner where I hunt has two standing rules about nongame animals. Rule one is kill every hog you see and rule 2 is ditto for coyotes. But he would rather we kill the hogs because sometimes coyotes will eat the baby pigs if they can get them away from mama. :D

Not even going to discuss all the diseases they carry.

February 2, 2002, 08:52 PM
Don't you guys have hogs in the eastern part of the state? I've read some unconfirmed reports of hogs there and in the central valley of WA & OR. I'll tell you one thing for sure if the NPS boys don't start doing something right now about the hogs moving into Olympic Penn N.P. there going to have hells own problem in the not to distant future.
Why can't those federal idiots allow hunting of feral species in a park? We've got the same problem down in Carlsbad Caverns National Park only with Barbary Sheep. They can be hunted all around the park but at the first shot on opening day they all head into the sheltered confines of the park.

Art Eatman
February 2, 2002, 09:30 PM
H&H, that sort of problem is everywhere. Down here at Big Bend Ranch State Park, they're bum-deep in Aoudad poop. Dratted things are territorial around water points, to the detriment of the mule deer.

The country is gettin' sorta over-crowded with these various "fire-ants with hooves"...


February 3, 2002, 01:04 AM
Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it! Wild hogs multiply like rabbits. I've read online that a sow can have three litters a year, and a female from the first litter, can have its own first litter before that year's up.
Here in Louisiana, and I imagine other places, too, they compete with deer for habitat, and food, and will run the deer out. Its nice to have both to hunt, but it usually doesn't last long before you only have the pigs, and then they're gone on to better feeding areas and you have nothing left. Most hunting clubs and Wildlife Management Areas try to get rid of the pigs, or at least keep their numbers in check with liberal hunting seasons.

February 3, 2002, 02:51 PM
I was down in the Guadalupes last year and watched a group of Mule Deer get pushed off a water hole by a lone Barbary Ram. Those suckers are agressive. Another big problem in NM is that the Barbary sheep will push the Desert Bighorns off their traditional ranges. It's been said that a Barbary will actually fight with a bighorn during the rut. Off course they can't breed with a Bighorn ewe because they are not a true Sheep. The game and fish has been trying to eliminate Barbary from traditional Bighorn ranges. They however can make a profit on the licensesure and therefore have a season and a tag requirement. We have the same problem with Oryx which are moving off there original transplant range (White Sands) and it's the same story as above. As with pigs these animals are far more aggresive than the native species they have very few effective predetors and they'll take over with time.

And no I didn't shoot that Barbary ram that'd be illegal ;)

Art Eatman
February 3, 2002, 04:12 PM
"Barbary? Officer, I don' need no haircut; I shot a danged Brahma bull that was chargin' me!"

:), Art

February 4, 2002, 01:20 AM
Not worried about environmental destruction by pigs because the developers have done more environmental destruction with their subdivisions that what mere pigs can ever do.

Art Eatman
February 4, 2002, 08:49 AM
Salt, you got a point, there.

Dunno 'bout the Cascades, but I imagine you'll find a plentiful supply around your state house when your Lege is in session...


Northwest Cajun
February 5, 2002, 08:55 AM
I've read about some from the game and fish newsletter that they were between the Wynoochie river and the Quinalt reservation, but I'v talked to people who have hunted there for 30+ years and never seen one. I've also done some Elk and Deer hunting in that area and didnt see any either( deer or elk for that matter)Please let me know because I'd like to help take a few out. I have a guide gun in 45-70 which should be just fine.
Keano, What part of Lafayette are you from? It's been a while but I still call it home even though I've been In the "great northWEsT for the last several years .

Glen"Cajun" Comeaux

Double Naught Spy
February 5, 2002, 09:27 AM
Several have already said it. Wild hogs are not a good thing to have. If you don't have enough where you are, there are plenty of parts of the country that the Wildlife and Fisheries folks would like you to visit and bag as many hogs as possible.

Sure, humans like developers do a lot of damage as well, but adding hogs to the situation doesn't make things better. One of the very bad aspects of feral hogs is that their rooting promotes erosion when has become very problematic in many areas.

Hogs have done well in the wild for a variety of reasons. First, there are no natural predators here in North America and what few might have chosen to prey on hogs, most are already extirpated from most of their ranges, such as the mountain lion (aka cougar). With the exception of humans, feral hog populations can grow unchecked except by the limits of resources available to them.

Aside from the environmental impact, feral hogs can be quite dangerous to unarmed hikers/campers/bird watchers. Many predators will work to stay away from humans out in the wild, as will most animals. Hogs don't seem to care one way or the other and so humans and hogs end up in close proximity before the hogs get upset. Of course, part of that has to do with their poor eyesight. Even so, they can be very dangerous.

February 5, 2002, 01:16 PM
talk to the guys at Central Gun Exchange in downtown Seattle. One of them has been hunting hogs on the Olympic Peninsula.

I want them in the Cascades where it will be much more convenient for me to hunt.

Double Naught Spy,

It may be better to have the hogs in the Cascades because it will mean that less people will want to build houses up in them Cascade foothills and mountains.

BTW, why should the deep woods be made safe for the hippie granola eaters and yuppie quiche eaters? The deep woods should not be safe like Disney Land.

Northwest Cajun
February 5, 2002, 02:38 PM
I'm with you, I also feel they do lots of damage to the habitat. But If there are some in Western Washington I'd want to "help" the state with their problem:D I've called the state to get the specifics on the rules. You do not need a liscence, tags or a permit and there is no limit .

February 5, 2002, 08:45 PM
At least developers will pay for the land. :p

Hogs like to just plow things up and they don't care if a rainstorm washes it all in the creek and they don't care if they knock down an acre of corn eating a few ears. But then for them a few means as much as they can hold.

The only positive thing I've ever seen hogs do for the environment was when a farmer I knew had trouble with sand in the bottom of a pond he dug. Sand will let the water seep out.

So he put in a few dump truck loads of clay soil, mixed in a little corn then put hogs in to it. They stomped around and wallowed and pretty soon the clay was jammed in to the bottom of the whole pond, pushed a couple of feet down into the surface by their hooves. Pond started holding water.

February 5, 2002, 11:29 PM
I'm south of town, almost in Maurice, but the city is getting closer everyday.
How does hunting compare, in WA, to LA?

February 6, 2002, 12:37 AM
WA state is not what it once was. Encroaching subdivisions are eating up the habitat.

In Western WA, one is better off going Archery season due to longer seasons. With Bow hunting there are no worries about firearms restricted areas of western WA that result from growing population density.

Roosevelt Elk are found on the Olympic mountains. Mulies in eastern WA.

July 16, 2002, 10:15 PM
So, I was reading in the paper today that pigs on the Olympic Pennisula are now open, no season, no limit. Has it always been this way, and I just didn't know?

July 17, 2002, 01:41 PM
Open season: The jig is up for state's wild pigs

Skip Card; The News Tribune

It's a lousy time to be a wild pig on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

Biologists classify you as a European invader. Ecologists say your omnivorous appetite destroys rare plants and disrupts the natural balance. Cooks prize your tasty, lean flesh. Those who have seen your kind say you're ugly.

Worst of all, state wildlife officials have declared open season on you, hoping to eradicate wild pigs before they attract a fan club. Hunters are free to kill all the pigs they can, with virtually any weapon, any time, no license required.

"We want to get rid of them. We don't want them to become a permanent population that we have to deal with all the time," said Jack Smith, a regional wildlife program manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Unregulated hunting, Smith said, "might be the best way to keep their numbers low."

Consequently, hunters gripped by pig fever have been sniffing around Grays Harbor and Mason counties, where most pigs have been spotted. Many are drawn not so much by the pigs as by the appeal of hunting without the typical limits.

"Usually you need a Philadelphia lawyer to figure out the rules and regulations from the State of Washington," said Vicky Failor-Solberg, owner of Failor's Sporting Goods in Aberdeen.

Sportsmen who come into Failor-Solberg's store to ask about pig hunting are often skeptical when she tells them the state has no rules.

"There were guys who didn't believe it. They said, 'No way, there's got to be something.' And I said, 'No, I'm telling you,'" she said. "A lot of times men are funny. They don't want to listen to a woman."

The situation may sound like a sportsman's dream, but the odds of bagging a pig are low. Locals warn pig sightings are down dramatically since word of unfettered hunting spread last fall.

"Last year, it was pretty active. We knew of about 80 pigs they got," said Rogene Gates, co-owner of Western Sports Unlimited in Montesano. "This year, not even the locals are seeing them."

And the pigs seem to realize something's up, Gates said.

"They hear a truck turning rocks in a gravel road, they're hiding," she said. "Because every time they stuck their head out last year, they got shot at."

How wild pigs arrived in Washington is a mystery. At least one game farm imported wild boars from Europe to the Olympic Peninsula in the 1930s, and many suspect today's pigs are their descendants.

But domestic pigs that escape the barnyard and breed in the woods can produce feral litters in as few as three generations, biologists say.

Sharp tusks emerge from lower jaws. Coarse, dense hair covers toughened hides. Bodies become leaner and more muscular. Tails grow straight. A razorback ridge appears on the spine. Goodbye Porky, hello Pumbaa.

Failor-Solberg spotted two 60-pound specimens about four months ago trotting along a road near her home outside Aberdeen.

"They look just like you see on 'National Geographic.' I couldn't believe it," she said. "They've got the long snouts and the little tusks and the whole bit. And you can see the strength in them. Their legs look extremely strong."

The animals also change in the eyes of state land managers, who consider wild pigs "deleterious exotics."

"It's a fancy name for animals that cause a lot of problems," Smith said.

The chief concerns are the pigs' voracious appetite and destructive dining habits. Using their tusked snouts as effectively as a shovel, the pigs root up plants, bulbs, seeds, insects and grubs.

California has been struggling with wild pigs for years.

"They'll eat anything. They're omnivores. Pigs, bears and people all have the same type of molars," said Doug Updike, a senior wildlife biologist for California's Department of Fish and Game.

"You've got an exotic that's coming in and disrupting the soil and tearing up and eating plants that are already rare or endangered," Updike said. "In doing that, you expose the soil to other exotic plant species that are now able to take hold and invade a plant area.

"It's certainly very disruptive."

On California's Santa Cruz Island, a nature preserve off the Santa Barbara coast, the presence of pigs has lured golden eagles, which also hunt endangered kit foxes. Land managers from The Nature Conservancy are working with hunters to kill off the pigs.

Pigs also cause environmental disruptions on Hawaii's islands. Yet, pig meat has become such an important food source for some Hawaiians that efforts to wipe out the invaders meet stiff opposition from local hunting groups.

Pigs also have become sought-after prey in the South and Midwest. Hunters in some of those areas long ago persuaded state game departments to regulate pig hunting much like they do elk and deer.

"They're very highly regarded as game animals throughout the states that have them," said Gerry Rowland, president of the nonprofit Modern Firearm Hunters of Washington. "They're recognized as a worthy animal to hunt. They're smart. And they can be very ferocious if you get in their way."

Rowland was surprised to learn pigs were present in Washington, and shocked to learn pig hunting was unregulated.

"It sounds totally out of character for the Fish and Wildlife Department to not lay down some guidelines and some seasons," he said. "I would suggest they need to formalize this a little."

That's precisely what wildlife manager Smith doesn't want.

Smith said state wildlife officials don't have the time or money to study, track and manage another game animal - particularly one that causes ecological problems. Smith said he also doesn't want to devote staff to monitoring another hunting season and a new crop of hunters.

Once hunters develop a taste for wild pigs, Smith said, the animals "almost immediately develop a constituency, a group of people who say, 'Hey, they're good to eat. I don't mind them. I can live with them.'"

State officials say they would rather live without them.

Unrestricted hunting may never eliminate Washington's wild pigs, Smith said, "but if there are 30 of them instead of 30,000, that is a significant difference."

Hunters who see or shoot a wild pig are asked to call Department of Fish and Wildlife program manager Jack Smith at 360-249-1222. Smith has no information on where to hunt pigs, and he urges hunters seeking tips to call sporting goods stores in the Grays Harbor area.


Art Eatman
July 17, 2002, 02:54 PM
Where do these creatures like Rowland come from? How could a member of a hunting organization think that only regulated and controlled hunting is a Good Thing?

Lord, Lord, how I do hate and despise the bureaucratic mindset!