Skip to comments.Feral swine bomb could wreak havoc on large swaths of the US if wild boar population continues to explode
Posted on 09/25/2020 12:26:18 PM PDT by Roman_War_Criminal
A population explosion among wild boars in the US has led experts to warn that a feral swine bomb, if left unchecked, could wreak havoc on large swaths of the country.
Undark Magazine reported on the explosion of the pig population, which has caused an estimated $2.5bn worth of damages every year.
Feral hogs trample and tear-up crops, attack livestock, and can destroy sensitive habitats. The pigs also act as disease carriers. They can host more than 30 viral and bacterial diseases as well as scores of parasites.
here are approximately 9 million feral hogs in the US, and their numbers are multiplying quickly.
Thirty years ago, only 17 states had feral hog populations. Today, there are at least 39 states dealing with the animals destructive tendencies.
Dale Nolte, manager of the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program at the US Department of Agriculture, told Undark Magazine that their exponential population growth has experts concerned.
They multiply so rapidly. To go from a thousand to two thousand, its not a big deal. But if youve got a million, it doesnt take long to get to 4 [million], then 8 million, he said.
In some parts of the country, like Florida, Georgia and California, the feral hog population has grown wildly out of control. Both California and Texas have encouraged the recreational hunting of the pigs, but their attempts to cull the population backfired; in response to the hunting, the pigs simply scattered throughout the state, increasing the scope of the problem.
Data suggests that in Colorado, for example, hunting pigs will actually increase their travelling distance by up to 100 miles.
Montana outright banned the hunting of wild boars after a 2013 incident in which Texas man attempted to bring the beasts into the state to hunt them commercially.
Two years later, the state passed legislation banning hunting of feral pigs and prohibiting their transportation or ownership in the state. Those found breaking the feral swine laws could be hit with up to $10,000 fines.
The pigs are especially dangerous because of their genetics.
The wild boars are the offspring of domestic big breeds and the European wild boar.
As a result of the mix, the pigs inherit the intelligence, heightened sense of smell and rugged survivability from the hogs, and their exceptional fertility thanks to years of husbandry from the pigs.
When pigs escape their enclosures and breed in the wild even with other domestic pigs their offspring can eventually revert to a feral phenotype after just a few generations less than 20 years.
The problem with the hybrids is you get all of the massive benefits of all of that genetics, researchers said.
A few states have started awareness campaigns meant to urge the public to report the pigs so authorities can destroy them.
Washington, Oregon and Montana have a Squeal on Pigs information campaign that urges residents to call a 24-hour phone hotline to report pig sightings.
Though Montana has received praise from experts for its use of legislation and public information to help contain the flood of pigs, there is fear that too little is being done to get the creatures under control.
Ryan Brook, a biologist with the University of Saskatchewan that researches animals, said the efforts are just a small part of what is needed to truly contain the pigs.
The efforts to deal with them are about 1 per cent of whats currently needed, he said.
I don’t actually hunt them so much as I shoot them when I can. Our big ranch is 42 sections and I cover most of it daily taking care of the oil and gas production, most of my shooting is out the window of the truck. 25 years ago we didn’t have any hogs, last year I killed 68. They just keep getting thicker each year. I went from a bolt action rifle to a M4 style semi auto in 5.56 as my daily truck rifle a few years back. It just came to the point I needed more fire power. This is in West TX, my buddy in South TX has a much bigger problem.
And yeah, the few videos I’ve seen of people hunting them, they take the standard pig-roaster size for eating. Bigger than that I imagine they get too tough and gamey.
What has hunting been outlawed or something? Offer a bounty per carcass. I’d love to do some.
42 sections?!?! Son of the mother of hell!!
I have problems taking care of barely an acre.
Can I come down sometime and shoot some pigs? I’ll stay in a hotel and you’ll never know I’m there. :-)
Meh, all you need is a boar spear.
Just ask Robert Baratheon.
We have a few smaller places but that’s the biggest one. Over the years we’ve had feral hogs and Aoudad sheep move in on the big one. The 8 sections nth of town and the 3 sections over by Snyder TX are covered in hog’s. If you watch the show Carnivore on the Pursuit channel you’ll get to see most of the big ranch. We shoot a couple of coyote calling shows every spring.
If you ever get down this way I’d me more than happy to take you hog hunting. If I’m hunting them I prefer using a bow or a handgun, that’s allot of fun. I’ve even got Javalina’s on the big ranch.
300 Blackout practice ... pork is back on the menu.
Our big problem is just seeing them in East Texas. All timber. You can usually draw them into a feeder.
Same in South TX where the brush is so thick, the sendero’s and roads are the only place you see them. Out here it’s pretty open. Once the leaves drop this winter it really opens up.
Wow, that’s incredible........given the frequency the females can produce and the numbers of their offspring, I don’t see how they can adequately be controlled......
Hornady 325gr Leverevolution does a wonderful job on them, next up I want to try my 576gr Black Butterfly Buffalo Hump rounds on one to see how they do.
45/70 is my current favorite round right now for just about anything within 200 yards, and these old eyes don’t go much further than that anymore without serious help.
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