The Wild Hog, also known as the Feral Hog or Wild Pig, is a blend of the Eurasian Wild Boar, which was introduced in the U.S. over 400 years ago, and the Domestic Swine which farmers often released into the woods so they’d fatten up before harvest.
Estimated at over 5 million individuals nationally, over half of which occur in Texas, Wild Hogs cover a lot of ground. Telemetry data show that a sow’s home range averages a little over 1,000 acres. Between their numbers and large range, hogs destroy agricultural crops, pastures, commercial forestlands, parks, athletic fields, and lawns. They do this by digging their snouts into the ground like a tiller in search of food. In the process, they root up and destroy native habitat and future habitat used by many of our native birds and other wildlife. Hogs also feast on acorns and other mast which means they compete with native species like White-tailed Deer and the Wild Turkey. With their tremendous sense of smell and omnivorous diet, hogs can detect and devour the eggs or nestlings of ground-nesting birds like Northern Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, and Eastern Meadowlarks.
Hogs can alter and ruin wetlands and water quality in surface waterways threatening human health including disease transmission of E. coli and swine brucellosis. Vehicle collisions on our roadways with Wild Hogs result in millions in property damage as well as human injury and death. In Texas alone, Wild Hogs annually cause $52 million in damage to crops and property.
While hunting hogs won’t solve the problem since sows average almost 2 litters per year with each litter averaging 5 to 6 piglets, it certainly helps to control them. Currently, scientists are researching other more widespread eradication methods that will hopefully become commercially available soon.
Help fight the war against Wild Hogs in your area and on your property. Do it for the owls!
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