Hog Madness

Published on 3 September 2023 at 18:55

As the sun went down on a warm Oklahoma night the desolate air was pierced with the high-pitched squeals and whines. Almost like something from a horror movie, wild hogs were out and about in full force around our tree stand. When the dinner bell went off at the gravity feeder, it was as if it were clockwork, and the hogs demolished the feed. I had prepared my rifle by resting it on the safety bar of the tree stand, found a hog through the crosshairs of my scope, pushed the safety to "fire", and BAM! The 6.5 Creedmoor bullet exited the rifle barrel at a high velocity, and before you could blink a hog was on the ground—a perfect shot right into the vitals of the beast. A moment later another hog came running out, this time it was much bigger than the last. The same process as before, I found where I wanted to shoot the animal, and BAM! This time the hog did not fall. It was not even phased by getting nailed right in the shoulder by my 6.5 Creedmoor. When I hopped out of the stand to check for blood, there was none to be found. This is when I realized how tough of an animal the feral hog is, and it piqued my curiosity on how a once domesticated farm pig could turn into a beast capable of millions of dollars in damages and spread like wildfire. 

How did a pig that was once a farm animal turn out to be so nefarious? You undoubtedly want to know how this change takes place. When a domestic pig escapes from confinement or is purposefully released into the wild, it develops feral behavior. The pig will start to acclimate to its new surroundings once it has been released into the wild by looking for food, finding shelter, and avoiding predators. They may develop thicker coats over time as a means of weather protection, which could alter their physical appearance. Additionally, they might grow bigger tusks to defend themselves. The behavior and way of life of feral pigs have substantially changed as a result of their adaptation to live in the wild, even though they are theoretically still the same species as domestic pigs.

So, what makes a wild hog such a menace you may be asking yourself? Well, Wild hogs, also known as feral hogs, can cause significant damage to crops, natural habitats, and residential areas. They are known to root up and damage agricultural fields, gardens, and lawns, wreaking havoc on vegetation and destroying property. Their rooting can cause soil erosion, leading to further environmental degradation. Additionally, they can transmit diseases to other wildlife, making them a potential threat to human health. Wild hogs are also known for their aggressive behavior and can pose a danger to humans and pets. Overall, the damages caused by wild hogs are a serious concern for both rural and urban communities, and their invasive presence requires active management and control measures. Managing the wild hog invasion can be a challenging and complex task. These animals are highly adaptable, and their populations can quickly grow out of control. To control wild hog populations, it is important to implement strategies that focus on reducing their numbers and limiting their reproduction. This can include methods such as trapping, hunting, and sterilization. Additionally, it is important to work with local communities and landowners to raise public awareness about the dangers of wild hogs and the importance of keeping their populations under control. By taking a comprehensive approach to managing wild hog invasion, we can help protect our natural ecosystems and reduce the risk of damage to crops, wildlife habitats, and human communities. 

Hunting a wild hog can be a challenging and exhilarating experience, but it's important to take proper precautions to ensure safety throughout the process. To start, it's important to locate the hogs in their natural habitat and identify their patterns, such as feeding and sleeping areas. Once you have located the hogs, you should approach them stealthily, being careful not to spook them and cause them to flee. Hunters typically use a variety of weapons, such as a rifle or bow and arrow, to take down the hogs. It's also important to have the proper equipment, such as knives for field dressing and gloves for protection against disease. After taking down the hog, it is important to field dress and transport the animal properly to prevent spoilage and ensure safety. Overall, hunting wild hogs requires patience, skill, and proper preparation to ensure a safe and successful hunt.

Where are hogs most frequently found?

While population data for wild hogs can vary, it is clear that they are most common in certain states. Among the top 10 states in the US with the highest population numbers for wild hogs, Texas undoubtedly takes the lead. The Lone Star State boasts an estimated wild hog population of around 2 million, a staggering number that outshines any other state. Texas offers an ideal habitat for these adaptable creatures due to its diverse landscapes, ample food sources, and mild climate. However, this stronghold has also led to escalating issues, including extensive agricultural damage, habitat destruction, and the transmission of diseases to livestock. Following Texas, the state with the next highest population of wild hogs is Florida. The Sunshine State is home to an estimated population of about 500,000 wild hogs. This number has been steadily increasing, affecting both rural and urban areas. The prolific breeding capabilities of wild hogs, combined with the abundance of food resources in Florida's diverse ecosystems, contribute to their rapid proliferation. The state faces severe ecological consequences, such as the destruction of natural habitats, impacts on endangered species, and increased soil erosion. Other states with significant wild hog populations include California, with around 250,000 hogs, and Georgia, with approximately 240,000 hogs. Both states have seen a concerning increase in feral pig numbers, leading to widespread agricultural damage, destroyed crops, and control efforts that strain resources. States such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas also face significant impacts from wild hogs, with populations ranging from 100,000 to 200,000. Additionally, states like Oklahoma, South Carolina, and North Carolina have witnessed an upward trend in wild hog populations, ranging from 60,000 to 90,000. This increase poses a threat to agricultural sectors, natural habitats, and valuable ecosystems. Alarmingly, wild hogs are even found in more northern states, such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York, albeit in smaller numbers compared to southern states. These colder regions can still sustain wild hog populations due to milder winters, abundant food sources, and favorable habitats. 

What do you do if charged?

1. Try to move slowly and calmly away from the animal and avoid making direct eye contact. 2. Do not turn your back and run, as wild hogs can run up to 30 miles per hour. 3. Use any object you have, like a stick or rock, to create a barrier between you and the hog. 4. If the hog attacks and makes contact, try to defend yourself with a large object or move quickly out of the way. 5. If you are injured during an attack, seek medical attention immediately. It's best to avoid confronting wild hogs altogether and to stay alert and aware of your surroundings when traveling through areas where they are known to live. In other words, if you don't have a firearm, you might as well consider yourself a snack for the animal. Not really, but they can cause some serious damage if one gets ahold of you. With this hunting trip closed out, now the CHF crew can look forward to bringing you all deer hunting content, so be on the lookout for that! Be sure to share our page with your friends and check out all of our social media platforms! 

Add comment


There are no comments yet.