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#6258527 - 04/13/16 02:54 PM Report from AgriLife Today
mikei Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 1258
No surprises in this report to those of us who deal with feral hogs all the time.



Pigs pose problems for producers around the state

OVERTON — Wild pigs continue to plague farmers and ranchers in much of the state.

They are a year-round nuisance to producers, said Dr. Billy Higginbotham, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wildlife specialist in Overton, but farrowing, the birth of new litters of pigs, typically peaks in the spring.

Higginbotham said farmers and ranchers in 253 of 254 Texas counties face a constant battle to prevent or reduce damages by wild pigs. The statewide population estimate is around 2.6 million wild pigs, and limited ways of controlling their numbers means they are here to stay, he said.

“Given the population numbers, there’s no way to eradicate them but you can reduce exposure to damage by managing their numbers,” Higginbotham said.

It costs producers time and money to repair damages and deal with the wild pig population, he said. Higginbotham said 71 percent of landowners with pastureland who responded to an AgriLife Extension survey reported damages by wild pigs.

A conservative estimate of statewide damages based on a decade-old study puts the annual cost to farmers and ranchers at $52 million. Producers spent an additional $7 million each year to repair damages and deal with wild pig populations, according to the same estimate.

Wild pigs are omnivores and will seek any food source for calories, Higginbotham said. They cause much of the damages to crops when they dig, or root, for food sources, such as grub worms, planted seed and plant roots.
The large rooted -up area to this East Texas bermudagrass pasture is one type of typical damage done by feral hogs. (Texas Cooperative Extension photo by Dr. Billy Higginbotham )

The large rooted -up area to this East Texas bermudagrass pasture is one type of typical damage done by feral hogs. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Dr. Billy Higginbotham )

Higginbotham said the wild pigs are especially damaging to hay pastures in East Texas. Pastures are rooted up and must be smoothed by farmers to allow hay equipment to access the land. Disturbed soil also creates weed control problems, he said.

Landowners should monitor for signs of wild pig activity, such as tracks, rubs against fence posts and trees, well-used trails and hair stuck on barbed-wire fences where they cross, he said.

“If you see the signs of hogs it’s best to take a proactive approach and try to reduce their numbers,” he said. “They may just be moving through your land but eventually they will cause problems. The more you reduce their numbers the more you reduce the damage they cause.”

Higginbotham said there are four legal ways to address wild hogs in Texas – trapping, snaring, shooting and catch dogs.

Hiring professional shooters to reduce wild pig numbers from helicopters represents a cost-effective way for farmers and ranchers in parts of the state with less tree canopy, but in East Texas trapping is advised, Higginbotham said. Corral-type traps work best, especially when a landowner can catch an entire family or sounder of pigs, he said.

But Higginbotham said it takes a process to trap effectively. Pigs must be “hooked” on the bait before placement of the trap, he said. The trap should then be baited to allow the pigs to get comfortable.

“It could take a week, it could take several weeks depending on how much trapping pressure they’ve experienced,” he said.

Higginbotham suggested landowners speak to their local AgriLife Extension agents for tips on what works best in their area to trap wild pigs.

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#6265141 - 04/18/16 10:36 AM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: mikei]
Ronnie Oneal Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/18/11
Posts: 1379
Loc: Grayson Co
Exactly why we need more people running hog dogs... bolt

stir

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#6265196 - 04/18/16 11:02 AM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: Ronnie Oneal]
flintknapper Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 867
Loc: Deep East Texas
Originally Posted By: Ronnie Oneal
Exactly why we need more people running hog dogs... bolt

stir


Yeah right.

Average Hog-Dogger wants MORE hogs...not less.

Don't get me started.
_________________________
Spartans ask not...how many, but where!

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#6265247 - 04/18/16 11:37 AM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: flintknapper]
Ronnie Oneal Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/18/11
Posts: 1379
Loc: Grayson Co
Originally Posted By: flintknapper
Originally Posted By: Ronnie Oneal
Exactly why we need more people running hog dogs... bolt

stir


Yeah right.

Average Hog-Dogger wants MORE hogs...not less.

Don't get me started.


I was only joking roflmao

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#6265519 - 04/18/16 02:38 PM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: mikei]
Erich Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 710
Loc: Cibolo, TX
I know fences also are not cheap, but if the hogs caused as many millions jillions in damage as everyone claims they're not that hard to just fence out.

I've got family that corn/milo farms. their fields are about a couple hundred acres or so in size. they battled with hogs a lot and then finally just put high-tensile net wire around the place and didn't worry about it anymore.

the property next door to our ranch is a large irrigated melon farm. he battled with hogs extensively as well. always out there shooting at night and trapping. finally he did the same. stretched high tensile net wire over his barbed wire and just didn't worry about it anymore. its not 100% effective I'm sure, but its a hell of a lot more effective than trying to shoot them all. and if any do cross the fence its pretty easy to see where they cross and snare them.

we leased a place for many years where the land lady ran goats. about 700ac. her place was sheep n goat wire fenced. hogs could break thru this wire. it made it easy to see though where they were crossing fences. she used the cable snares and caught about 200hogs in a year or so. she didn't completely eradicate them, but now there's few enough that with many snares set she only catches a small handful of them a month and rarely if ever sees them. they don't cause her problems anymore.
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#6265569 - 04/18/16 03:23 PM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: Ronnie Oneal]
flintknapper Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 867
Loc: Deep East Texas
Originally Posted By: Ronnie Oneal
Originally Posted By: flintknapper
Originally Posted By: Ronnie Oneal
Exactly why we need more people running hog dogs... bolt

stir


Yeah right.

Average Hog-Dogger wants MORE hogs...not less.

Don't get me started.


I was only joking roflmao



I know. Just wanted to make the statement. wink
_________________________
Spartans ask not...how many, but where!

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#6265632 - 04/18/16 04:01 PM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: mikei]
Ronnie Oneal Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/18/11
Posts: 1379
Loc: Grayson Co
I understand your frustration but a good hog dog hunt (without trespassing) sure sounds fun...

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#6265694 - 04/18/16 04:29 PM Re: Report from AgriLife Today [Re: Ronnie Oneal]
SnakeWrangler Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 20642
Loc: Fairfield, TX
Originally Posted By: Ronnie Oneal
I understand your frustration but a good hog dog hunt (without trespassing) sure sounds fun...


Ditto....but the "without trespassing" is the tough part in most areas.....
_________________________
Originally Posted By: bill oxner
Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.

"Death is permanent...everything else is temporary!"

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"

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