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Hogs not in groups anymore #8265253 05/13/21 11:13 PM
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Sewer rat Online Content OP
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All deer season when I had hogs at my feeders they were almost always groups usually 4-12. I have been feeding continuously but my game cameras died after season and were down a month or so. I got them running again and while it seems the hog numbers haven’t decreased they are all split up. I have five separate feeders on 330 acres and often there will be one hog at each feeder and then they will disappear and a different one will show up. The past two weeks looking at the cameras I haven’t seen more than three together at any one time and ninety percent of the time it is singles. We haven’t shot at them since January. What does this mean? I am used to seeing packs of them.

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8265287 05/13/21 11:50 PM
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Sounders of hogs are usually sows and young pigs followed by breeding boars intermingled.

I've not seen a sounder since deer season at my place. Had a few individual boars and killed a couple of them.

When the sounders show back up, they will have multiplied. But they'll show up again... wink

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8265512 05/14/21 10:53 AM
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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8265534 05/14/21 11:18 AM
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could be many things depending on pressure from surrounding properties, size of your property, water supply changed in surrounding areas, someone feeding better than you smile
Seen a few sounders recent and they were all sows piglets , unsure how many boars but also seen single boars

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8266744 05/15/21 03:28 PM
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We've had a lot of singles, two and three as well. Moving late or after dark.


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8267009 05/15/21 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Sewer rat
All deer season when I had hogs at my feeders they were almost always groups usually 4-12. I have been feeding continuously but my game cameras died after season and were down a month or so. I got them running again and while it seems the hog numbers haven’t decreased they are all split up. I have five separate feeders on 330 acres and often there will be one hog at each feeder and then they will disappear and a different one will show up. The past two weeks looking at the cameras I haven’t seen more than three together at any one time and ninety percent of the time it is singles. We haven’t shot at them since January. What does this mean? I am used to seeing packs of them.


It is a common misconception that people have that hog activity on their property is in a sort of vacuum with no other influences. People will say things like, "I patterned the hogs for X number of days with the game camera and then they just stop showing up for no reason. We haven't done anything." Surprisingly, the hogs have a life in a world outside of the view of the game camera and (usually) of the given property on which they are being watched. They have other resources elsewhere that they will be hitting. They will be hunted on other properties. There will be activity on other properties that drive hogs toward your property or away from it. Maybe the hogs have a circuit and the property two stops before yours is getting heavily hunted and you are cut off from their circuit. Maybe, somebody in the local area has a nice big wheat or oat field heading out right now and is sucking up a lot of the hog action. All you will know is that you lost a lot of your activity.

Boars mature enough to have been kicked out of the sounder, except when they are ALLOWED to visit the sounder for mating, are on their own the rest of the time. They are much more of the wanderers. I have a landowner that firmly believes a large boar in the area will keep sounders at bay. I don't believe that to be exactly correct, but an aggressive boar can influence what is going on to some extent.

The bottom line is that the only thing predictable about hog movement behavior is that it is not predictable. You simply don't have the knowledge to know what is going on in the hogs' world that influences their decision making. Groups fission and fusion over the course of the year. Hogs get killed. New sows assume control of the sounder. Maturing males are kicked out of sounders to become lone boars, though some form (usually) temporary bachelor boar groups (usually comprised of not fully mature boars). Resources come and go in different areas. Flood waters, road traffic, hunting pressure, etc. may cut off hogs from their humanly perceived "normal" circuits.

So now you are seeing mostly singles and they are almost assuredly going to be boars. What does it all mean? It means that hog activity is always in flux. Your results are going to be variable over time even if you do nothing at all to influence hog behavior except watch game camera images stream into your cell phone (assuming Heisenberg's uncertainty principle doesn't apply here). In time, you will undoubtedly see sounders again. You will see boars again. What you are experiencing is absolutely normal.


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8267085 05/16/21 12:30 AM
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"The bottom line is that the only thing predictable about hog movement behavior is that it is not predictable." - DNS

Take it to the bank!


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8267920 05/17/21 01:53 AM
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I think DNS has it right. I've got 3 cameras on for 3 years I check weekly. Just when I think there's a pattern there's a change. Me shooting, weather, seasons, new litters. Always in flux is right.

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8268051 05/17/21 11:24 AM
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Double Naught is exactly right. We see a hog or group of hogs every day for a week or 10 days then they are gone.
We can see a lone boar for several days at a feeder so we go hunt it and it does not show up. Just crazy at times.

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8268636 05/17/21 10:10 PM
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I tell my buddies that if you see hogs near the feeder, take them while you still can.

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: TexShooter101] #8269001 05/18/21 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TexShooter101
I tell my buddies that if you see hogs near the feeder, take them while you still can.


LOL, we aren't running out of hogs. Kill all you can. They will make more.


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Double Naught Spy] #8269526 05/18/21 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
Originally Posted by TexShooter101
I tell my buddies that if you see hogs near the feeder, take them while you still can.


LOL, we aren't running out of hogs. Kill all you can. They will make more.


I can attest to that. I've been killing them on my place and my FIL's place for 30 years and we have no shortage of them.

Plus it seems (here) that a Sow can drop 8 piglets in a litter and 9 of them will survive.


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8271978 05/21/21 02:08 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Some very good information. I guess I know what happens with animals on my property isn't a vacuum but they had been pretty darn predictable over the first 3-4 months of me owning the place. My cameras died and when I got them going again it was like a night and day difference in the patterns. Just surprised me I guess.

The times they come has never been consistent. Sometimes day, sometimes night, I could never find a rhyme or reason to it but the group size was somewhat predictable. Since I originally posted this I have seen a few groups start to show up.

The one thing that baffles me and I am trying to figure out is I have no idea where the nearest water is. I have over a mile of a big creek through my place but it is bone dry. I have four ponds and they are bone dry. I have scoured google earth around my property and I can't figure out where it is. We are in the worst drought since 2011 so I think in more normal times my ponds and creek would have water but now I have no idea. I know hogs can migrate great distances but if the same hogs are showing up at my feeders daily how close must the water be?

Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8272053 05/21/21 03:52 AM
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Well obviously you need to get your old camera back in order to see more hogs. muyloco

Yes, you may have had consistent hogs for a while, but again, it is naive to assume that whatever you are seeing now will be the same thing tomorrow. People think hogs are predictable until they aren't. Funny how that works.

I will say this. If you were seeing them consistently in groups over 3-4 months on your place, you obviously were not putting any pressure on them. That you were feeding them the entire times sounds like you are running a hog sanctuary, one of those properties where hogs can retreat to for safety from hunters and eat in peace.

How close must water be? I would say that it would need to be within 5 miles. With lots of local resources, hogs may have home ranges less than 2 square miles. When resources are harder to come by, they may range over 15-16 square miles.

Where are they getting their water? Where are all the other animals getting their water? Deer, coyotes, bobcats, etc. are going to need water.

Ponds and creeks are dry, huh? Any ranches anywhere around you? Where do the livestock get water? That is where you will find the hogs getting water. No doubt somebody has a little windmill up somewhere with a little tank next to it, maybe only a few feet in diameter. The water tank may be hidden by mesquite trees. Or, the animals may be exploiting a natural seep that you won't likely see on a Google Earth map.


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Re: Hogs not in groups anymore [Re: Sewer rat] #8277986 05/27/21 04:21 AM
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Thanks again. We shoot every hog we see. Work limits how often I can get to the ranch. During our first three months of ownership I think we killed eight hogs. Nothing spectacular numbers wise but amounted to one or two per visit. We purchased a couple thermals and have been going after them at night when we can. Unfortunately the ranch is a three hour round trip drive from home so we don’t get there as often as we like.

I am sure some where not too far away people raise cattle but on all four sides of my place there are fences but they are in no condition to keep anything in so I am pretty sure none of my four immediate neighbors have livestock. I spent today at the ranch and did some dozer work and set up a couple blinds. Didn’t see anything but a couple coyotes but we did have some good rains last week and the creek has water in places and one of my ponds does as well.

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