UNDERSTANDING FERAL HOGS
Feral hogs are unprotected, exotic, non-game animals. Ergo, people may harvest them by any lawful methods at any time of year. There are no seasons or bag limits, and as of recently, they can be harvested without a hunting license.
Feral hogs proceed to rise in numbers throughout Texas and other states. Due to their destructive feeding habits, feral hogs are a real liability to farming and indigenous wildlife within Texas. In addition, these animals are additionally sought for recreational hunting and commercial product. The information presented here is aimed to progress the knowledge of feral hog biology, general history, loss management, and removal methods.
Feral hogs are amongst the most detrimental invasive species in the world. Millions of these animals are destroying properties throughout most states; crazy enough half of them live in Texas, where they cause upwards of $400 million in property damages annually.
When you think about feral hogs, utilizing them as a protein source in your diet isn't usually what comes to mind first. However, wild hog meat is an excellent alternative to other traditional meats when grilling, or hosting a BBQ.
Feral hogs thrive in Texas, particularly in the white-tailed deer range in Central, South, and East Texas. In North and West Texas, populations are thinner, but recent reports find the population increasing in these areas. Reasons the feral hog population is expanding include improving habitats, wildlife management, intentional releases, and disease eradication. With limited natural predators, ethical trapping offers a way to help control the number of these wild animals.
Facts About Feral Hogs
While many feral hogs are colored solid black, there are some color variations, including solid or spotted brown and white wild pigs. Unlike many other animals that take longer to reach reproductive age, feral hogs can start breeding as young as six months old. Females can reproduce at eight to ten months of age. The typical litter size is four to six offspring. However, when the conditions are ideal, a litter size could be as large as ten to twelve. Wild hogs are very intelligent animals. Crops and nut-producing trees are their favorite food sources. The average lifespan of most feral hogs is four or five years but could live as long as eight years.
Wild pigs flourish in a variety of habitats ranging from East Texas' pine forests to the brush country in South Texas. Bottomlands, including creeks and rivers, as well as areas with dense vegetation, are the preferred habitat of feral hogs. However, they also live in drought-prone environments. During the hot summer months, wild hogs relish in wallowing in muddy, wet, boggy places that are close to protective cover.
Food availability plays a significant role in determining their home range. Typically, this can cover anywhere from a couple of thousand acres up to seventy thousand acres. Boars are known to travel long distances and have a more expansive home range than sows, their female counterpart.
Signs Of Feral Hogs On Your Property
For the most part, feral hogs are nocturnal animals. But even if you don't see them in the day, they leave signs of their presence behind. Droppings, trails, rubs, crossings, and wallowing are all telltale indicators you have these animals on your property. Muddy areas are a favored place for hogs because the mud helps to keep them cool. Also, the mud provides a protective barrier from insects and the sun.
While not generally aggressive with people, feral hogs can be unpredictable and should always be avoided, or approached with extreme caution. As the case when dealing with a wild animal, they can be unpredictable.