Understanding Feral Hogs
Feral hogs inhabit much of Texas primarily in areas where white-tail deer roam but increasingly expanding their reach. These animals are very adaptive to their surroundings, which allows them to thrive in almost any environment. When attempting to understand feral hogs, it is good to start with some of their more basic traits like their diet, habitat, behavior, and how to identify their signs.
What do feral hogs eat?
Hogs are very fond of domestic crops like corn, rice, milo, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, among others. This diet comes at a cost to farmers trying to make a living. Feral hogs also eat acorns and other plant matter, which directly competes with native wildlife in the area. These animals are omnivorous. They will eat both plants and animals. Primarily hogs will feed on insects and reptiles but have been known to eat small mammals as well. You will typically find pigs feeding through the nighttime hours or during the day when the weather is wet and cooler.
Where do feral hogs live?
If you are attempting to locate feral hogs, there are a few things to pay attention to when scoping out the region. Hogs will generally concentrate on areas where food is readily available. Most areas with crops or nut-producing trees will be ideal for their habitat. Feral swine also prefer dense cover and bottomlands like creeks, rivers, and drainage. By being adaptive, you'll also find hogs in more areas prone to drought. Other habitat traits will still apply like food sources, heavy cover, wet-weather creeks, or muddy areas like stock tanks where they'll wallow around to keep cool. Their range will tend to be approximately 5,000 acres, but by no means are they limited to that, some hogs have been known to travel much greater distances. Typically a sounder will stay in a more concentrated area while lone Boars will cover a much more extensive range in search of new breeding opportunities.
How do feral hogs behave?
Hogs compete directly with wild game and livestock. These fearless animals will push their way into a feeding ground and completely take it over with no disregard for the other animals in the area. On game cameras, you'll notice deer feeding only to be run off moments later by a group of feral hogs. If you've ever hunted a cattle ranch, wild hogs will feed right in the middle of them like they were part of the herd. Hogs are aggressive and will size up to anything. There is a video of a helicopter hunt where the hunter attempts to jump out of the low moving helo to grab the pig. With no fear at all, the hog charges towards the helicopter in an attempt to hold its ground. Once the hunter is on the ground, the boar squares up and begins to rush, forcing the hunter to use his pistol, and with 3-4 shots, he downs the pig.
Identifying Signs of Feral Hogs
In areas densely populated with feral hogs, their signs are almost impossible to miss. You'll notice fence crossings, networks of trails, wallows, rooting, rubs, and droppings. Most of the time, hogs will leave behind fur on barbed wire fences as they travel underneath them. Their trails will intertwine throughout the property but are usually connected to the main highway they use for traveling. Wallows will be found in muddy areas like creek beds and stock tanks. Rooting is a sign of feeding and is usually a good gauge as to where hogs might return. You'll find rubs on things like trees or telephone poles. These signs are a good way to identify the possible size of some of the hogs in the group.
How can I get rid of feral hogs?
There are many ways a property owner can fight back against feral hogs, but there is one method that we believe holds the title for most effective. Remote cellular trapping allows for humane removal as well as a tactical approach for trapping the entire sounder at once. Here at Lone Star Trapping, we've removed over 11,000 hogs since 2015 and have helped tons of property owners stop the damages caused by these animals. If you need hog removal look no further, we are insured and experienced with a team available to trap anywhere in Texas and Oklahoma.