Thursday, March 9, 2023

Hells Angels of the animal kingdom - feral hogs

Wild hogs are described in many ways. Deleterious and invasive is the most generous. Latest is 'Trophy Boar' from a bow hunter in Texas. 30 years ago in the Texas Panhandle, there were no wild hogs. Today they are common. Creeks and rivers serve as a swine highway to expand their range. Like a plague of locusts, nocturnal feral hogs destroy crops, they root and destroy manicured golf courses, raid turkey nests, muddy ponds with their excrement, and destroy cattle pastures. Texas has an estimated 2.6 million feral hogs and you can hunt them year round with no bag limit. You are doing a good deed offing the basterds.
Nasty, vicious, super-adaptable, crafty and disease laden. The feral hog's hellish impact on food chains, irrigation, recreation, and land replenishment is well known. Born of escaped domestic hogs and wild boars imported by sport hunters, they are prolific. Beginning at six months of age a sow (sounder) can spit out 12 piglet litters twice a year. The hellions have few, if any, predators tough enough to take them on. In Canada in the 1980s, Russian boars and European hogs landed as seed stock for meat production and controlled hunting. Oikers escaped, went feral and reproduced. Their numbers in Canada aren't clear, but they have exploded in number over the past decade.Their range now spreads over nearly 800,000 sq km, mostly on the Prairies.
Its said the pigs make good eating. Montana has a 'Squeal on Pigs' program. Citizens are urged to report the swine so they can be dispatched.