Heritage

Wild Hogs

wild hogs in western nc

In many areas of the US wild hog populations are on the rise. The practice of folks keeping domesticated pigs has dwindled to the point-that in most areas wild hogs out number domesticated pigs-unless of course you happen to live near a commercial pig farm.

In the last 10 years or so, the wild hog population in my area has increased significantly. All one has to do is take a walk up the mountain to see the destruction they leave in their wake.

In the early 1900s a hunting preserve was established in Graham County, NC. The preserve was stocked with big game animals. None of the introduced species really took to their new surroundings but one-the Russian Boar. The boar introduced to Graham County was brought to Murphy, NC by railroad car then transported by ox carts to Graham County. Over the years the boars multiplied and as they escaped the preserve they mixed with local domestic hogs. Today Graham County has the largest wild hog population in the state of NC.

The wild boars introduced to our area-are considered an invasive species. Wild hogs have no predator except man, begin to breed a a very early age, and can produce up to 10 piglets a litter-you can see why their population is increasing at such a fast pace.

The Smokey Mountain National Park system began trying to eradicate wild hogs during the late 50s and they continue trying today. When the girls and I walked through history near Purchase Knob in Haywood County, NC, we saw evidence of wild hog activity. Our guide pointed out a large portion of disturbed ground-it looked as if someone had plowed the area for a garden-she said the damage was done the previous night by wild hogs. The park uses traps to aide in the wild hog removal. After a hog is caught-it is shot and the meat is placed deep in the forest. Our guide said their hope was to train bear to become accustomed to eating wild hog meat to the point of hunting the hogs themselves.

Wild hogs are notorious for destroying the woods and if they ever get close to your garden-you can forget about it-they can wipe out a large garden in a matter of minutes. They’ve also been known to reek havoc on fence lines.

There is a large wild hog population in North Georgia where The Deer Hunter hunts. Last deer season he had a close encounter with wild hogs. It was before daylight and he was walking in to his deer stand. Before he realized it-he had walked right in the middle of a group of wild hogs. He was almost to his tree-as he ran the rest of the way and jumped in the stand-he said the hogs sounded like a group of miniature horses chasing him. He could hear their hooves on the hard packed ground. We still tease him about being chased by miniature horses.

Got wild hogs in your area?

Tipper

 

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Lanny
    January 25, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Had to laugh most of the way through this post, clearly the Vick family raises wild hogs! But we love them just the same, well all of us ‘cept Dirt. Even when they got out and ate and entire garden of dahlia bulbs I still liked them, well those two I enjoyed eating. Someone asked me when I told them about the hogs eating my dahlias if dahlia bulbs were poisonous to the hogs, I said, “heck ya they were, the hogs died a week later”, they would have died sooner but that was the soonest the slaughter guy could come!
    Bet’s first sentence was “pigs got out” which she said over and over while standing on the porch. We thought she was scared of them and was scarred for life, not so, she is our pig kissin’ girl and the one that is constantly beggin’ her dad for some new sows so she can have some baby pigs to kiss.
    Tipper, I enjoyed the posts about hogs, thanks.

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 24, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    Gee whiz!! That would have scared me OUT of the woods!!
    I’ll bet his heart was beating furiously by the time he reached that stand.
    We don’t have any around here that I know of. THANK GOODNESS!!

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee ♥
    January 24, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Dee from Tennessee
    Tipper, It doesn’t look like this link hyperlinked/whatever, but anyway, I thought you might like to read this from the Knoxville News Sentinel:
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/jan/23/running-wild

  • Reply
    Tipper
    January 23, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Miss Cindy-Ive never tasted wild hog-but I hear it is very good.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Don’t know much about wild hogs but I hear that they are very destructive to the forests.
    Are they as good to eat as the domestic hogs?

  • Reply
    Chef E
    January 22, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Never had a wild pig encounter, my son did, we went to a ‘Dude Ranch’ when he was six, and while in the petting zoo a female pot belly had just had her litter taken away, and since I thought they were friendly fold I encouraged him to reach down and pet her, well she took a hunk out of his thigh. Needless to say, but I had to scoop him up and run a mile up hill to the main house to fetch a doctor as he was hollering “I’m gonna die”, trying to be simpathetic and not laugh was hard as a mom at that moment. He won’t go near a pig to this day…
    Not the same I know, but I still like to tell that story. The farm to this day sends me emails offering us a ‘free’ weekend, I guess they are afraid I would sue.
    I have heard wild hogs and boars are mean, and love the meat. Great for smoking and chili!
    Thanks Tipper for all your work on here, and the links!

  • Reply
    GrannyPam
    January 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    More up-to-date information on the hogs in Michigan here:
    http://www.michigan.gov/documents/emergingdiseases/Feralswineupdate101608_256162_7.pdf

  • Reply
    GrannyPam
    January 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    There are plenty of these in Michigan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrV9es13qgk
    I wish I had one in my freezer!

  • Reply
    brit
    January 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    scary they are way more vicious then folks think, we have coyotes, cougars and bears here, and folks in the cities are always voting on things ilke it’s illegal to shoot cougars, but rarely do cougars show up at their kids bus stops….that actually happened here! country vs city life…it is a difference!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    January 21, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Wild hogs are a problem in Texas as well. We have not had any enter our property….yet….however, there have been dead ones on the roadside a little ways from us. Blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    January 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Tipper: Neat story, Deer Hunter should have brought some pork home with the venison.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    That is one BIG animal!!! I hope it is too cold up here in Michigan for them!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    January 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Em- Im not sure. But some of them get really big-and they are mean too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    PS….You know what’s hard to see in the picture of the boar?… The long razor sharp tusks that can rip your leg open!…I don’t blame deer hunter for moving guick to the tree stand…”you never know when meeting a wild boar face to face in the woods, if it will run off or charge you…very unpredictible”…hubby says…

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 20, 2010 at 9:52 am

    They’ve been spotted in our part of Madison County but, as of yet, there don’t seem to be many, thank goodness!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 20, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Wild boars are here in parts of East Tn. plateaus…never seen one on our place….
    Wild boars are destroying our mountain wildflowers with their rutting ground plowing,…eating the roots, etc…it just makes me sick to think about it…if the cougar population increases in NC mountains they hopefully will be feasting on wild boars and I do believe there are ‘panters, cougar there…

  • Reply
    Paul
    January 20, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Thats not funny! Ok…maybe a little funny. Even a wild pig finds a deer hunter snack now and then!

  • Reply
    Mary
    January 19, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    We have them in our area, too. They are a mixture of wild and domestic hogs that people have let run out. I can hear them out in the woods sometimes. Last year, one came up in my parent’s back yard and my mother actually went outside to ‘shoo’ it away, LOL! She didn’t like the way it looked at her, so she hurried back inside!

  • Reply
    Nancy M.
    January 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    My cousin caught 2 young wild hogs and tried to get them fattened before he killed them. He said he never could get them fattened up. But his freezer is full, lol!

  • Reply
    Em
    January 19, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Ugh – those are about the ugliest hogs I’ve ever seen – and I wouldn’t expect to see one in North Carolina (or GA)… They look pretty dangerous. I hope the Bears start to like them… and maybe the big cats in the area will take a liking to them too! I wonder if they’re just too big?

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    January 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Only my 14-year-old son! Ha ha. Just kidding.
    No, really, my dad has a place in central Texas. It’s all woods and we don’t have to worry about them eating up a garden, but you can see evidence that they have dug up in all the clearings. The county was offering a bounty on them for awhile. Dont’ know if they still are. Nasty, scary creatures.

  • Reply
    thewelldigger
    January 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I don’t have wild hogs yet,but,I live on the edge of a creek bottom that has about 2000 acres of prime hog country. I just hope they never find me here!!

  • Reply
    Diane ( Crafty Passions)
    January 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Wow that’s huge!!
    Would not want to come upon one of those in a forest.. yikes !
    Diane

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