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?