Destructive Pests: Trapping Wild Hogs

by Tammy Taylor~

We have a wild hog problem here in NE Texas.  Bad.  So bad in fact that there’s no official ‘season’ for hunting them because they’re such an invasive, destructive nuisance. Their sheer numbers are astonishing. They come through like a cloud, leaving nothing but tilled ground & deep holes behind them. Terrible!   So terrible that the game warden says you can hunt them at any time, day or night at any time, any season. 

Wild hogs are destructive & plentiful. But they're just escaped domestic pigs - they're pork! See how we successfully trap them #TaylorMadeHomestead

These feral hogs are descendants of domestic pigs that escaped and reproduced with lightening-fast efficiency, causing much trouble with their deep rooting and sheer numbers. They can ascend upon a pasture & decimate it overnight. Sometimes when I’m mowing in the summertime I don’t see a hog wallow in time and the jolt of my tractor almost throws me out of the seat!

And everyone around here knows that nighttime driving can be hazardous for sure due to these little beasts. Good friends of ours totaled their car driving home from a high school football game one night when they hit a wild hog that was in the road. And not too long ago a young man flipped his truck and was killed when a cloud of wild hogs appeared in the middle of the 2-lane blacktop after dark. There’s just so many of them!

Here’s a short 15-second video we took recently.  RancherMan & I were enjoying our coffee when this group came running across our pasture by the house.  WHEW!  There’s lots of damage potential there!  Each one is a highly-efficient rototiller causing untold damage to both pastures and equipment.

 

Now there are many who over-simplify the problem, saying “Invite your friends to come shoot them and you won’t have a problem anymore”.  I hear it time & time again.  But here’s the thing: These wild hogs didn’t survive to these crazy numbers by being stupid.  They will hit the pastures one night, completely destroy it and then disappear.  Or maybe one or two in this corner of a pasture one night, 50 or so in the other corner the next night and then gone for a few weeks.

Wild hogs are destructive & plentiful. But they're just escaped domestic pigs - they're pork! See how we successfully trap them #TaylorMadeHomestead

If by sheer luck you happen to be sitting in the right place that night at the time they happen to be rolling through you might get lucky.  More times than not they surface for a short time around 2 a.m., hit the game feeders and are gone. So although RancherMan hunts them and is successful several times each season to put meat in our freezer, control isn’t really as simple as ‘call your buddies’.

Most of the time that meat in our freezer is from RancherMan’s successful hunt, but sometimes when their numbers are high he’ll set the traps in addition to his hunting. One night recently the trap won!

Wild hogs are destructive & plentiful. But they're just escaped domestic pigs - they're pork! See how we successfully trap them #TaylorMadeHomestead

Now we’ve set the trap over & over again using various baits including corn, peanut butter, leftover fruits & veggies, apple peels, purchased attractants etc.  Typically raccoons will find it first and set the trap off but we keep trying.  But how did we finally trap this one?

This time we tried something new: a liquid Hog Wild ‘Pig Punch’.  But we didn’t want to just pour it on the ground because it would just soak in.  We wanted the scent to stick around a little longer.  So we decided to dig a small hole beneath the trap’s trigger and bury all but about an inch of a tin can.  Then we mixed up the attractant in a repurposed olive oil can & poured some inside the trap.  Afterward we sat the trigger to the trap again.  We hoped a hog would be attracted to the scent and come nosing around & trip the trap door.

Wild hogs are destructive & plentiful. But they're just escaped domestic pigs - they're pork! See how we successfully trap them #TaylorMadeHomestead

And BINGO!  The hog in the trap was a small sow, about 75 lbs. But we harvested in the morning and within a short time there were four 5-lb pork roasts crammed into two large slow cookers. Although it’s delicious, I think it’s important to remember that no wild meat will taste exactly like its corn finished-out commercial counterpart.  But this wild pork is mildly flavored and very low in fat covering. We love it.

Wild hogs are destructive & plentiful. But they're just escaped domestic pigs - they're pork! See how we successfully trap them #TaylorMadeHomestead

Typically I’ll flavor wild hog roasts more heavily to mask any wild taste. But This pig was so small there’s no wild aroma at all.  So I’m cooking this one the same as I did the purchased pork roast a few weeks ago. (and with the anticipation I’ll be enjoying carnitas tacos this weekend with the leftovers!) Then the rest of the cooked roasts will carved & frozen for future meals.

Now the same ole trapping trick won’t work with them again anytime soon.  Remember, they’re SMART.  So we’ll keep changing up the bait until we’re lucky enough to get another one in the trap in the future.  But this time we’re blessed that once again our property has provided nutritious food for us for the cost of a little attractant.  And at least there’s one less hog to reproduce & cause us grief.

~TMH~

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12 thoughts on “Destructive Pests: Trapping Wild Hogs

  1. Evelyn Dalton

    How are you harvesting them? Are you removing them from the trap and killing them elsewhere or shooting in the trap? This is my only hang up about me trapping them! Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      It’s been more beneficial for us to shoot them while they’re still enclosed in the trap from a safety standpoint. Plus that way it is not only a quick, humane kill because of the close range, but also assures the usable meat is not damaged. Then RancherMan blocks the door open so it won’t fall on him and brings the hog out. The hogs usually avoid that trap for a period of time because of it, but safety first! ~TMH~

      Reply
  2. Mrs Shoes

    I think wild pigs are getting to be a problem all OVER North America! In the prairie region of Canada, years ago, 2 farms were issued licenses to raise European Boars — neither farm was completely escape proof and some hogs escaped. Now there are enough of them in the southern parts of MB, SK, & AB that they are deemed unrestricted hunting. I really don’t understand the initial losses – why didn’t they track & retrieve or kill animals that they had to have a PERMIT to raise? I recently saw a video in which hog hunters (these folks actually make their living hunting them, which illustrates how out of control the problem is) were using drones to find groups of hogs. Mr Shoes just told there is even a TV show about hog hunters in the southern US.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      There is a “Hog Hunters” TV show. Although I’ve never watched in its entirety I’ve watched a little of it. Hogs are certainly reproductively efficient and they’re so overpopulated that I think you’re right – a problem everywhere! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Bill

    I know this is a very serious problem in parts of the country now. Hoping its contained before reaching here. In some parts of the Baltic it’s so bad that people aren’t allowed to keep domesticated hogs anymore, due to the risk of diseases spread by the wild pigs. That “just shoot them” thing annoys the heck out of me. We get that too in relation to having our gardens overrun by deer. That kind of comment only comes from people who do not understand the reality of the situation.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      It’s crazy how efficiently they reproduce, Bill. And like you said, those not familiar with the problem tend to over-simplify the solution. I’m not sure why that irritates me like it does, but it does! ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. Ken

    Thankfully I’m not aware of too many on this side of our county, although I know they are running the creek bottoms. A few years ago I saw the biggest wild hog I’ve ever seen that was road killed on the interstate. Cook ’em right and the younger ones are some fine eating. Makes me kinda of wish I had some around here. On second thought, maybe not. I did like to hunt them when I was younger. Regards

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      The fact that all the sows and even young boars are delicious hasn’t been worth the damage they’ve done here, but at least there’s something beneficial to come from them. ~TMH~

      Reply
  5. Ann

    I feel your pain. We live 30 miles north of Tyler and the hogs come through all the time and tear everything up.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      …and they do it quickly, huh Ann. Like overnight kinda quickly. They can damage an entire pasture in the blink of an eye. ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. Cecilia

    They are smart! We battle them on our property too. Like you said, they’re destructive. I especially hate it when they hit our front yard. We managed to get a couple of very large boars last year but the critter cam picked up a large group of them going by not too long ago. We just keep trying to trap or shoot them.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Us too Cecilia, that’s all we can do. We eliminate them when we can but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Usually when summer hits they retreat to the creeks where it’s cooler and wetter but during the springtime they can sure decimate a pasture overnight! ~TMH~

      Reply

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