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Discussion in 'Feral Pig Control and Hunting' started by eyecatcher1, Apr 1, 2016.
Whatever they want?
Just about anything / everything. I believe they are omnivores. Noses like (better than?) a blood hound; known for tearing up the land, with their hoofs and tusks.
Pigs are omnivores - they will eat anything that does not eat them first, including rattlesnakes, fawns and humans!
Is the claim in the linked article true when it claims that 75% of the pig herd needs to be killed just to keep numbers from growing?
I think achieving that would be nearly impossible.
I've been to some spots in Texas with large hog populations where you can't even walk through the fields without risking a broken ankle or leg from all the holes they dig when rooting around. The land owners always warn you to not venture too far away from a climbable tree. If you've been to Texas, you know there aint too many of those around.
I knew a girl when I was growing up that had no hands. She was eating cookies next to the hog pen and an old sow came up and ate the cookies and her hands off to her wrists. They will eat anything.
True, pigs are omnivores and they will eat almost anything. But as many animals they SELECT what they eat based on two criteria:
2) "Palatability" (how tasty it is)
Readily available food that is/smells palatable to them will be eaten first.
Of course pigs can eat a fawn and you will find many pictures of that.
Also, those who have raised pigs know that some times (some pigs) will savage their own offspring/littermates. Especially if a young one dies under the weight of the sow...
But more often than that, pigs will eat a carcass of a dead animal, where no chasing is needed... and if they have access to corn or certain roots that they really like, they will go for that first.
Now if the question is "what will they eat" on occasion, I would say, just like humans: almost anything.
When My buddies and I hunted them in Texas, if you downed one, all the other hogs nearby could smell the blood I think, and came running in like it was the dinner bell. While hunting from one of the only blinds they had, I saw hogs attacking and running off with young pigs in their mouths squealing. The others would be chasing him and his "prize" to get their share. Or maybe it was the females trying to protect the little ones. Not sure, but it didn't matter because when he stopped to eat it, they all pounced on it like they were starving.
Walking through the pastures was pretty hazardous too because of all the rooting they do. If you weren't watching where you were placing your boots on every step you could easily break a leg or ankle in one of the holes. The holes in the fields reminded me of the Ho Chi Minh Trail after the B-52's came through on a carpet bombing mission.
Three of us were hunting together and we all took one that day. Two out of the three times we shot one, one or two of the several herds of pigs came running in to feast on the pig that was shot. We had to climb up on dead falls or blown down trees to defend our kill (and ourselves). One of the bigger boars was coming towards us (we weren't that high up on a dead fall, maybe four and a half to five feet). I put one right between his front legs with my 30-06 kicking up dirt in his face, and it didn't even faze him one bit, he just kept coming for us. It was only when it dawned on him that he couldn't reach us, that he gave up on trying to attack us and went to start gnawing and ripping on my buddy's kill. It took several shots from my '06 and my buddy's Win. Mag to keep him away from it (but not far).
If we hadn't quickly called the guide in by cell phone, that herd of hogs would have most definitely took our kills and devoured them in no time. Gun shots didn't seem to bother them, but the sound of the guide's Gator UTV motor sent them scrambling away for some reason. But they didn't stray far, they stayed within 30 to 40 feet of us while the guide field dressed them because they knew they'd get the innards after we left.
It's definitely a different type of hunting when the "hunter" might also become the "prey". Fred Bear knew what he was talking about when he said "It'll put the fear of God in you", even though he was referring to a different animal species.
With environmental city folk pushing to reintroduce and protect the wolves, cougars, coyotes and bears, hunting or even camping in Michigan might get to be pretty exciting, not to mention a little dangerous. Of course the people pushing for it won't have to deal with it within the city limits of Novi, Farmington, Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak, Ferndale or Detroit...........Or will they?
Whatever is in front of their snout, like a wolf.
You use the term "exciting" like it's a bad thing. Backpacking/camping out west, and even up north, is far more exciting if there is wildlife around. My family considers that a good thing. I am not against hunting at all. But I like to think the natural world isn't always paved over... We've had coyotes in our backyard in Bloomfield Township. More than once. Perhaps they are attracted to the koi pond, like the herons. I know "one on one" they'd lose to our dog...
I used the term exciting to mean that the "hunter" could possibly become the "hunted". Bad? Not if you have situational awareness at all times, and carry enough ammo I suppose. Any foreign war veteran can tell you that it's not ALWAYS fun putting yourself in harm's way.
As far as your dog winning a one-on-one battle, yes I believe it. The problem is, coyotes rarely attack when they're in a one-on-one situation unless it's a rodent or similar smaller prey animal. Coyotes are normally pack animals when hunting larger prey.
I don't think you'd enjoy seeing a 200-250 pound cougar resting on a tree branch, or a herd of pigs rooting in your yard as much as you seem to enjoy seeing a lone coyote occasionally.................
I'm just anticipating a few problems when what you term the "natural world" clashes with the "paved over" one. I could be wrong, but history proves that our ancestor's didn't want to live around any animals that would consider people as "prey". That's the reason many animals almost became extinct, it wasn't due to environmental practices, as much as they want you to believe.
"Is the claim in the linked article true when it claims that 75% of the pig herd needs to be killed just to keep numbers from growing?"
Pretty much so. Most "experts" here put the figure at 70 percent.
Example: Last fall we had a bumper crop of acorns and pecans: In the past 45 days i've killed about 40 small pigs on our deer lease: There are still scores of them running around there.
"I think achieving that would be nearly impossible."
It is. It can be done by shooting hogs from helicopters on a regular basis.
Okie it sounds like you guys need to get together and do some drives over huge swaths of land.
I Don;t know if that figure is accurate. But I've heard that hunting juveniles and adults is usually NOT an effective way to diminish/control pig poplation growth. Of course, it will depend on population size.
This paper http://www.rnr.lsu.edu/bret/BretWebSiteDocs/Mellishetal2014.pdf
Used a simulation to study feral pig population growth. Of course, simulations can be criticized. But everything in science is subject to criticism given appropriate evidence.
Anyways, they claim precely what you say: the numbers of pigs that need to be killed to keep a population in check is usually to large to pose a practical objective.
On the other side, they suggest that if someone could come up with a "treatment" to diminish fertility, that could be an effective control.
The practical problem would be how to administer such treatment...
So... I guess that past a certain population size, there is very little to do in terms of "eradication".
" Don't know if that figure is accurate. But I've heard that hunting juveniles and adults is usually NOT an effective way to diminish/control pig poplation growth. Of course, it will depend on population size."
Small pigs and juveniles are very easy to kill, especially those that are orphaned. With no adult sow present pigs and juveniles are pretty much helpless. i simply sit overlooking a feeder and pop them with a Ruger 10/.22 loaded with subsonic ammo.
Since last October we have trapped numerous pregnant sows, The four sows that we caught one night were were pregnant with 23 pigs. Another huge sow was nursing six pigs, probably not hers. She was also pregnant with nine pigs. Since last October i have killed about 15 boars over 200 pounds.
The good news is that we Okies may soon be allowed to hunt wild hogs at night.