Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Feral Hogs

The first weekend in after the turning of the new year, we all went down to my Aunt and Uncle's place to celebrate the belated holiday. During conversation, my Uncle asked me if we had noticed any signs or had any trouble with feral hogs. Oh noooooooooo, I said, not a one! Not a hint!

The. Next. Night. The very next night we were visited by a "sounder of swine," as I've learned you call them (or team, or passel), and regularly ever since we've started noticing their destruction. The morning after each visit, more and more land is torn up like a rototiller went through it, there's scat and cloven prints everywhere, and they've even broken through a fence and moved the chicken tractor!

Then, one night (really, it was the wee hours of the morning), as I was laying in bed half-awake, I heard a growling-screaming sound outside our bedroom window. I crept to the window and peeked out, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? At least twenty feral hogs of various sizes- and some were huge- running all over the backyard. Dark ones, light ones, spotted ones... I tried to get a picture but even with my special low-light camera lens I couldn't find anything to focus on...

...though you can tell by the big, light blob that some of these hogs are giants! We knew we had to do something (I started worrying that they'd make it down near my bees and either accidentally or intentionally knock the hives over...).

To make a long story short, after a morning of phone calls, I found a guy who was willing to come out and set a no-kill 'corral' trap that can trap 20-25 hogs... for free! His fee will be any hogs he catches (though I think I've convinced him to leave us a small one if possible, yay!).

Yesterday, he came out and set up the trap.

 At the same time as he was building this trap, UPS pulled up and delivered a box from my Uncle containing two trail cams... such perfect timing! So now we have a plan, a trap, and a way to monitor these pests. I've actually found myself wishing they'd come back now!

I can't wait to lay eyes on these things, though we've been told to be patient, as pigs are very intelligent and will shy away from new things in their environment until they get used to them and grow bold. It could be a while.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere piggy piggy piggy!

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