Hog Crazy

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In keeping with the spirit of the recent hoorah over the major debate on Feral Hogs I thought I would throw out some interesting tidbits of information  that some folks just may not know.

In the past 25 or so years of hunting and trapping Feral Hogs I have seen some things which might or might not surprise you.  I have had trail cam photos of big boars and even complete sounders on one camera then had those exact same pigs show up as many as 5 miles away on another camera only 2 days apart. I have gotten photos of hogs eating at a feeder who never came back to that feeder again.  What this indicates is that the idea that a pig or group of pigs will always return to keep eating at a bait station is false.  While a large portion will return regularly not all will do so.  I have a big boar hog I get on camera about once every 6 weeks and its seldom the same camera twice.  Realize that I have over 12 cameras at any given time stretched over a few thousand acres in Shelby and Panola counties.

A feral hogs nose is more keen than the most prolific Blood Hound there is. The misconception is that Feral Hogs have bad eyesight.  While the eyesight of Feral Hogs is not like that of Whitetails or Turkeys it is however a formidable tool in the hogs arsenal.  I have been busted sitting in ground blinds in total concealment.  The vision of a hog is more limited by its inability to swivel its neck and its stiff spinal column than by its lack of visual acuity.  Hogs are not as blind as the old timers would have us think.

Feral Hogs swim very well and have no aversion to deep water.  I have seen Feral Hogs swimming across Toledo Bend Reservoir miles from shore. Many a knight I have been out bowfishing and come across a group of pigs dog paddling or should I say “hog” paddling across the particular cove I was shooting in.  Needless to say you find out quick that a bowfishing rig can reel in a 60lb shoat real well. 

Feral Hogs are pretty good at marathon running.  I have ran a hog with dogs clean across 1200 acres and the 300 beside me and finally caught my dogs and the pig a mile farther down the road.  Luckily I had authorization on all the nearby properties to catch hogs.  I have tracked dogs who had been chasing hogs from Panola county all the way to Cado Parish in Louisiana.  As the crow flies it was about 5 miles or more.  Most of your big hogs will get tired and back into a creek bank or a brush pile to turn and fight.  But sometimes you get that hog who thinks he is from Ethiopia and looking for that Olympic spot on the track team.

Hogs are smart.  Your average hog is actually a wee bit smarter than your average dog.  Couple that with the feral instincts gained from living in a world where everything wants to eat you and you get a pretty tough prey animal.  Not that the hogs greedy gut and overwhelming urge to breed won’t get him a one way ticket to the BBQ pit.  It is just a fun fact that they are not as stupid as most would believe.

I wrote this as just a fun little read about pigs. I know I have been beating the hog poison issue up a bit and decided it was time to just calm it down a notch.  That being said, don’t think I’m not going to hit it the issue hard and heavy again as soon as possible. Just figured y’all  deserved a break.

Story by Jeff Stewart

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