Rod Pinkston’s military career taught him to thoroughly observe and study an enemy before attacking.
“You start by collecting intel,” the retired Army sharpshooter said. “You identify the size of the group, and you pattern them.”
“Remember that this is not a game animal,” said Pinkston, the founder of Columbus, Ga.-based Jager Pro Hog Control Systems, which uses military technology – and its own behavioral research – to kill about 1,500 hogs each year.
Feral hogs have been in the U.S. since settlers released them in the 1500s. During the past 25 years, their spread has been illegally accelerated by man, mainly because of their appeal as “big game” animals that can be relocated for pursuit by hunters.
Today, the crop-crushing, wetlands-wallowing, tree-girdling creatures cause about $1.5 billion in damage each year, with invasive populations reported in 47 states. One of the their most noted deeds was the destruction of a $30 million F-16 fighter jet that hit hogs on the runway at Florida’s Jacksonville International Airport.