LAST MONTH’S DEATH of Christine Rollins, 59, of Anahuac, was officially been ruled to have been caused by feral hogs.
This, according to a statement released by the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office and published at KFDM.com, is conclusive.
“The Medical Examiner determined her death was not due to a medical condition or canine related.”
Rollins was killed outside of a home on Highway 61 near Anahuac where she was a caretaker for an elderly couple.
The most important thing here is that someone lost their life. Family and friends will grieve the unthinkable loss of their loved one to something so horrible few could imagine.
As feral hog populations soar in Texas and spread into new territory all around the nation, more attacks will happen.
In 2017, I wrote an article called “Do Feral Hogs Attack? These Do”…
That article sites troubling statistics.
Of the 21 states reporting hog attacks, Texas led the pack with 24 percent with Florida at 12 percent and South Carolina at 10. Interestingly, when examining worldwide shark fatalities, hogs actually beat them out in deaths some years—including as recently as 2013.
In this particular case, Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne said there is “no doubt in my mind or that of my criminal investigation captain John Miller that multiple animals were responsible for the attack.”
The typical cause of fatal hogs attacks is a single lone and large boar, according to a study by Dr. Jack Mayer we have quoted on several occasions.
It is time as hunters that we take the hog threat more seriously. We need to not be so lax with behavior in hog country and be far more alert than we have been. It’s easy to say you have a very small chance of being attacked by hogs but this woman was and others have been as well.
There is also some basic safety information we need to pass on to our families and the community at large. This is especially true since we have been documenting the rise in feral hog numbers in urban and suburban areas. Many people have no idea the real threat of these animals.
Here are= basic tenets I believe everyone needs to know.
*Hogs are dangerous. They can attack and kill. Never approach them.
*Never approach even cute piglets. Baby feral hogs are adorable but their mothers (sows) will go to any length to protect them. The sow may be out of the line of sight if you see tiny pigs but she is nearby and will respond.
*Do not feed hogs. Unless hogs are being baited in a wild location in preparation of hunting them, do not feed them. Never feed around houses or in parks. In areas like urban centers where hogs are never hunted, they can seem tame. Do not make them accustomed to seeing people as a food source. Additionally, do not throw scraps outside. That can also attract hogs.
*Be especially mindful of large, solitary boars. If you see such an animal on a hiking trail for example give it wide berth and report to officials. That animal certainly needs to be targeted for removal and elimination.
From a hunting standpoint there are some things we can do to at least help stop the overall growth of hog numbers in the areas we hunt and manage.
*Shoot big boars. Many hunters don’t like killing big boars due to smell and taste of meat but statistics show most fatal attacks (nearly 90 percent) are large, lone boars. Kill these hogs with no hesitation.
*Shoot sows first. If you have a group of hogs coming in with the typical size structure of hogs 150 pounds and below, shoot sows, then boars. The more sows we take out the less hogs areas will produce.
*Trap. Trap. Trap. If you have a deer lease, pool resources with other lease members and get hog traps going. Mature hogs will become trap shy but you will catch younger hogs along with others. Keep the pressure on year-round. No mercy.
*Turn in hog traffickers. If you know of people releasing feral hogs into open range for hunting purposes turn them in. It’s illegal. Very few people do this any more but this is the key reason hog numbers have spread so far. A handful of hunters have released them into different areas.
If you have ever been attacked by a hog please email [email protected] We would like to share these stories with others to let them know this is a real situation.
Hogs are great sport animals but the fact is we need to be killing as many as we can. I’m not saying this will reduce attacks but it will put more pressure on hogs and just might take out that one hog that is likely to attack if the opportunity presents itself.
Email Chester Moore at [email protected]