I got an interesting email this week from a friend about the Feral Hog problem in Alabama and it underscores the trouble with the “pesky porkers” in our state. The problem is growing at an alarming rate with feral pigs, hogs being sighted from Mobile to Muscle Shoals and all points in between. I have been searching for a new hunting lease over the last two months, looking at leases and hunting club and visited a number of properties around central Alabama from the west in Sumter County and East over to Russell County . The one thing I noticed is that dad-gum hogs are everywhere! I see hog tracks, hog wallows, devastated green fields and clover patches, soybeans and corn mowed down, streams with erosion from all the rooting around by hogs, and of course the perpetrators themselves! Hogs, in droves!
I rode down to the Alabama River last month and was shocked to see some of the land damaged by hogs and even a bit more shocked by the lease holder’s apathy toward them. He told me “they have always been here and we just try to plant enough for them and the deer”. I didn’t bother to comment just decided to keep looking. As hunters and conservationists, ignoring the problem, or trying to co-exists with the hogs, is a plan for disaster. I had a lease in Sumter county a number of years ago and it was my first round of dealing with a hog problem. The hogs would run the deer out of the green fields just about the time of day when you were looking for a buck to come by. They dug up our green fields, were all over our trail camera shots, especially when some food was left out to get some pre-season deer scouting done and they were good at making some of the mud holes in our roads deep enough to get water up in the floor boards of my four wheel drive truck! I shot several, as did other club members who hunted with me and a large adjoining club. A few times, they invited some “hoggers” in to run dogs and catch hogs but, we never made a dent in the population.
I have several friends that have invested money in hog traps and have been pretty successful at controlling hogs on some properties, but it is never easy. The traps can cost over a couple hundred dollars to build and if the trap uses a commercially made trap door, the price can be over $200. for the door assembly alone. Brandon Parker and his brother Brent, who resides in Elmore county, have taken on the challenge of Feral hog eradication around our area and Brandon said this year they have taken 221 hogs by trapping. The farmers they have been providing this service for have seen significant reductions in crop and field damages so the success is good to see. However, with the prolific breeding habits of feral swine, they will have to continue to wage “war” from now on to keep the hogs “knocked back”. A tall order indeed. !
If you have a hog invasion going on at your property, there are some good on line resources to train you how to deal with them in the most effective manner which at this time, appears to be the trapping method. Check out this link from the state conservation department for more information. http://www.outdooralabama.com/outdoor-alabama/Control-Hogs.pdf And if you want a good man to provide some experienced advice, Brandon Parker says give him a call and he will be glad to discuss the subject with you! His contact numbers are : Home 334-283-5061, Cell 334-451-0563
Bow season is just a few daysaway and I am already getting some photos from a friend or two up north where the season has arrived. Hope you are practicing your shot placement and are ready to make that shot on opening morning! Tomorrow, I am off to Greene County to plant food plots and
Sunday after church scouting some new property in Dallas County. A busy weekend indeed!
Until Next Week, good Bow hunting, shoot some pigs and check your stands for SAFETY!
Another great option is to take a kid for a hunting adventure chasing some squirrels around in the hardwood bottoms, heck even paper company land has those!