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Whats your take on the high wild pig population?

Not sure if anyone has any stories to share on the subject, but down south the things are getting pretty out of hand. My buddy's and I hiked this weekend and came across tons of pig trails and wallows. We tracked one group for about 4 hrs, and only got close enough to hear them. Didn't seem like there were any monsters out there, maybe some 100lbs to 159lbs guys. I seen plenty while out n' about... but this was the first time I tracked em. Down here there is no season on them, mainly due to the population and damage they are doing to farmland. Only law is 30 min before sun up, and 30 before sun down.

Anyway, just wondering everyone elses take on the subject.

Dinner. That's my take. They are some good eats. I miss living in MS for the open boar season.

You better have your .40 ready if your trackin wild hogs. I agree about how delicious they are, my brother in law lives in sc and he kills a bunch of them every year. Mostly in his back yard or garden, they are entirely out of control.

Too many yummy animals in the woods? Sounds like a dream come true. Then again in the northwest I don't see the problem firsthand.

One word... BACON.

Or on the West coast... Carnitas

Im from nc, so I guess I gotta say bar-b-q, or for the rest of the country, pulled pork.

Pig roast.

Thats how you make barbq, if your from nc. Split him down the middle, cook him slow skin side down and let everyone pick their own cuts. Thats a southern style pig pickin, after everybody eats, people wander by and grab little bits of meat, hence the name pig pickin. One if the things I really miss about nc is the food, much better than nh.

Introduced exotic animals breeding with escaped domesticated ones.  They are a threat to humans.  They can become carnivorous and kill newborn calves, lambs and kid goats.  They taste good.  The solution is obvious.

People need to be encouraged to hunt them.  Maybe a small bounty like a dollar would be helpful.  Publish some recipe books for wild pig.  Start pig hunting clubs.

This an example of an ecological disaster taking place right under our noses.  State fish and game agencies need to get with the program.

I would not want to live in a place with wild pigs running around.  Kids are not safe.  Pets are not safe, and often adults are not safe.



The Spaniards introduced the pigs in California when they started settling the area a couple centuries ago. You see them and their "rototilled" earth in many of the state parks here. The boars can get quite large, up to 4 feet at the shoulder. It is common to see a sow and a half dozen piglets in places like Sunol and Henry Coe. They mostly, but not always, stay out of urban areas. I shave seen them bold enough to walk up to a picnic table with people seated at it.

The state has had an active control campaign for several decades, including hunting licenses and traps (large cages with trap doors) which can be seen in many of the back country areas in the coastal hills.

You also find them in other areas settled by the Spanish. But do not confuse them with javelina, which is a native species an not closely related.

all over the place here in Central Florida.

Most of the county prisons trap 'em and feed the inmates.


The Island I camp on in South Georgia closes for camping one week a year and holds hog hunts

not too many piggies here in socal. I'm sure that will change eventually.

BBQ, Sausage, bacon, it all sounds good to me.

Feral or hybrid hogs are a big problem in rural areas & local forests where I live in SC.  Our states Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) has an open season on hogs in order to reduce the population.

They also have a limited hunt on Alligator with participants selected by lottery.

Mike G.

trouthunter said:

....They also have a limited hunt on Alligator with participants selected by lottery.

Mike G.

 So, Mike, does this require you to find the particular 'gator that has the matching number? {;=>D

The BLM in Nevada has been rounding up wild (yea, right!) horses, maybe they can ship some of that Dept. back there.


BBQ, Sausage, bacon, pit roast, chops, etc. It's all good :) 

The wild boar in the Appalachian, Cumberland, and surrounding regions are descendants of European Black Boar that brought over from the Urals over a hundred years ago. They were accidentally introduced, mostly by negligence, by the owners of a hunting club in the Appalachian highlands of Graham Co., North Carolina on the TN/NC border. They imported all kinds exotic animals, including zebra and Giraffe(!!), if I remember correctly.  They thought a six foot tall split rail fence would keep the hogs in, and could not have been more wrong. Once out, they spread and multiplied with impressive speed. Where backcountry and agricultural areas meet they also interbreed with feral domestic hogs. 


We have lots of wild horses in Nevada, far more than any other state.  They are feral livestock but some rarely see people.  They have some things in common with wild pigs, but they are prey animals not predators, and don't reproduce very fast compared to pigs.

They are protected by the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1974. I was camping with herds of wild donkeys 2 weeks ago down near Yuma, AZ.


Here's a link to a story about feral pigs in Oregon.

ppine, I've researched and written about the issue of mustangs and wild burros, particularly in Nevada. While they are technically protected, many of those that are rounded up by the BLM are sold for slaughter to Canadian and Mexican buyers. Horse meat has ended up in burgers recently. In northern Nevada, the issue has been fueled by oil companies who are proposing a large pipeline carrying tar sands oil and coal bed methane gas to San Francisco. Many ranchers have been convinced by the pipe line interests, that mustangs negatively impact their livelihood. It is unfortunate that the BLM, particularly in Nevada, are closely aligned with mining and oil interests and the large corporate ranching interests. Some small ranchers are opposing the round ups, but they remain less powerful than the large corporate ranches. It is a hot debate. Certainly, populations need to be controlled. But there are several key points here. The horses that are rounded up, are put in pens, either in Nevada, or in the east and midwest. The round ups and the pens are an expensive proposition. Horse impact on grazing land is minimal and studies show some beneficial impact. Ranchers have a fear that protection of mustangs impacts their ability to graze cattle on public lands. This is becoming more prominent as land ownership in ranches shrink and subsidized grazing on public lands increases.

Certainly, both feral pigs and feral horses are not native. But the feral pigs are far more destructive, impacting native populations. Here in Washington, we are seeing the return of marten, wolverine, grizzly and wolf. We are also seeing the introduction of invasive species that affect both our land and water based ecosystems. The more we can do to achieve a balance in the ecosystem, the better off we are as a species. I'd say we all need to eat more feral pig.

Gonzan, you are exactly right about the pigs in the southeast. They have become a huge nuisance to agriculture in many southern states. They have taken some steps, like the open season, but they are still multiplying. My brother in law could kill several a day, everyday, if he wished. Ive talked with him repeatedly about the hogs in his area. A couple of my buddies that hunt want to go with my family the next time we go south on vacation. There are wild horses on Shackleford Banks off the coast of nc, I have crossed the island for the great waves, back when I surfed. I have also camped there many times during the winter, because of the horses the biting flies are the worst ive ever seen, yes even worse than maine. But these horses have become used to people, ive even seen them ridden, tho its illegal. Supposedly left there by spanish explorers, many, many years ago.

Indeed guys. Lots of good points. Had my nine on me when we were tracking them. They are way out of hand in MS. The state took them off the game hunting laws and listed them as vermin... so you can hunt them year round now. As long as its daylight. With all the rutting up and tracks we've seen, there is prob a minimum of 10-15 pigs out there. We plan on setting a hunt for this weekend or next. I'd love to get at least one. They say the meat is leaner and much more tasty than domesticated pig. Which sounds good to me.

I have read alot about skinning them. Many of the things I've read talk about taking extra care when doing it because of bacteria in the skin and blood. Anyone know much on this? Thanks for the posts guys.

Alway's wanted to try roast pig? Is there a hunting season on them, being not natural?

Got your smokehouse built, Shenora1116? Homemade bacon and home-smoked ham, well, yum.

Nevertheless, I'm glad we don't have to deal with these creatures here. Dangerous and destructive, bad combination.

Bill S said:

trouthunter said:

....They also have a limited hunt on Alligator with participants selected by lottery.

Mike G.

 So, Mike, does this require you to find the particular 'gator that has the matching number? {;=>D


It might be more interesting if it worked that way.

Gators are a little over rated right now. Don't get me wrong, the meat is great. its like a chicken crawfish combo but greasy. I have a friend with a few tags we are going to fill this spring. It seems that all it takes is some new tv show with a few idiots on it to make something popular. It doesn't take any skill whatsoever to pop a gator in the head with a .22. Now, everyone and thier mother thinks they can go out and do this. We have had a lot of poaching going on down here since a few swamp rednecks got a tv show. Just another piece of damage the boob tube has done to the outdoor community. People don't stop to realize what all goes into this. You can drive down the road at times and see a mutilated gator dumped in the ditch missing its tail. There is way more to it than just pulling the trigger. Same thing as a deer carcass missing only the backstraps. I do hate these people. Along with the guys that sit in a heated deer stand so called "hunting" over a corn dispenser. Thats not hunting, thats ambushing a creature in the middle of dinner. No respect for the life of the animal, and no respect for the outdoor heritage they are slaughtering. 

I will let everyone know how the pig hunt goes. Sorry about the rant above guys. Just one of those things I find disgusting.

you are dead on shenora. Hunting with respect for the life and history of that animal is part of what is missing for most people. Hunting the pigs sounds tasty and effective, but in my opinion only if it's done right.

shenora, if I could, I'd buy the airtime and put you in a PSA. Well said.


I am a retired environmental consultant, studied range management, worked for the BLM out of Spokane and studied wild horses a lot.  The BLM system of adoption requires ownership for one year before title is given.  Fewer horses and burros are sold for slaughter than people believe.  Horses are destructive because they are territorial about water sources, and have upper and lower teeth like sheep.  They graze very close to the ground.  I disagree that the BLM "sides with ranchers" and their are very few "corporate ranches" around here.  There is no money in it.  My Dad had a ranch in Arizona for 30 years.  We were driven out by increases in the elk herds up by Flagstaff.


shenora1116 said:

I will let everyone know how the pig hunt goes. Sorry about the rant above guys. Just one of those things I find disgusting.

 I think it was a positive and constructive rant, as rants go.

I feel the same way, I haven't been hunting in a good while but I have also seen these things.

I once came across a dead deer floating in the lake with it's legs hog tied.

It had been shot and then just tossed in the lake for some reason. I think it is probable this deer was taken illegally and the "hunter" got nervous about being caught. 

Animals are not disposable commodities to be tossed in a lake or ditch with complete disregard to the law, hunting ethics, or just common decency!

Mike G.

ppine, I don't doubt that there are a lot of good responsible people in the BLM. When I worked for KTVN in the early 80's, I had the opportunity to work on several stories regarding the BLM and the wild horse management. One subject was a young, idealistic man, who felt that there was too close a relationship between the ranchers and mining and the BLM. After death threats he resigned and moved away. More recently, since 2009, I have researched and written about some of the issues. Clearly there are horse adopters who shouldn't have horses,(the South Dakota man who let over a hundred starve to death). And the horses need to be controlled. But at the auctions in Fallon, there are kill buyers, and BLM is charged because of the Wild Horse and Burro Act, to not sell horses for slaughter. Here's a link to one story.

As you are down in Minden-Gardnerville(home of a great Basque restaurant) You might know or contact Craig Downer. He's a wildlife biologist and has done much work on the wild horse issue. As well, Gary Weisbart in Elko has done some solid research on alternatives to the BLM long term holding program. He is the manager of the Winecup Gamble Ranch. Some of his research includes work on existing ranges carrying more horses and still allowing cattle to graze.

If you want contact information for either Craig or Gary, feel free to send me an email and I can put you in touch with them.

All, sorry for the horse hijack. Again, feral animals of any sort upset the balance. Thirty years ago, I first read about feral cats in Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. They were responsible for the extinction of several species of native birds, endemic to that particular area. European starlings are certainly with us in NA, all thanks to someone in the 19th century who released some in Central Park.

good rant, shenora!

Thanks for the comments guys. Good to know I'm not alone in this rant.

Hunt them suckers, dress 'em out and EAT 'em.

Like to kill more than you can eat? Give the meat to charitable organizations (after you've made an agreement with them to do so).

They are destroying flora and, indirectly, fauna. "Harvesting" them would be the decision from any good wildlife management agency. Thus the open seasons on them.

Well there is a good reason for a fixed blade knife.

Years ago working for a large ranch in Fla where it was said they had more cattle than Vermont had people, one of the ranch handlers (A Boss man) hunted wild hogs from horse back and would get down with a Bowie to take his hogs....

Not me I am a wicked BIG CHICKEN and I only stayed on my horse.

My horse means the old sway back nag they game no one else could ride. Sum ugly too. I never did know which end of that horse was the head from the tail either.

In Maryland off the At there were a few of the same hogs but smaller, and wild goats, both causing problems.

For too long, the NC Wildlife Commission held off on opening up the rules for harvesting feral swine. During that time, they moved from the mountainous areas to infesting the entire state. Now there is no closed season and no bag limit on feral swine, a marker indicating that the problem is out of hand. Had they moved more quickly 15 years ago to a more liberal harvest, perhaps it would not have gotten to this point. These buggers are tremendously destructive.

Well, everyone has an 007 license in NC when it comes to wild pigs now, so open fire boys!

There are around 4 million wild pigs in the US.  When I was born there were 2 billion people on the planet and now there are over 7 billion.  The US had 150 million people, now there are 312 million.  So, whose numbers are wildly out of control?

Further, do pigs mine coal with mountaintop removal or build highways?  Did they pave the Cades Cove Motor Loop and plan bumper to bumper traffic?  Have the pigs caused the GSMNP to become the most air polluted park in the country?

Of course we humans thinks we're god's gift to the universe and so we harvest and cull the rest of the mammals---finger licking good---but rarely if ever do we try to limit our growth or habitat destruction.  Let's keep up the clearcut sprawl and in the meantime pick on the pigs.

Heck, all the pigs I've seen in the woods have passed me by and left me alone and were just trying to raise their families.

The hogs do massive damage to farms, their impact on agriculture in the southeast is major. They are eating and destroying lots of foid meant for people. Those were some pretty ridiculous statements, should people not have children so that hogs can rule the world. The hogs are a recognized problem, they are not an indigenous species that are out of control. They cause major damage to the enviroment, their rooting around has caused uncontrolled erosion in many areas. Nobody I know wants to kill anything they dont eat, but lets be reasonable. Without a food chain we would all be dead, watcg the lion king, its a circle of life, not death. Sorry if I offend anyone, but I couldnt help myself. I eat meat, everyday, always have always will !!!

I am always happy to hear what Walter has to say.

Walter was not saying that other people were having too many children. It was only after he was born that the numbers skyrocketed. He is one randy fellow! :)

Control of invasive plants and animals is difficult, expensive, but usually necessary. Ask the Aussies about rabbits, African toads, wild pigs, water buffalo, camels, etc.

Asian carp are destroying the habitat of indigenous fish species in the US; Atlantic salmon are a threat to the spawning of Pacific salmon in Alaska. Whether by land - kudzu, water - nutria, or air - rock doves, we have made a pretty big mess of things by "improving" the environment. At least we can kill some hogs to save our bacon. If we started harvesting wild pigs commercially, we might be able to reduce our dependence on domestic pig production, which is a wasteful means of producing edible protein.

Wader, I agree and the reality is even worse. Nutria are here in Washington now, and farmed salmon is a big and nasty controversy here in the PNW because of the fish farms in BC. One plant species that is proving to be a real problem here, is Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species that was brought in as an ornamental. What many don't realise, is that one non native species can severely impact many native species. Knotweed has displaced native growth along a number of lowland rivers here. Studies show that the lack of nutrients the Knotweed has caused, has impacted salmon in these rivers.

Erich---Under 12 inches tall Knotweed is edible so get to eating, folks!

BTW, how did Knotweed get here?  Did the pigs bring it over from Japan?  For that matter, all our hemlocks are dead here in the Southeast forests---caused by the woolly adelgid---also a transplant from Japan.  Did the pigs also bring the adelgid?  So, maybe humans should use some WISDOM and get their act together.  Or thru ignorance pay the price. 

I can't camp in areas where feral swine are hunted.  I keep getting shot at by folks mistaking my snoring for rooting hogs.


Snoring, you don't know snoring! I receive daily emails from the US Geologic Survey with complaints of seismic events. I still haven't convinced them that the San Andreas is no fault of mine.

Here's an article on Knotweed. I didn't know it was edible.

Beavers were imported into Patagonia as a commercial enterprise which failed. SInce their introduction a little more than half a century ago, they are responsible for widespread destruction of the area they inhabit. With no natural predators, they are expanding their range.

Japanese Knotweed is actually quite tasty. Tipi is right, under 12", so it's a spring nibble. For the most part, treat it like asparagus. Bend it til it snaps naturally to get the tender part. You can cook it like asparagus, too, but the littler shoots are nice raw, when they're kind of like a very mild rhubarb. Refreshing.

I don't think we have it in Newfoundland, but Nova Scotia sure does. Lots of invasive species come through the container port in Halifax.

I've also been told, by people who would probably know, that it's one of the best plants for soil remediation, and in fact likes to grow in soil that's too contaminated for most plants to survive. So mind where you pick it from!

Islandess, I don't doubt that it grows in contaminated soil well. The problem is that it will not allow other plants to take hold. It is very thirsty, and I have seen it kill Western Red Cedar by taking all the water. As well, it is not a good plant as far as nitrogen fixing, like Red Alder and the like. Scotch Broom is also a plant that does well in disturbed soil. It's problem, like many other invasives, is that it actually changes the soil chemistry to favor itself, over other native plants we have in the NW. Remediation of sites here in the NW that have had Scotch Broom growing, are difficult as very few natives will grow in the changed soil.

I'll have to try eating KnotWeed., it is just starting to come up now.

Aha. Thank you for the info, Erich. I didn't know that it would actually change the soil. I knew it was a crowder-outer. The places I have seen it growing were previously disturbed areas, where it took over completely, not so much as a dandelion among it. But it didn't seem to spread outside those areas into established bush. Might be a function of our northern climate, though.

I've also been told (by the same Dept of Environment worker) that if you're trying to get rid of it, early spring is the only chance you have. Let it come out of dormancy and grow sprouts to six inches or less, then mow it down and till the roots. But I don't know how true that is, either.

In the meantime: steamed, with butter!

I know that invasive plant as oolong and it sure does grow along railroad beds and other places in N H too. I had no idea we could eat it at under 12 inches tall. I am going to have to note where that grown now.

Tipi Walter said:

 LOL and here i am thinking what ever this is,  will be good for getting rid of Japanese Beetles . I going to have to keep an eye on you in the future ;-)

Did some research on the knotweed, because the combination of 'edible' and 'remedial' worried me somewhat.

Turns out that it is not a good remedial plant for anything except soil erosion. It does grow in heavily contaminated soil, where little else survives, but doesn't really absorb much from it. What it does take up stays in the roots. Only extra zinc seems to make it into the shoots.

So that's all right then.

Islandess, if the knotweed is growing in soil that is easy to till, that might work. However, in the PNW, it grows on river banks frequently, in places where rip rap has been used for erosion purposes. I had some in a stream running through my yard. My technique to eradicate was to cut the stems just below a knuckle, and then fill the cavity with a herbicide that neutralizes once it hits soil. There are issues with using herbicide near a stream, but knotweed, left to grow, will destroy all the native riparian plants.

Soil remediation is a complex issue that has only been addressed effectively quite recently. In the past, plants such as Scotch Broom, and other fast growing, hardy plants, were used here in the PNW at construction sites and in freeway planting strips. While these efforts were mainly directed at stabilizing the soil quickly, little was done to assess the potential issues of changing soil chemistry.

As a Native Plant Steward here in Seattle, I was concerned with the plants used in a storm water retention pond near my home. After noticing that California Poppies were part of the seed mix, I called the project manager stating that the poppies are not native north of the Columbia River. He stated, "All plants are native to somewhere." His point was they had used a native seed mix from Portland and it was native as far as he was concerned and was required in the plan. I think he got my point when the City required him to take out all his seed mix and used one that was native to that particular area.

Erich, Guys that talk that way just set me off.

Lodgepole, that same project required a tunneling machine and the construction company had an arborist who said that a stand of five 60-75 foot Doug Firs on my property were sick and would need to be removed to get the machine in the hole. My arborist said they were healthy and I had to hire a third arborist who confirmed that they were healthy. I made sure that when the hole was dug, any roots that needed to be cut, were cut by a certified arborist, and not by an excavator. Ten years on, the trees are still growing well.

man is great at justification for the fast buck eh?

A few years ago, Catalina Island had a cull on the invasive boars on the island. Solving the invasive problem is easy, with the amount of firearms in this country, placing a small cash reward for every boar snout sent into the local wildlife office will go a long way. Americans nearly drove the American Bison to extinction that way, why no use it on invasive species. Though in keeping with not letting things go to waste, the majority of the cull should go to charitable organizations, or as mentioned a ways above, to prisons, etc.

Found this short but interesting artical.


"U.S. Feral Pig Problem Increasing, Texas Hog Population to Triple in Five Years"

New York allows hunting for feral pigs 365/24/7 including use of lights.

nogods said:

New York allows hunting for feral pigs 365/24/7 including use of lights.

 Same for the state of SC, IIRC. We have farmers being hurt by the high pig population.

Mike G.

November 30, 2020
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