Dallas Wildlife and Animal Removal

How to Kill Feral Hogs

Feral Dallas hogs have become a serious problem, extending their range and their ecological/social impact as their populations continue to expand.They are the most prolific large mammal on Earth,bearing litters of five or six piglets as often as 1.5 times per year. Litters can actually exceed a dozen in number.

Rapid proliferators, Hernando de Soto’s initial Florida herd of 13 in 1539 had grown to more than 700 by the time he entered Texas three years later. A recent estimate from the Texas Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Services placed the number of pigs in the wild at between four- and eight million. Moreover, these voracious feeders can grow big, with males averaging around 200 pounds and reaching 400 pounds or more. Females average about 175. The only solution seems just to kill them off.That’s not necessarily easy because the animals are intelligent, evasive and often hard to locate due to their ability to hide out in scrub, Dallas forested areas and the borders of lakes and streamsThe hogs can run up to 30 miles per hour, can jump fences up to three feet high and have actually climbed five- and six foot pig trap walls. So hunters have to be creative.

Various extermination techniques are being employed. The hogs tend to be evening/night feeders, so marksmen with thermal-sighted, sometimes silenced rifles can ambush the animals one-by-oneat feeding sites. They can be killed in clusters by planting explosivein feeding areas, baiting the area with food and detonating the explosive remotely when the hogs assemble to feed. Another often effective method is the air attack, with a marksmanattacking sounders and picking off the members of the groupindividually. This aerial gunnery is productive as long as the Texas hogs are out in the open, but it loses its effectiveness when the animals duck into the brush or woodlands.

And recently, a couple of innovative Texans have come up with a video camera-equipped, drone-based solution that they call a Dehogaflier. It involves a two-person team: one to operate the drone, the other, a rifle or shotgun. The drone cruises above a property where hog population is suspected. If a hog is spotted on the live video feed, the marksmanexecutes the kill. Poisons are always being considered but are usually rejected because of the risk of collateral damage.

Meanwhile Dallas hog populations continue to maintain their presence even as extermination techniques continue to evolve. The best hope for now, it seems is to contain their growth until population limiting measures are developed and put in place.

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