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 Post subject: Local feral pig survey
PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:15 am 
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Story in the Columbus, MS Dispatch today that MSU is going to do a survey to try to get a handle on the pig problem in 3 local counties. I hope they include my county in this (Monroe), but right now it's only the 3 mentioned in the article. There are some near me, but nobody has a clue how many or where they are expanding to.

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Local researchers don't know the population of feral pigs in the Golden Triangle Area. What they do know is that the population is growing, and quickly.

An estimate of damage they've done around the area to crops and habitat is also not yet known, but the Mississippi State University Extension Service is conducting a survey to get an idea, Wildlife Ecology and Management Associate Extension Professor Bronson Strickland said.

Although more prevalent in southeast Mississippi, feral pigs have been sighted more and more in the last 20 years over much of the state, Strickland said. A "crude" estimated wild pig population nationwide is about 5.5 million.
"Over the last 20 years, the primary reason we have seen a huge increase is people moving them around for the purpose of hunting, which is highly, highly illegal," Strickland said.

The first documentation of feral pig sightings comes from Spanish explorers, he added.
A recent study done in an agricultural region of Georgia that comprises about 25 percent of that state found that about $50 million a year in damage to agriculture and another $30 million to forests, roads and equipment could be contributed to the wild pigs, Strickland added.

Lowndes County MSU Extension Agent Reid Nevins said close to home, the majority of sightings reported has been in western Clay County, but there have also been some in Oktibbeha County. Lowndes County has not yet yielded reports of the nuisance animals, but Nevins said at the rate they reproduce -- a litter typically produces four to six pigs and females can breed by the time they're six months old -- he would not be surprised if that changed.

"I went down in a field (in Clay County) that looked like somebody went through there with a breaking plow and busted it all up," Nevins said. "Right now, I don't ever hear of any problems in Lowndes. They might be here and I don't know it, but I don't hear anybody complaining about them. I'm sure eventually the way they move they'll probably end up here."

The most common way to stop them is to trap them, Nevins added, and because the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has deemed them nuisance animals, it's legal to shoot a feral pig all year.
Read more: http://www.cdispatch.com/news/article.a ... z3EcBe8qkE

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:22 pm 
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Wow ....

Sounds like a good opportunity to put bacon on the table? Christmas ham, anyone??

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:55 pm 
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DennisS wrote:
Wow ....

Sounds like a good opportunity to put bacon on the table? Christmas ham, anyone??


I might have to do that before long, although I really don't want to see them on my property or anywhere near me. They can be very dangerous, and I don't want to have to strap on a gun to mow the lawn. A few folks around here do hunt them, but I'm gettin' too old for that kind of thing.

If they do show up, I'll have to build a trap to kill 'em in.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:33 pm 
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I bet they're pretty smart..............trap shy?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:13 am 
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reelinron wrote:
I bet they're pretty smart..............trap shy?


They can be. Trapping is more effective than hunting, but still not keeping up. Here's some info about 'em. Types of traps, etc. http://wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/index.html

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Trap-Shyness

Usually, 1 to 2 weeks of prebaiting is necessary before the entire sounder will enter the trap. However, 2 weeks may pass and some pigs still may not have entered the trap.

Some pigs in a sounder initially do not feel comfortable entering a trap and will stay outside while others readily enter and feed on the bait. This trap-shyness is especially true for older pigs and pigs that have been previously trapped and released into the wild.

It is important to be patient and allow all of the pigs to become conditioned to safely entering and leaving the trap before it is set. Pigs are intelligent animals, and if the trap is set too soon, members of the sounder that you do not catch will have become educated and can be more difficult, if not impossible, to capture later.


If you set up a game camera to monitor the trap it's easier to tell when to set it to capture the entire sounder.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:24 pm 
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I wonder about the wisdom of relocating and releasing the trapped ones back into the wild. It may sound foolish coming from a Northerner but couldn't they be hunted then donate the carcasses to a local food bank provided one could find a butcher willing to donate a little time or do the butchering at a reduced cost? Then there's the issue of storing and preserving the product. Maybe wouldn't work??

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:55 pm 
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DennisS wrote:
I wonder about the wisdom of relocating and releasing the trapped ones back into the wild. It may sound foolish coming from a Northerner but couldn't they be hunted then donate the carcasses to a local food bank provided one could find a butcher willing to donate a little time or do the butchering at a reduced cost? Then there's the issue of storing and preserving the product. Maybe wouldn't work??


Releasing trapped live pigs is extremely illegal in MS and most other states with large numbers of them. There's also a legal and liability issue of commercial sale of very possibly diseased meat. These pigs don't ever see a vet or a FDA inspector. Food banks won't touch it.

Once you trap them you're required to kill them. So you have a couple options, cut it up yourself for your own larder or bbq (which is the most common thing), donate it to a needy individual if they'll take it, or haul the carcasses off to a land fill or someplace where other critters will eat it.

Most people don't have a problem with that, but there are some who relocate the pigs to other areas for guided hunts on private property. Still illegal usually, but there's pretty good money it. Trouble is the pigs don't stay put very long. This latter is a big part of the problem. Like the man in the movie said, you get caught hauling live wild pigs across State lines and: "You're in a heap o' trouble, boy."

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:33 pm 
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Hey Guys,
Keeping pigs, feral or otherwise, in one place is extremely difficult. They are strong, persistent and resourceful.
So difficult in fact, that in colonial times, when marketing osage orange seeds to farmers for hedge rows, they were claimed to grow a hedge that was,

"Horse high, bull tough, and hog tight" :D

I imagine that was not hype. I wouldn't mess with osage, it is extremely tough and thorny to boot; planted close enough, it would be impenetrable, even by hogs.

Thanks to all those salesmen and farmers though, bowyers today have a lot of mature osage to choose from.

Tom

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:39 pm 
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Hunting pigs is on my bucket list, along with making love to........well I suppose I shouldn't say who, Debbie might read this. We don't have too may pigs up here in the northeast. Wish there were some rootin around in the thousands of acres behind my house because I would be out there testing various loads from various rifles and handguns. Besides which I like bacon. It use to be that there were no turkeys up here, now we are literally infested with them, so maybe there is hope for pigs.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:21 am 
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Paul Gauthier wrote:
Hunting pigs is on my bucket list, along with making love to........well I suppose I shouldn't say who, Debbie might read this. We don't have too may pigs up here in the northeast. Wish there were some rootin around in the thousands of acres behind my house because I would be out there testing various loads from various rifles and handguns. Besides which I like bacon. It use to be that there were no turkeys up here, now we are literally infested with them, so maybe there is hope for pigs.


Think I'd be careful what i wished for :D

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