By the middle of the 20th century, feral hogs, which had multiplied several million livestock, caused enormous losses for farms. They raided fields of corn, beans, peanuts, potatoes and often destroyed crops entirely.
If it were not for year-round hunting, then due to the almost 100% natural survival rate, the number of feral hogs in the United States alone would increase exponentially every year. The government estimates that there are over 4 million wild hogs in the USA now. Most (over 2 million) of these animals are in Texas, followed by California, Florida, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Signs that can help identify feral hogs
Feral hogs are relatively large animals, distinguished by intelligence and caution. The weight of an average adult male is within the range of 90 – 150 kilograms, and that of a female is 80 – 130 kilograms. However, at present, there are also quite rare specimens of feral hogs weighing more than 300 kilograms and up to 1 meter high at the withers. These old hogs are distinguished by their caution and strength. They have very thick skin and a strong skull, and if the hunter does not have a lethal rifle with him, it is better not to mess with such feral hogs. The hog is a herd animal with a strict hierarchy within the family. Adult males can associate and act together to protect females and offspring. Even a bear is not opposed to such a team.
Feral hogs are omnivorous. The central part of the diet is plant foods. If unlucky animals or carrion come across on the way of the hog, he will not deny himself the pleasure of eating animal protein. The feral hog has a particular weakness for fish. Wild hogs live in forests, hiding in impassable thickets. They are predominantly nocturnal, in the dark, and feed. During the day, the whole herd-like to lies down in lowlands and ravines. In case of a decrease in food, herds migrate to other areas of the forest.
How to understand that a hog is near?
In a forest where a feral hog can dwell, it is generally worth being careful. Traces of its presence can be seen near the habitat of this animal. Therefore, the signs by which you can find out that the feral hog is nearby: the presence of clumps of wool on bushes and grass, hoof prints on the ground, noise (possibly grunting or squealing). The hog does not always leave behind such signs; however, one should be careful: listen and look closely at the environment. This will keep you safe and may even save your life.
Only one way will help at a close meeting: you need to find the nearest tree and climb it as high as possible. Hogs do not climb trees so that you will be safe in the tree. While on a tree, do not rush at the animal with sticks or cones. There will be no effect. You need to wait until the animal loses interest in you and gets off the tree. However, remember that hogs are brilliant animals. Therefore, after the animal leaves, you need to wait some more time, and only then get off tree A from the place where you met the hog; you need to leave as quickly as possible.