PDA

View Full Version : Wild boars/feral hogs anyone?



TwoRoads
01-17-2018, 11:35
We hear a lot about bears and poisonous snakes as hazards on the trail, but has anyone had any experiences with feral hogs? I've only seen their digging in the ground; have never run into one though.

TNhiker
01-17-2018, 11:39
ive seen a few in the Smokys and some of the surrounding national forests...............mainly at night rooting around......

the ones i saw were more skittish than bears and basically ran away after spotting me.........

ive never really heard of someone getting charged by one.......

TNhiker
01-17-2018, 11:40
here's a video of some i saw during the daylight in the Park...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4uMQQKFYDE

Time Zone
01-17-2018, 11:53
Last week, hiked down Lawson Mtn on the Cumberland Trail and encountered a large group of them - roughly a dozen. Much evidence of their rutting all around, and also in Frozen Head State Park, not that far away to the south. I pointed out to them that their rutting was against LNT principles, and they ran away in shame.

gpburdelljr
01-17-2018, 13:32
Last week, hiked down Lawson Mtn on the Cumberland Trail and encountered a large group of them - roughly a dozen. Much evidence of their rutting all around, and also in Frozen Head State Park, not that far away to the south. I pointed out to them that their rutting was against LNT principles, and they ran away in shame.
I assume you meant rooting, not rutting.

Time Zone
01-17-2018, 13:54
I assume you meant rooting, not rutting.

You got me! I had the Rutles on my mind, indirect/obscure ref. to Queen Elizabeth on a podcast this morning.

https://youtu.be/gdqDuOP59RI

Slo-go'en
01-17-2018, 14:02
After seeing the mounted heads in the Fontana Inn lobby, I really don't want to encounter one in the wild! Man, those beasts are both BIG and UGLY! Good thing they are skittish and are usually out at night.

moldy
01-17-2018, 15:06
If you see an area that is all torn up like someone turrned it over with a spade. Itís hogs eating all the roots. Itís not real common to see hogs along the AT but we have them on the South end of the trail.

TwoRoads
01-17-2018, 15:09
Interesting. I've always heard they could be really dangerous, but it sounds like no real threat on the trail, at least from the experiences related so far. As far as in general, I had not googled any information to try and learn anything before I posted because I was interested in the experiences of people on the trail. After researching for a few minutes, I did find this article, which helped with some additional information. Apparently, like bears, they can be timid, or aggressive, depending on circumstances.

http://blog.wildlifejournalist.com/2017/06/do-feral-hogs-really-attack-humans-these-do-pt-1/

Deadeye
01-17-2018, 15:43
I thought the thread was going to ask if we had tried them. I assume they could be tasty.

TNhiker
01-17-2018, 16:21
I thought the thread was going to ask if we had tried them. I assume they could be tasty.



ive been told that its a tough meat.......

Dogwood
01-17-2018, 16:27
Yes, they are a major threat to not only plant communities, both native and in commercial agriculture, but water quality, wildlife, as predators that will eat a host of small animals, even ground dwelling birds and sea turtles(and their eggs), and causing erosion. Perhaps, the most significant danger of wild pigs in context of your question are the bacteria that contaminate water sources.

Many have talked about Beaver Fever and always treating water where beavers are present and certainly so when we note any livestock, poultry farms, etc. as they all signify a much higher risk of disease. Wild pigs transmit some very nasty bacteria and parasites to humans, domestic pets(don't let your dog run loose in areas of feral pig activity), native wildlife, and livestock. These bacteria and parasites aren't are also in the contaminated soil, feces, urine, on trees(as dried mud is rubbed of by the pigs), etc.

peakbagger
01-17-2018, 16:47
When sectioning through the park 10 years ago, we encountered a large group of smaller pigs and a couple sows right on the trail. They did get off the trail but it sure wasnt what I called skittish, they just slowed walked off to the sides not that far into cover and let us walk by. We met one of the parks hunters later in the day and he was excited until we showed him where on the map. It wasnt his district. He did say when they first started hunting them, they had to bury the carcasses and couldnt take any meat away. Eventually they just starting dragging the carcasses out of sight and let the bears eat them. His theory was that it wasnt a bad thing for a bear to get a taste of hog.

Martzy13
01-17-2018, 16:53
I saw some during a weeklong trip in the Smokeys as well, same deal though, they scattered before I had even spotted them. On my thru last year, a girl I was hiking around told me she had been chased by a mother hog after accidentally splitting the kids from the momma. Honest mistakes breed honest responses.

JJ505
01-17-2018, 17:05
I've heard that they can be dangerous, and read of attacks, but hasn't been my experience. I have seen javelina in a national wildlife area. Did not seem to be very threatened by people's presence but didn't seem aggressive either. (This was NM and javelinas are peccaries.)

Feral Bill
01-17-2018, 17:26
ive been told that its a tough meat....... That's what they make slow cookers for.

Siestita
01-17-2018, 18:10
I've heard that eating their meat is discouraged because it can cause disease.

A decade ago I saw about a half dozen of the hogs in the Smokies. Hiking southbound on the AT, I decided to get water from the spring that is located right before the climb up Thunderhead Mountain. There was a short side trail from the AT to that spring. Noticing the pigs 40 feet from me, across the spring, I stopped walking and shouted at them, as I would do to shoo away a pesky bear. After completely ignoring me, five minutes later those pigs wandered away. I then went to the spring and collected my water, purifying it thoroughly, as usual.

HooKooDooKu
01-17-2018, 18:11
Interesting. I've always heard they could be really dangerous, but it sounds like no real threat on the trail, at least from the experiences related so far...


... a girl I was hiking around told me she had been chased by a mother hog after accidentally splitting the kids from the momma.

I've always heard the hogs were potential more dangerous than bears. Of course pretty much all wild life is wary of humans, and so most of the time we encounter bears or hogs, they run from is. Perhaps the potential difference is that with bears, the can escape by climbing, and if you come between a mama black bear and her cubs, she's more likely to climb a tree to get away from you knowing her cubs will do the same than she is to charge you. But hogs don't climb trees.

TNhiker
01-17-2018, 18:49
I've always heard the hogs were potential more dangerous than bears.



and i think that has to do many with their tusks........

Highland Goat
01-18-2018, 06:39
I heard the squeal of something that sounded like a feral pig, while hiking Southbound just after sunset in New Jersey. I did not see it, so it could have been another critter. New Jersey offers feral pig hunting in locations where the animals have been officially spotted.

tagg
01-18-2018, 12:12
The first time I spent the night alone on a backpacking trip was about 10 years ago near Low Gap shelter in GA, and during the night some hogs came in and were all around my tent. They were so close that I could hear the roots tearing from the ground and they were making all kinds of noise, grunting and crashing around in the leaves. To be honest, I was terrified. I was already nervous from being solo for the first time, and those hogs did not help matters one bit. I thought about yelling at them to make them leave, but was afraid I would startle them since they were that close and they would gore me through my tent. After about 15 minutes they left, and about 2 hours later I was finally able to calm down enough to sleep. The next morning the ground was all torn up not even 18" from my tent. Since then, I have seen other hogs and assorted animals, but don't really have much concern as they're always running away from me. Looking back, I can laugh about it and my fear seems misplaced. But on my first night alone, nervous and inexperienced...it was a different story.

wookinpanub
01-18-2018, 13:52
Granted, I thru-hiked Southbound almost 30 years ago, but the worst wildlife encounter I had on the whole trip was with a wild sow just south of Russell Field Shelter in the Smokies. It was early morning and I had spent the night at Russell. I started hiking south in the AM and it was extremely foggy. I heard the pigs before I saw them. It was a group of about 6 knee-high pigs. They were heading north on the trail and left the trail to avoid me, still heading north. I stood on a fallen log nearby and watched as they went around me and then rejoined the trail. Once they disappeared into the fog, I stepped off the log and continued to head south. After about 3 steps, the momma hog appeared through the fog coming straight at me on the trail. I casually bent down and picked up the nearest fist-sized rock, threw up my arm and yelled. She kept coming. I then threw a perfect strike from about 10 feet away, striking her in the head, which caused her to leave the trail. I quick-stepped down the trail while she was collecting herself. She ran toward her brood and I never saw her again. The strangest thing about the whole encounter was how calm I was during the interaction. At that point, I had spent over 3 months hiking alone. With that much solo time, you spend hours playing out different scenarios in your head. "What would I do if someone started shooting at me?" "Is Elvis really alive?" "If I were stranded on a desert island with Vanna White, would she dig me?" (It was 1990) "What's the most painless way to break my leg so I can stop this hike?" and finally....."What would I do if a wild animal jumped out and started coming for me?" I had actually played the scenario out in my head so many times that it seemed very routine at the time. After it occurred, though, was a different story. About 2 minutes later, I sat down and was so freaked out that I started shivering. Just part of the mental journey of a solo thru with ne'er a hiking partner to be had, I guess.

TwoRoads
01-18-2018, 17:34
But how did the Vanna White scenario play out? :)

wookinpanub
01-18-2018, 17:48
But how did the Vanna White scenario play out? :)

She was too high maintenance.

Shutterbug
01-19-2018, 00:33
I spend winters in Arizona. I often run into javelinas. They are a different animal than the feral pigs, but they have a lot in common. One time I came upon a large javelina sleeping in the trail. When it woke up, instead of running away, it ran straight at me. I stepped behind a tree and it ran right past me. I don't think it intended to attack. I think it was just disoriented.

Leo L.
01-19-2018, 04:19
In the 80ties I had a very close encounter with hogs on the Baja California. It was my narrowest escape ever, so far.
Hiking developed paths with regular human traffic I wouldn't be afraid of them so much, but out in the backcountry, mistaking maybe hogs paths for hiking tracks and suddenly facing a herd of them - oh no. Had such happen when rock climbing in Italy (where most of the country is infested with hogs who pose a serious treat).

Sometimes they are the source for some funny anectodes, though:
We were stealth camping with our car in a rock climbing area, a nice secluded spot high up a forested mountainside.
The kids were sleeping in the car and my wife and me were sitting outside, finishing a bottle of Italien Red.
In the shrubs surrounding our beautiful little campspot there was some rustle going on, becoming louder and coming nearer.
Finally, in my illuminated state (oh this nice red wine) I hollered towards the noise: "Grunzi (our nickname for pigs) shut up!"
"OINK OINK OINK...." in panik he raced away into the pitch black dark. Had been just a few meters off in a tiny puddle, as we saw the tracks the next morning.

dbfl87
01-19-2018, 09:01
Yell at them / throw something nearby and they usually run.

Corner them and they charge you. Put a tree between you and them because they are very fast.

Been charged by one in Florida before. Big momma with little ones in tow.

globetruck
01-19-2018, 09:50
Iíve been woken up by a hog while hammocking in Sipsey wilderness AL. The hog (hogs?) didnít seem to mind me but I was amazed at how much rooting they were able to do. Theyíre like bulldozers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

gollwoods
01-19-2018, 13:21
You got me! I had the Rutles on my mind, indirect/obscure ref. to Queen Elizabeth on a podcast this morning.

https://youtu.be/gdqDuOP59RIHehe

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

gollwoods
01-19-2018, 13:24
Interesting. I've always heard they could be really dangerous, but it sounds like no real threat on the trail, at least from the experiences related so far. As far as in general, I had not googled any information to try and learn anything before I posted because I was interested in the experiences of people on the trail. After researching for a few minutes, I did find this article, which helped with some additional information. Apparently, like bears, they can be timid, or aggressive, depending on circumstances.

http://blog.wildlifejournalist.com/2017/06/do-feral-hogs-really-attack-humans-these-do-pt-1/The hogs are supposed to be Russian boar that escaped from a hunting resort on hoopers bald not very dangerous according to authorities.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Bronk
01-19-2018, 13:47
Around here people hunt them with nothing more than a knife, and that is no joke. I've seen as many as 50 or more running together...enough to cover a 2 lane highway.

Leo L.
01-19-2018, 14:47
Around here people hunt them with nothing more than a knife, and that is no joke...
But prior to stabbing them, they exhaust them to near death by horse (coursing)?
Or how do they knife a boar without being pushed over?

gpburdelljr
01-19-2018, 15:49
Around here people hunt them with nothing more than a knife, and that is no joke. I've seen as many as 50 or more running together...enough to cover a 2 lane highway.
The only time I’ve seen that done they were using dogs to hold the pigs.

HooKooDooKu
01-20-2018, 00:01
I’ve been woken up by a hog while hammocking in Sipsey wilderness AL. The hog (hogs?) didn’t seem to mind me but I was amazed at how much rooting they were able to do. They’re like bulldozers.
In GSMNP, I once saw the entire yard in front of an old homestead that's been completely tilled by the hogs, and another time, I saw about an acre of Gregory Bald that had been till by the hogs.

Leo L.
01-20-2018, 06:55
In wide parts of Europe feral hogs pose another threat, and a complicated one:
In many areas we suffered heavy fallout from Tschernobyl, which is far from having gone away, its simply hidden a few inches deep in the rotten surface of the forests.
Feral hogs dig down to exactly this level, where most of the isotopes reside.
So the hogs first undig and expose all the radioactive stuff to wind and weather again and again, and second are nursing themselve by exactly this stuff.
In most areas here its mandatory to bring any hunted hogs carcasse to the authorities to let them examine for radioactive pollution - which has to be paid by the hunter, and most likely the meat will not be declared good for eating, but the whole piece needs to be deposed in a special deposit (which again the hunter has to pay for).
Easy to understand that hogs are little hunted only here, and thrive and spread like wildfire in recent years.

Bronk
01-20-2018, 13:05
In Missouri feral hogs are the only species you can hunt and just leave the meat to rot. And there is no season either, you can kill them any time of the year.

mkoltonuk
01-26-2018, 22:53
Been thru Smokies this past August, and never encountered any, nor boars. Not to worry. Did see a rattler stretched out on a sunny trail a few miles from Hiawassee, GA.

MuddyWaters
01-27-2018, 02:50
First, all the southern forests are overrun with hogs. There are probably 1000x more hogs than bears.<br>

Early settlers free-ranged their pigs in he woods. They have been there since 1600s due to this. Still considered a feral species though.
Pigs are about the best parents in the animal kingdom. They are very prolific and adaptable too.

A boar can be dangerous under certain circumstances. However, this is extremely rare. They are more wary and shy than deer, and are nothing to worry about imo if you arent trapping them. On my hunting lease we would kill 50 deer per year for every hog killed. Thats how wary they are in day around humans.

Night time is a different story.
the little piggies are even ....cute.

Ive got a pic somewhere of 2 sows eating and 10 little piglets all sleeping in a perfect row next to a log like someone arranged them there.
41702

jboggg
02-05-2018, 11:40
I spend a lot of time hunting wild hogs between Blood Mountain and Low Gap shelter along the AT. They are an invasive species and are very destructive to the ecosystem, severely impacting native wildlife. Most hikers would be amazed to know how many hogs live in close proximity to the trail. As others have noted, hogs will normally quickly clear our when aware of your presence during daylight, but at night they seem to lose a lot of fear of people. If a hog feels cornered all bets are off. I have seen a large boar run a big black bear off a a food plot on a local Wildlife Management Area. They do carry some diseases to be concerned about, but slow cooked on the smoker to an internal temp of 165 takes care of those. Itís as good as any store bought pork.

Tipi Walter
02-05-2018, 12:03
I love seeing wild pigs in the mountains of TN/NC where I go backpacking. I consider them forest companions sharing the wilderness with me---and going thru their life cycles just like I'm going thru mine. Live and let live. Being a vegetarian for the last 45 years certainly makes it easier for me to develop this kind of respect and regard.

I love how people harp on how much damage the wild hogs do to our mountain landscape but they never mention the true damage done by a real habitat-destroying mammal---Humans. The mountains are in fact becoming more developed and more domesticated by Humans and not by hogs.

I've encountered dozens of wild hogs on my backpacking trips---once had one perform a mock charge while the rest scattered---and have seen dozens of baby pigs jumping around like dogs.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2016-Trips-171/17-Days-in-the-Snow/i-DgR33rX/0/3a5de84f/XL/TRIP%20172%20331-XL.jpg
Saw this little guy on the BMT by my tent.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpacking2012/15-Day-December-Decompression/i-sV57nC2/0/641dc7f0/L/TRIP%20140%20107-L.jpg
The grand southern tradition.

jboggg
02-05-2018, 13:48
I love seeing wild pigs in the mountains of TN/NC where I go backpacking. I consider them forest companions sharing the wilderness with me---and going thru their life cycles just like I'm going thru mine. Live and let live. Being a vegetarian for the last 45 years certainly makes it easier for me to develop this kind of respect and regard.

I love how people harp on how much damage the wild hogs do to our mountain landscape but they never mention the true damage done by a real habitat-destroying mammal---Humans. The mountains are in fact becoming more developed and more domesticated by Humans and not by hogs.

I've encountered dozens of wild hogs on my backpacking trips---once had one perform a mock charge while the rest scattered---and have seen dozens of baby pigs jumping around like dogs.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpack-2016-Trips-171/17-Days-in-the-Snow/i-DgR33rX/0/3a5de84f/XL/TRIP%20172%20331-XL.jpg
Saw this little guy on the BMT by my tent.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Backpacking2012/15-Day-December-Decompression/i-sV57nC2/0/641dc7f0/L/TRIP%20140%20107-L.jpg
The grand southern tradition.

No doubt man has and will continue to impact the mountain landscape, but we have also made great strides in protecting it, but no need to debate that fact in this thread. However, your forest companions are considered an invasive species by every Wildlife Agency in the US, and the huge negative impact they are having on the environment is indisputable. The economic impact is in the tens of millions nationally with their destructive impact on agriculture. The prolific reproductive rate combined with their ability to eat virtually anything has them out competing much of the native indigenous wildlife. They are notorious for destroying wild turkey nests to eat the eggs, and they gobble up many of the limited food sources in the mountains used by deer and other wildlife. Finally, as a hunter and meat eater I have an incredible respect for all wildlife including hogs, but I also understand the negative impact they are having on the mountain landscape and it's native inhabitants.

MuddyWaters
02-05-2018, 13:51
Pigs have been in woods hundreds of years.
They aren't doing any"damage" anymore really. Seem to be at steady-state. Like it or not they have become part of the ecosystem for a long long time now in us. They tend to come and go with the water. In dry years they move out and when it gets wet they move back in.

But they do eat a sheetload of snakes. We used to have to wear snake chaps we had so many cottonmouth copperheads and rattlesnakes . We have 3 creeks running thru our property. Anywhere near water you were going to see a snake. After a couple of years of high # hogs because it was really wet, didn't see snakes no more.

I recall one turkey hunter one time who said he got nervous when a big boar came out of the woods somewhere close to him and headed toward him. He shot it with his shotgun, it ran off. He said it was 300-400 lb.

Dogwood
02-05-2018, 14:05
I spend a lot of time hunting wild hogs... They are an invasive species and are very destructive to the ecosystem, severely impacting native wildlife...


Yes, an introduced invasive destructive species.


I love seeing wild pigs in the mountains of TN/NC where I go backpacking. I consider them forest companions sharing the wilderness with me---and going thru their life cycles just like I'm going thru mine.

I love how people harp on how much damage the wild hogs do to our mountain landscape but they never mention the true damage done by a real habitat-destroying mammal---Humans. The mountains are in fact becoming more developed and more domesticated by Humans and not by hogs...

Maybe, just like humans an invasive destructive introduced species like us, like you? :rolleyes:


Actually, in some areas there certainly is an overrun of very destructive non native introduced wild hog populations - usually introduced by humans - causing much harm to the environment we all love so much. It's the same with non native goats, sheep, plants, etc.

KCNC
02-05-2018, 14:15
ive been told that its a tough meat.......

Just have to cook them low and slow.

Leo L.
02-05-2018, 14:16
I only know from Southern Europe, where hogs are a massive issue.
While most of the wilderness-like landscape is arid, mostly thorny things, shrubs, low trees and such that can survive the hot summer months without precipitation, any small green that might grow inbetween is not only eaten, but dug out by the hogs so there soon is no small plant whatsoever left.
Within a few years the only plant thats left are (low growing, shrub-like) oaks. Miles and miles of oaks. Exactly the favorite food plant of hogs.
There no longer is any competing big animal left, just the hogs.

jboggg
02-05-2018, 15:16
Pigs have been in woods hundreds of years.
They aren't doing any"damage" anymore really. Seem to be at steady-state. Like it or not they have become part of the ecosystem for a long long time now in us. They tend to come and go with the water. In dry years they move out and when it gets wet they move back in.

But they do eat a sheetload of snakes. We used to have to wear snake chaps we had so many cottonmouth copperheads and rattlesnakes . We have 3 creeks running thru our property. Anywhere near water you were going to see a snake. After a couple of years of high # hogs because it was really wet, didn't see snakes no more.

I recall one turkey hunter one time who said he got nervous when a big boar came out of the woods somewhere close to him and headed toward him. He shot it with his shotgun, it ran off. He said it was 300-400 lb.
The hogs have been here a long time having been introduced by the first Spanish European explorers. In current times there are some dog/hog hunters who illegally transport and release hogs in the mountains for sport. As a result they are expanding their range rapidly, and do tremendous damage. For the first time ever, beginning this May the state of Georgia has initiated a special two week hog season on state and Federal Lands in an effort to help reduce their numbers. Since they are invasive they are considered incidental take, and can be taken during whatever game season is in progress. ie: During small game season they can be hunted with small game weapons... The reality is that no amount of hunting will have a noticeable impact on overall hog populations. Trapping is the most effective means of limiting their numbers, but this horse is definitely out of the barn so to speak. They are here to stay.

Dogwood
02-05-2018, 16:01
Snakes including rattlers and copperheads and several non venomous snakes love to eat mice, rats, and small rodents what so many of us complain about. Even opportunistic cottonmouths will nab rodents if given the chance. Both venomous and non venomous snakes are often signs of a healthier larger ecosystem whole. Wild hogs are non picky omnivores eating anything including non venomous snakes like indigo, milk, king, black racers, etc that prey upon rattlesnakes and/or copperheads that can often keep the venomous species naturally in check.


Once again the invasive introduced humans misguided tinkering with the environment often upsets the natural balance by further introducing non human invasive introduced species by freeing, sometimes illegally, as Jboggg points out, pigs. The damage non native wild hogs, mongoose, rats, mice, plants, etc have contributed to or created has wrecked ecological havoc on lands like Hawaii.

tagg
02-05-2018, 16:39
Not hiking, but somewhat on topic...



https://nypost.com/video/ferocious-wild-boar-attack-kills-an-elderly-man/

MuddyWaters
02-05-2018, 17:02
The hogs have been here a long time having been introduced by the first Spanish European explorers. In current times there are some dog/hog hunters who illegally transport and release hogs in the mountains for sport. As a result they are expanding their range rapidly, and do tremendous damage. For the first time ever, beginning this May the state of Georgia has initiated a special two week hog season on state and Federal Lands in an effort to help reduce their numbers. Since they are invasive they are considered incidental take, and can be taken during whatever game season is in progress. ie: During small game season they can be hunted with small game weapons... The reality is that no amount of hunting will have a noticeable impact on overall hog populations. Trapping is the most effective means of limiting their numbers, but this horse is definitely out of the barn so to speak. They are here to stay.

Texas has the right idea they allow hunting them at night under lights. Sit in the stand over a feeder and wait to hear the corn crunching then flip on the remote controlled light. Really the only way to make a dent in population.

Most states don't trust their residents not to shoot deer instead and prohibits hunting at night. But generally you can kill Hogs year-round they are a feral species. Very common to tune up your bow on them before bow season for deer starts, some commercial places sell you hunts for them with bows to get rid of them .

Trapping works but they're also very wary, and it's a lot of work. We trapped several and a few times ended up with deer in the hog traps. You got to check the traps frequently or else any deer could die. Thing about trapping them is they are smart. Once you trap them you're not going to trap more in same location. If you kill one in the Trap you'll never get another hog in the Trap either. They will smell it. The whole trap with couple hogs in it is winched onto a flatbed trailer and taken elsewhere to kill them