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  1. #21
    Registered User tagg's Avatar
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    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.
    -tagg

  2. #22
    wookinpanub
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    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.

  3. #23
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    But how did the Vanna White scenario play out?

  4. #24
    wookinpanub
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    But how did the Vanna White scenario play out?
    She was too high maintenance.

  5. #25

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    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.
    Shutterbug

  6. #26
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    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.

  7. #27
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    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.

  8. #28
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    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.


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  9. #29
    Registered User gollwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Zone View Post
    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
    Hehe

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  10. #30
    Registered User gollwoods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    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/2...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

  11. #31

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    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.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    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?

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    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.

  14. #34
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by globetruck View Post
    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.

  15. #35
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    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.

  16. #36

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    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.

  17. #37
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    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.

  18. #38

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    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.
    DSC02737.jpg
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 01-27-2018 at 08:11.

  19. #39

    Default Before and After

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #40

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    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.


    Saw this little guy on the BMT by my tent.


    The grand southern tradition.

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