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Old January 1, 2012, 02:25 PM   #1026
Flintknapper
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Here is a small “Wallow” I found just this morning. It is nothing more than a muddy spot in a low lying area of an old logging road.

Secluded…so they like it.

The area around it is littered with tracks and the hogs have formed two depressions in the short time they’ve been using it.



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Old January 1, 2012, 02:36 PM   #1027
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I found a set yesterday with VERY obvious dew claws...think that's my answer
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:36 AM   #1028
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Post 1 of 5

Sometimes a “plan” actually comes together. Been watching a group of hogs for about the last 6 days (see post 988).

It has (or had)…a couple of “jumbo” Sows in it and an assortment of other nice hogs, but the group has been sporadic about visiting my bait site….so I guessed they were on a two day circuit (hitting the bait every other day).

From the videos I have…I was able to determine which animal was the Lead Sow/Alpha… by noting her dominance over the others at the bait site. So I knew which hog I wanted to target.

It so happens… the heaviest hog in the group was the leader; but the largest hog is NOT always the dominant animal.

The pic below is of poor quality because of the heavy fog that night, but you can see the TANK-like build of the sow. Very blocky, no neck, legs appear short, obvious girth and weight.



This is the Sow hanging.




Where the “plan” came together though…was not in getting a shot at the Lead Sow (given enough time…I’d eventually accomplish that), but rather in taking a second hog from the group, see below:



Continued next post………..

Last edited by Flintknapper; January 3, 2012 at 07:49 AM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:37 AM   #1029
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Post 2 of 5

I noticed in game-cam pics that this group of hogs always entered on one trail and left on another. I followed the “exit” trail a short ways and found a spot where it split into two trails around a big pile of brush.

Apparently, part of the group would go around one side… the others on the opposite side. I have no idea why…but that’s what they were doing.

The beauty of that is it presents the perfect scenario to set up a pair of snares. A single trail would yield only one hog…(IF you were lucky enough to snare one). But…a “Y” in the trail allows placing two snares, thus doubling your chances.

O.K., so Flint ….WHAT exactly was the “Plan”?

Well… the plan was to set up two snares on the exit trail, wait for the hogs to come in to feed, shoot as many as possible (usually one)… and hope that one (or more) would be snared as the group runs away.

At the shot, the sow went down….the reverberation subsided and I could then hear a loud grunt and sounds of struggling back in the brush.

Eureka….we have a hog!

Continued next post………..

Last edited by Flintknapper; January 3, 2012 at 07:49 AM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:40 AM   #1030
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Post 3 of 5

I waited a few minutes, got down out of my stand and went toward the area where I placed the snares.

Of course, it’s dark now and the brush is thick where I put the snares. I tried my best to work my way in there with my rifle to see what I had…but it was just a tangled mess.

Not knowing if I had a Boar, a Sow, a big pig…or a little one, I thought it better to go back to the house and get my pistol and an extra flashlight.

Got back and could still hear sounds of a hog walking around and pulling at the cable. I really needed to identify WHAT I had in the snare in order to know just how careful I’d need to be going in to take a shot at it.

(A small sow tangled in the brush….half choked down would present no real danger. A good healthy boar caught only by the foot or snout would be another thing altogether).


I slowly made my way into the brush shining the flashlight ahead and listening for the reaction of the animal as I got closer. It clearly knew I was there, both by sound and by the fact that I was upwind of it (no other way in).

I finally got close enough to see that it was a spotted hog…which was some relief…because all of the spotted ones (4 of them) were fairly small, nothing over 160 lbs.

Three spotted sows and one boar in the group…so odds were pretty good I was dealing with a sow.

I pushed my way farther into the brush and finally got to where I could see the body of the hog, but not its head. I considered taking the shot you see in the pic below…but really prefer a head shot since it eliminates the possibility of the hog making one last mad dash.

In thick brush…I really dislike “mad dashes” whether it’s the hog doing it… or ME.



Continued next post……….

Last edited by Flintknapper; January 3, 2012 at 07:48 AM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:41 AM   #1031
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Post 4 of 5

Still wanting to see the head (or rear) of this animal so I can tell what I’ve got…I moved slightly forward.

I wasn’t overly concerned that it would be a boar because a medium sized one isn’t going to “eat you alive”, (not for longer than the length of the snare anyway), but I just don’t need the extra excitement at my age. Plus…the shrieks of a man screaming like a girl carry a long way through the woods.

Anyway, I finally got up close enough to see there were NO tusks on the animal.

Bravado renewed… I start looking for a spot to get some kind of a clear shot. I finally found what could be loosely described as a tunnel that would put me in position for a shot.

All this… because the hog couldn’t go out on the TRAIL and make it easy for me, NO…..!



Continued next post……….

Last edited by Flintknapper; January 5, 2012 at 05:01 PM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:42 AM   #1032
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Post 5 of 5

With no other choice…I got down on my hands and knees and crept forward a ways. I could see that the cable to the snare was around one side of a small sapling.

So…as long as the hog only goes forward…I would have nothing to worry about. I took this pic from about 8’ away, surrounded by brush, kneeling down.



Right after the flash…the hog perked up and looked right at me …then started making a growling/gurgling sound (snare was tight). I stayed completely still until the hog lowered its head again, it basically presented the same shot you see in the pic above.

I quickly took the shot, the .45 ACP doing its job.

After getting the hog untangled and pulling it back out into the open, I could see the snare had been holding well, the Berkshire lock did not let up (as they sometimes do).




Hog ruined my snare…but it’s a small price to pay for having one more of them gone!


Last edited by Flintknapper; January 3, 2012 at 07:47 AM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 09:52 AM   #1033
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BRAVO! :golfclap:
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Old January 3, 2012, 10:46 AM   #1034
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Flint - Would the snare have killed the little one eventually?
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Old January 3, 2012, 11:57 AM   #1035
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That's a neat little snare. I had assumed you were snaring their legs, but it looks like you snared it by the neck. Any chance you could put up a post with better pictures about how the snare works?
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Old January 3, 2012, 01:35 PM   #1036
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sixgunner455 wrote:

Quote:
Flint - Would the snare have killed the little one eventually?
In this case...I believe it would have, but it depends heavily on the type of snare "lock" you use, how hard the animal pulls and IF the lock holds up and functions as intended.

There are "releasing" and "non-releasing" locks of various designs. Some function much better than others.

You can have a releasing type lock NOT release if it bends or the cable becomes kinked at the point of the lock.

The opposite is true as well, non-releasing locks can be bent or damaged such that they do "relax" when you don't want them to.

I rarely use snares because there is always the danger of catching Non-Target Animals. Although I am careful to set snares in very select spots AND take other measures to mitigate capture of NTA's...it can happen.

The use of the snares related in the story above was carefully calculated to catch only escaping (or possibly approaching hogs).

Snares (depending upon how they are set) catch and "kill" indiscriminately...so you need to know what you are doing and NOT be lazy about checking them or taking precautions.

But back to your question, yes in this case... the hog hit the snare on the run and also struggled vigorously when first caught.

The result was that the cable tightened enough to partially compress the trachea making it difficult for the hog to breathe IF it kept expending energy fighting.

Even with snares designed to kill the animal, many things come into play as to whether or not they actually do... and how humanely (read quickly) that happens. We can discuss that further if there any interest...but in a separate thread.

With the snare type I use (and how I normally place them), I would say I run about 50/50...(finding the animal dead or alive).

I do use a lock designed to be non-relaxing...but that only means it holds at whatever point it is pulled to.

To me...of more importance is having a good "stop" on the cable end. You don't want a very alive (and mad) hog pop the stop off the cable and come get in your back pocket.

If someone wants to start a new thread discussing the use of snares as a tool, their effectiveness, tips, safety factors, techniques or ethics of their use, I will contribute what I can.

I have used snares to some effect...but don't use them much, nor do I use dogs very often...but both have their place.

Last edited by Flintknapper; January 3, 2012 at 02:07 PM.
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Old January 3, 2012, 02:01 PM   #1037
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countertop wrote:

Quote:
That's a neat little snare. I had assumed you were snaring their legs, but it looks like you snared it by the neck.
Hi CT, No...I never use foot snares, though there is such a thing.


Quote:
Any chance you could put up a post with better pictures about how the snare works?
I will contribute what I can...IF someone wants to start a separate thread on the subject. The use of snares is often contested on an ethics level and I've seen discussions on the subject become volatile.
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Old January 3, 2012, 04:32 PM   #1038
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Thanks, Flint. You are a wealth of info.
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Old January 3, 2012, 05:39 PM   #1039
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Flint,
Hands down the best thread EVER.

Question:
Why do you hang them from trees??? Probably a stupid question but if you are not going to save the meat, why hang em???
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Old January 3, 2012, 06:23 PM   #1040
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Usually I “hang” to weigh them after taking a Heart Girth measurement to compare accuracy.







There is a spring scale above the hog (not in pic).

Here is a pic of a hog being weighed (not the sow in this story).



Occasionally I will hang one for photographic purposes, it shows the entire hog better than when lying on the ground.

I use the same tree (something of known scale to me) and like (when possible) to have a person stand next to the hog to illustrate scale.

So…now you know.
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Old January 4, 2012, 05:58 AM   #1041
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okay Flint whats the closest town to "Deep East TX"???

I posted in another thread about not seeing any in months and months due to the drought over in my neck of the woods. Im sure they are still around just not on my land nor anyone else I know.

Seems you still have them bad. Did they slow at all around you this summer?
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Old January 4, 2012, 08:10 AM   #1042
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^^^^^^^^^^

If you reside in Madisonville, then your county borders Houston County (the Western most county of DET). Crockett is the first city that comes to mind in that region (closest to you).

Yes, the drought did affect the location of the pig population here. The Attoyac River is not far from where I live and the animals moved closer to it when farm ponds, creeks and springs started to dry up this summer.

We've been blessed with rain since that time...but along with it, the hogs have returned to their normal range.
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Old January 5, 2012, 12:38 PM   #1043
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While driving to the post office this morning (rural) I noticed my neighbors pasture had been “visited” by hogs overnight.

Pretty much all of the dark spots in this photo is damage from rooting.




Although not very deep….(this time), it doesn’t take many visits by hogs to completely denude large parts of your pastures.



He wasn’t happy at all and told me he would be contacting a person we both know who has hog-dogs.

All I could do was sigh and tell him “good luck”.

Running hogs from one property onto another (Hog Swapping)… has never been my idea of effective hog control, but you’ll never convince some folks.

I will be expecting MORE hogs any time now, sheeeesh!
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Old January 5, 2012, 01:13 PM   #1044
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Flint, I see that your neighbor has a fence around his pasture. I can't tell what kind of wire he has, but I assume that it is a cow pasture and has 3 strands of barbed wire. Is that correct, and if so do the hogs go under the bottom strand?
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Old January 5, 2012, 01:35 PM   #1045
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Made a little reconnaissance trip about the place to see where the hogs have been.

Found a fresh example of how they “rub” on a pole, tree, rock…etc after wallowing to remove parasites. This telephone pole still has some amount of creosote left on it…which they also like.




Here is an older rub, also on a pole and also right out in the bald open….suggesting a nocturnal visit.




You can get a rough idea of the largest hog to use the rub…by noting the height of the marks. Hogs will sometimes raise their feet off the ground when rubbing…but generally the marks left will be 3”-5” shorter than the shoulders of the pig.



In this case…at least one boar used the rubbing post….as noted by the tusk marks (watch for these).

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Old January 5, 2012, 01:39 PM   #1046
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A group of hogs has been using this bedding/staging area. I would need to make a video of it to show you the amount of scat (droppings) found there.

It was littered with scat. Whenever you find a spot like this….(lots of scat in a small area), what you have found is one of two things. (see below)



1. An actual bedding area. A spot where hogs feel secure enough to sleep without the expectation of being disturbed. Hogs spend a good amount of time in these areas and defecate in them with no regard to cleanliness.

2. A staging area. A spot where they stop before entering a terminal site (feeding area, water hole or wallow). Hogs do not always saunter right into a place they have chosen to go.

This is especially true if they have been subjected to hunting pressure. When they are being extra cautious…I find they will “stage” (wait) in an area nearby to see if it is safe to proceed or perhaps wait until after dark.

Although the picture above looks to be a good bedding area (Pine Straw and Leaves to insulate against the ground, fairly thick cover, East facing slope to warm in morning sun, etc) the fact that it is positioned between two logging roads that gets daytime use and the close proximity to a bait site (200 yds.) tells me the hogs are staging there.

In either case, it’s a place you want to stay out of!

You know when you find droppings still moist enough to “glisten”…that hogs have been there recently. And yes, I washed my hands afterward (keep water and hand sanitizer in truck).

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Old January 5, 2012, 01:47 PM   #1047
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41 wrote:

Quote:
Flint, I see that your neighbor has a fence around his pasture. I can't tell what kind of wire he has, but I assume that it is a cow pasture and has 3 strands of barbed wire.
Yes, barbed wire (4 strand is typical around here sometimes 5).


Quote:
Is that correct, and if so do the hogs go under the bottom strand?
Barbed wire fencing in good condition...yes, the hogs go under the bottom strand. If in poor condition (loose or broken) they may elect to step over the bottom strand and the next strand up.

Woven type fencing...they dig under or "root upwards" until they have lifted a spot that allows them to cross.
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Old January 5, 2012, 11:09 PM   #1048
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Just joined and this is exactly the kind of info I've been looking for.
Many thanks Flintknapper, you are a wealth of info.
I'm in Oklahoma and there are more than just a few Feral hogs in this area.
The great pics and narrative you have posted are really helpfull in recognizing signs and in understanding their traits and habits.
Many thanks.
Regards,
Bob
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Old January 7, 2012, 01:18 PM   #1049
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Not good timing!

The scope on my SOCOM decided to “take its ball and go home” yesterday.

Customer Service says no problem, send it in and it will be repaired. Only thing is…they expect it to be 7-8 WEEKS before I get it back.

SOCOM is dead in the water.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch……………..



Looks like I’ll be relegated to using the 7mm-08. It will get the job done…but it limits my shot angles and won’t let me shoot through one pig to hit another one.


And I just loaded up some 405 grain Remy’s ….wouldn’t you know.



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Old January 7, 2012, 04:59 PM   #1050
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whats wrong with some back up sights or a red dot?


what distance are you shooting your SOCOM anywhoo?
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