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Not again.......! Feral Hog Control in East Texas

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Flintknapper, May 13, 2009.

  1. Lthrnck

    Lthrnck Member

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    Wow, I finally finished reading this entire thread! Flint, thanks for the excellent education on hog hunting. We just acquired 85 acres outside Sulphur Springs for recreational use, and have already spotted signs of hog activity. We will be on them hard as to promote a deer-rich environment (as much as possible). Out of curiosity, have you noticed the rattlers here in tx changing their behavioral patterns due to the increased presence of hogs? A friend of mine is a hunting guide and he claims more people are getting bitten because the rattlers are rattling less. He thinks they don't like to alert the hogs to their presence so humans come up on them and with no rattle warning, they are more likely to be bitten. Have you noticed anything to support his theory?
     
  2. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Welcome to the forum and congrats on getting through the thread!

    Your friend has fallen for an urban myth about the rattlesnakes. The fact is, rattlesnakes don't always give warning. It is a misconception to believe that they will. Even before hogs were a problem, they didn't always give warning and they don't always given warning in areas where there aren't hogs. The lack of warning has been blamed on many things, and again, the fact is, they just don't always give a warning rattle.

    http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/snakes/a/Rattlesnakes-Not-Rattling.htm

    http://www.livingalongsidewildlife.com/2011/06/are-rattlesnakes-rattling-less-because.html

    For example, this issue has occurred in SD, a place not known for having a large, predatory population of hogs...
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=216924322
     
  3. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Lthrnck wrote:

    No, but I do not travel as much as I used to into areas where Rattlesnakes are abundant. Where I live (Deep East Texas) Rattlesnakes are fairly rare so I really have no current firsthand experience to share concerning the impact of Feral Hogs upon snakes (of any type).


    If your friend has data to support his claim (more people are being bitten), I would be interested in seeing it. I am not challenging his assertion….you understand, but I would like to see some meaningful numbers.

    It is easy to imagine Rattlesnake bites could be on the increase, but the reason(s) for that are more likely related to the increasing human population, residential encroachment and folks simply being careless.

    It’s not a bad ‘theory’…..but I do have some trouble with it. Before presenting my objections, let me first state “I AM NO EXPERT”, I say that unequivocally!

    I do however….have a fair amount of experience with both Feral Hogs and Rattlesnakes.

    I grew up in the Hill Country of Texas and spent a considerable amount of time hunting on Ranches in South Texas. Both areas hold good numbers of Rattlesnakes and besides the normal contact you would have while outdoors, we (myself and a couple of good friends) caught Rattlesnakes to sell.

    I have personally caught and handled several hundred Rattlers under various conditions, so their habits and temperament….I am familiar with.

    Back to the idea that the snakes are purposely being quiet: I suppose it is possible, but we are talking ‘learned behavior’ for that to be true.

    For instance…an individual snake would have to survive an incident where ‘rattling’ attracted the unwanted attention of a Hog. The next meeting would involve the snake being ‘quiet’ AND making the association between that and not being detected.

    For this ‘behavior’ to become significant….or ever become a ‘trait’… would require the snake to pass it on genetically. Again, not impossible….but the idea of it suggests an intelligence that I don’t think exists in Rattlesnakes.


    I have not, but I have only my personal experiences to go on.

    I will say this though: Fully 80% of the snakes I have encountered (until handled) did nothing other than try to remain hidden or get away, never offering to rattle until severely provoked, cornered or handled.

    The ‘rattle response’ is a very real warning and is exhibited because the snake feels threatened, NOT to pre-warn of its location.

    Yes, I have come upon a few that rattled and struck out from the “get-go”, but generally they were found to be about to shed their skin and had an opaque covering over their eyes.

    Rattlesnakes (Western Diamondbacks) are often mischaracterized. It is common belief that they always (or often) rattle when approached. My experience shows exactly the opposite.

    I submit….they rattle primarily when threatened or when they know (or think) they have already been detected…. and as a last ditch warning.

    I do not believe they are NOW being quieter, I believe they always have been and still are (unless provoked).

    As for hogs:

    I do not dismiss the idea that Hogs have an impact on the snake population; it is well known that hogs can/will dispatch a snake with ease; the hog(s) always win.

    So snakes certainly have something to fear if they are sharing the same territory with Feral Hogs, but I have a hard time believing snakes are evolving because of it. But who knows…….?

    Anyway, those are my thoughts on it.

    Flint.


    Edit: I see my friend DNS types faster than I do, I was actually thinking of him as I responded, he would be a good person to weigh in on this thread.
     
  4. Lthrnck

    Lthrnck Member

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    DNS and Flint: very thorough and interesting information from you both, as usual. I suspect his theory has more to do with the recent awareness and popularity of hog hunting rather than raw scientific data, but it was an interesting conversation nonetheless.

    It does make sense that for a snake to permanently alter its behavior and "rattle less" it would have to have previously survived a run-in with a hog, which is unlikely. Even then, I wouldn't think that learned behavior would pass on to other generations.

    Anyways, we're headed out to the ranch for our first hog hunt next weekend, I hope to return to the forum to report at least one confirmed kill...
     
  5. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Good luck on your hunt Sir....and welcome to the forum. We look forward to your report.

    Have fun, be safe!

    Flint.
     
  6. der Teufel

    der Teufel Member

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    I had heard much the same story, although it didn't center around the snake's learning new behavior. The theory was that the hogs were causing genetic selection (Darwin at work) by finding and eating snakes that were disposed to rattle more, leaving behind those with a predisposition not to rattle.

    It sounded good, but after this discussion I searched and read several articles that indicate the theory is anecdotal at best, and probably simply false. As stated earlier, most rattlesnakes don't rattle until seriously threatened.
     
  7. Dframe

    Dframe Member

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    Wishing you luck with your trap. What do you do with them once you've got them trapped? Call the local slaughterhouse?
     
  8. Chief Day USN RET

    Chief Day USN RET Member

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  9. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^

    Worked just fine Chief.

    Thank You for your service Sir!


    Flint
     
  10. Chief Day USN RET

    Chief Day USN RET Member

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    Thank you. I just seen this.
     
  11. NorCalTechy

    NorCalTechy Member

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    458 SOCOM load data

    Hi Flint

    I appreciate all of the effort you have put into this thread, thanks so much.
    Can you recommend a book on making those gorgeous arrowheads? I'm inspired.

    I'm in the process of finishing my 458 SOCOM specifically for hogs. I built an upper, but once I finished it, I decided to complete the rifle. In any case I am curious where you found the load data for the Beartooth Pile Drivers and what powder you are using.

    Thanks Again!
     
  12. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Hi NorCal,

    Welcome to the HighRoad!

    You have PM...with the information you requested.

    Flint.
     
  13. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    In our area right now, pigs have been low in frequency for a while, but this seems to sort of fit the same pattern last year. A couple of us figured out that it corresponds with the local crops. Here recently, harvesting has started and pigs have been showing up anew to our feeders and unharvested food plots. So we have correlation. The verdict is still out if it is causation.

    I got this fellow while I was waiting on a sounder that came through the night before. He is the largest hog I have gotten on the scale. I may have shot 2 or 3 that were larger in the last 5 years, but without scale or tape measure, no true clue as to size other than 'big' on the previous hogs.

    He turned out to be a cryptorchid (means 'hidden testicles'). I thought maybe he was a barr hog because he had no scrotum or visible testicles. Tactile examination revealed that he had undescended testicles, probably inguinally impacted (versus being completely inside the abdomen). Cryptorchids occur in less than 1% of the boar population. If they are like this guy, they may be normally developed and fertile. If the testicles are abdominal, then they are often underdeveloped or undeveloped and the hog not fertile.

    For whatever reason, he was big, mature, but had not stink. He produced two very good sized backstraps that tasted great (eaten by landowner's family for Memorial Day).

    Here is a short vid. Enjoy.
    http://youtu.be/6txddnqz7gg

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Nice pig!
    Congrats.
     
  15. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    That is a GREAT hog DNS, congratulations!

    Is that your 750 on top of your rifle?
     
  16. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Until my wife claims it, it is mine.
     
  17. Wes Mantooth

    Wes Mantooth Member

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    Hey Flint,
    I haven't been on in a while. Glad this thread is still alive and kicking.

    I was down to see my folks around Groesbeck TX couple weeks ago. Dad says he hasn't seen any hogs in a while. He was covered up with them not to long ago. What happened? Where'd they go? I didn't think hogs were migratory.
     
  18. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Hi Wes,

    Good to hear from you.

    Hard to know what has happened on your Folks property, but hogs tend to be transient by nature, so that might be one explanation. This time of year (most places in Texas), habitat is excellent.

    Water, food and shelter is abundant and hogs can find everything they need to survive....almost anywhere. Naturally, that encourages travel (something they do anyway). They'll be back....that is for certain.
     
  19. midland man

    midland man Member

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    heck I have a new leveraction rossi in 44 magnum it needs to go kill some hogs and I would be game to come kill some :)
     
  20. Hugo

    Hugo Member

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    I recall watching a hunting show where hunter one remarked to another that the hogs eat rattlesnakes so they are less of a problem when in areas with hogs. Not sure if that's verified true, but it sounds plausible. I guess the thick hide and callous on the necks is too tough for snake fangs.

    Also is 10mm from a Glock a good sidearm for hog hunting if your primary is something bolt action .308?
     
  21. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Hugo, check out post 1552 above.

    A Glock 10mm is good for hunting hogs regardless of what your primary is, LOL.
     
  22. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Hugo,

    That is quite possible (fewer snakes where hog populations are high and steady).

    It is well known that hogs will kill snakes (whether or not they eat them afterward) so it stands to reason that if you have a substantial hog population (for a long period of time), it is bound to have an effect on the snake population.

    When I was a child....our family had a cabin at a private resort in the Ozarks.

    Some years the snakes (primarily Copperheads and Water Moccasins) were abundant. The caretaker of the resort would bring in a large of group of hogs and let them roam freely about property for the express purpose of killing/moving snakes.

    It worked quite well....as I remember.

    I know that is a 'less than scientific' proposal...but that is my opinion of it.

    And YES...the 10mm is an excellent cartridge...regardless your primary weapon.
     
  23. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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  24. elhombreconnonombre

    elhombreconnonombre Member

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    I live just south of Austin in an área that includes suburbs and large and small tracts of open forested land. I have seen pig signs even within a 500 acre city park on the south side of Austin. Cars and trucks are running into them all the time when they cross a major toll road at night where the speed limit is 85 mph.
     
  25. Twmaster

    Twmaster Member

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    This is the issue we are having now.

    We set up a blind and a feeder. No pigs for the last 4 weeks. Plenty of water (A good sized tank right next to the bait site, big feeder we keep full etc too.....

    No pigs.... Funny, we haven't even seen raccoons on the cam pics.
     

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