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

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

  1. Tuskanraider

    Tuskanraider Member

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    I don't get the trespassing, and never support it. I also don't get the arrogance of people wanting to have land owners just invite them to hunt willy nilly.

    My way would be to offer services for such priviledges. Work on the land, respect the land owner, barter and trade and even pay. Seems that some people in my generation started the entitlement beliefs held by many people today. Respect and trust must be earned.

    Y'all dedinitely need airstrikes, 7.62 miniguns and mines. Poisons are too indiscriminate. Herding the pigs into a corral is out so is driving them. Trapping and shooting, appear to be the best options.
     
  2. bldsmith

    bldsmith Member

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    GET TO THE CHOPPA!

    Probably the very best way to eliminate pigs on any given property.
     
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  3. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^

    They certainly do. I was forced to sit on a stand last night because hogs came in and 'hoovered' up nearly all the Oat seed I had planted for the deer about a week ago. It was just about to germinate....before they got it. I re-seeded the area the other day and hoped the hogs would not return before it had a chance to sprout and root in. No such luck of course.

    Game camera showed a new group of about 10 hogs had visited the area about 9:30 p.m. the night before. I really didn't want to sit in the heat and brave the mosquitoes....but moving the Pen Trap was even less appealing since its a mile away at a different spot on the property and taking it down and setting it up is a chore in itself.

    With no guarantee (but a pretty good hunch) the hogs would return...I took a shower, gathered my things, loaded up the Land Cruiser and set the A/C on high. I took my time driving down to the stand, trying to 'absorb' as much cold air as I could before parking and making the short walk to my stand. I got on stand about a half hour before Sundown. The South-East wind the weather station reported was non-existent. It was dead still, hot, muggy and just sitting there I had already begun to sweat.

    Except for a few squirrels nothing was moving right up until dark. As the last rays of light slowly faded... the temperature dropped just a little. Enough to be noticeable anyway. The firefly's came out in great number...almost as if to greet me. It was quite a show for awhile, their florescent yellow flashes drifting through the trees. All the crickets and frogs had begun their nightly chorus. THIS part of sitting and waiting in the dark....I've always enjoyed. But maybe I'm just easily entertained.

    About an hour after dark a couple of Raccoons showed up and starting picking up some of the corn. I like for them to be present when hog hunting because it gives me something to watch while waiting on the hogs and they are excellent Sentry's...always detecting anything approaching before I do.

    About 15 minutes had passed and the raccoons both stood upright looking in a direction off to my left...then beat a hasty retreat. No doubt 'something' was coming....but you never know what. The answer to that was immediately revealed when I heard a grunt and a squeal off in the brush some 50 yds. away. I could now hear the hogs slowly approaching. No longer being vocal but stepping on sticks and pushing their way through the brush. Being intimately familiar with the site...I could estimate their position with reasonable certainty even in the dark.

    I could tell they had slowed down and were now 'sneaking' up to the edge of the opening where I have the bait placed under the hog light.

    Suddenly all movement just stopped. Instead of proceeding to the corn...I could hear them just standing at the edge of the brush, sniffing and emitting low grunts and huffs. They definitely didn't like something. I don't think they scented me as they would simply have left right away. I think they were having trouble with the light itself. It seems to run about 50/50 as to whether or not a group will walk in under the light the first time they encounter it.

    The hogs retreated what sounded to be 20-25 yds back into the brush and were just milling around. Reluctant to come into the bait...but unwilling to leave just yet either. All of the sudden the raccoons that left earlier started fighting off to my right. Very loudly, hissing, growling, screeching at one another. For some reason...this had a calming effect on the hogs and I could once again hear them moving toward the bait.
    But as before...when they reached the opening...they locked up and one of them began popping its teeth and walking back and forth.

    The group moved back into the brush....but didn't leave. Nothing to do but wait it out and see what they decide.

    So I reached down beside me where I had placed a light wind breaker that I sometimes use to help keep the mosquitoes off and felt something move underneath it. Something definitely larger than any insect that might have crawled up there. Whoa-Ho......what was that? In just a second I would have my answer because now its on my BACK between me and the tree. Scurrying up and down my shirt!

    OK...Flying Squirrel........Whew.......! Have had that happen before (squirrel run across your lap in the dark) but never had one on my back. It's hard to resist the urge to swat if off of you...but they are harmless and will go on their way directly. This one went from my lower back up to between my shoulder blades several times. It never got up on my shoulder or on my neck which might have been a bit too creepy for me.

    So the Squirrel leaves and apparently now the hogs as well...since I've not heard them for at least 10 minutes. I went ahead and got down, tied my sweaty shirt off to a tree near the bait and put on the windbreaker. Hopefully keep the hogs out of there for the rest of the night. If I can't kill one...I don't want them coming back later and eating the oat seeds.

    So.... failure last night, no hog kill(s) to report...but that's the way it goes sometimes. Will check the game camera today and try again, so stay tuned.


    Flint.
     
  4. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    Great story. You must have nerves of steel, I would probably bailed out when the flying squirrel crawled up my back. We used to catch them when I was a kid.
    Hope you have success with your next hunt.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
  5. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    The flying squirrels are very lightweight and you could not feel its nails at all...just the little bit of weight on my shirt and a sensation like someone was lightly running their hand over your back. It is not uncommon to hear them land on the tree you are in when they 'fly' from one tree to another. The sound of the bark on the tree gives them away....so you usually know where they are.

    I never heard this one before placing my hand over him/her when reaching for my windbreaker. That was a little surprising, but like I said previously...I've had them run across my lap while waiting on hogs to show up. It's just that they normally realize they aren't on a tree or the metal stand itself and get back to the tree pretty quickly. My thought is that it was perhaps a young squirrel and probably plays around on that stand every night (when I'm not there).

    On nights with a full moon...after your eyes adjust to the dark...you can easily see them.

    I wouldn't want one crawling on my neck...but this was not one of those 'scream like a girl' situations. And make no mistake... I WILL 'scream like a girl', if properly motivated (read SPIDER on me). Hate those things.
     

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  6. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    I kinda feel the same way about spiders, don't like, I won't ever like them, I probably don't like people that likes them. :)

    About the flying squirrels, we used to take a wire coat hanger and bend it to resemble a mini fish dip net, and fasten a plastic bag on it for the net. The plastic bag does not block the light going into the hole containing a squirrel. We would use gloves of course, and one of us would hold the bag over the hole while our cohort would bang on the tree. If there was a FS in the hole, it would come bouncing out and and into the plastic bag, then we would grab the squirrel with the gloves and place it into a container with air holes in it. I kept one as a pet for several weeks before I grew tired of feeding it and turned it loose. Not quite like chasing feral hogs but it was fun.

    Leon
     
  7. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    Couple of questions,
    What is your "hog light"? I've thought about a 12v battery, solar charger and green LEDs, Is that a good combination? If you left a sweaty shirt there nightly would they get used to it and not scent you?
    I love reading about your hunts and like several others have set down and read these pages and look forward to updates
     
  8. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I use LED landscaping lights (10 watt RED) that I wire a photocell to. Then use a car battery to power them (will last weeks fully charged, but I usually just connect them when I walk in). I have tried both colors (Red and Green) and have found the hogs to be more accepting of the red light.

    The human eye will pick up green better and many folks are persuaded to use that color since it appears brighter to them. But I have found you tend to lose clarity/detail more under a green light than with red.

    Red helps preserve your 'night vision' (Rhodopsin in the the eye). Regardless the color you choose...the hogs will eventually get used to it. But there are some very important 'mounting' issues I would have folks consider, if you want the best success.

    Certainly over time....hogs can be conditioned to 'accept' a variety of things (lights, scents, noises). But this assumes the SAME hog or group of hogs will stay around long enough for you to condition them.

    I will give you my thoughts on Human Scent and how hogs may or may not react to it.

    I think it goes without saying that much of the stimuli hogs react to will vary with the amount of hunting pressure they receive and any 'previous' experiences from which they might have learned.

    But in terms of scent (human) alone: Most hogs in most environments have run across human scent. Hogs that live in close proximity to humans, encounter their scent and sounds almost daily.

    So the mere 'scent' of a human (whether yours or someone else's) is not what is alarming. How strong/fresh that scent is.... is the key to how they might react to it.

    ^^^^^ Here is my reasoning for the above 'theory' and I believe it holds true for any animal that regards human scent as a potential threat:

    1. A strong/fresh scent encountered will be interpreted as a 'threat' being close by (NOW) or having passed through very recently. In either case... the animal will be on high alert or choose to leave the area.

    2. A lesser scent (Old/Faint) will generally be ignored as the animal interprets this to mean the source of the scent is distant or has long ago passed through. Or the animal will want to first 'confirm' the presence of a threat with one of it's other senses (sight, hearing) before running away.


    This is why I always shower before going hunting, regardless the wind direction. I want to leave the least amount of scent 'possible' in the area.

    Hogs pretty much have the best nose in the business, capable of picking out a few Parts Per Million of scent (one from another). You AREN'T going to ever be scent free from a hog (unless downwind) and you certainly can NOT 'cover up' your scent with any product. This holds true for deer as well.

    A hog (or deer) might hear or see something...yet not be too concerned with it. But let it SMELL you and it requires no other confirmation.

    So you always want to minimize your scent and play to their natural reactions (not fearing a faint scent) and use that to your advantage.

    Of course, when possible... always stay downwind of your quarry. But that is not always possible and in some situations where there is no wind current, there are still 'thermals' at play....(either rising or falling air).

    Thermals are something I have to deal with at one site in particular. In the evening as the temperature drops, the heavier (cooling air) drops to the ground and pools all along the branch I am hunting. It creates a scent funnel many hundreds of yards long.

    I have attached a photo (see below) of one of my bait sites (automatic feeder illuminated by LED lights). The photo was taken from an elevated stand 100 yds. from the feeder right at dusk.

    Focal length 50mm (or roughly approximating the human eye). This is adequate to see anything from a rabbit up to hogs in size with the naked eye. Then once something is spotted, use your scoped firearm to acquire your target.
     

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  9. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I didn't think about strength of scent, I lost a dog while hunting yrs ago and locals told me to leave my shirt there and come back the next day, she was there laying on my shirt:) How many lights do you recommend? Do you recommend iron sights or 3x9 scope? What about trs25?
    Thanks for your information, I hope people use your knowledge while hog hunting
     
  10. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    A single light (might have numerous elements) that casts a large enough pattern to illuminate a 20' span of the bait site is plenty IMO.

    I would not recommend iron sights when the distance is greater than 40 yds...and never after dark. For low-light (dark) conditions a Scoped firearm will be the way to go. With a variable scope...use the lowest magnification that will allow you see details well, with respect to the distance from your target. The lower setting will appear brighter to the eye than if set on a higher magnification.

    The TRS-25 (red dot) would be fine in the daytime and up close (50 yds. or less) but I wouldn't think it would be ideal at night. It has a 3 MOA dot (appears as a 3" dot @ 100 yds.) and even though it is adjustable for brightness....your eye will be drawn to the dot more so than your quarry. I have (and use) illuminated reticle scopes on several rifles and under certain conditions I do employ that feature. The most useful one for me is a heavy German # 4 with a small illuminated center dot. It allows for a precise aiming point while not being distracting.

    The least useful (for nighttime hunting) is the scope with a fully illuminated reticle. Even set on its lowest intensity it draws the eye (attention) to it and tends to wash out the target. I would expect the same from a Red Dot optic...though I have not personally used one at night.
     

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  11. easy

    easy Member

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    Question for the knowledgeable here. Got hit by hogs for the first time last night. Front 'yard' is a large grassy area and they tore up nearly a half acre sized party. Do they return to the same area again in the near future or will they generally move to another area near by? It's obvious there were a number of them. I 'know' the best is to trap them, as many as possible, but I'm currently w/out a trap.

    Flint, does shooting them, or at them, provide any real deterrence or just entertainment for humans?
     
  12. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    It is hard to say whether or not they will return. It depends largely on WHY they were there to begin with. Last year my In-Laws lawn was hit two nights in a row and then again about a week later. My best 'guess' is that the hogs were searching for (and finding) grub-worms in this case..and maybe yours.

    Hogs tend to be transient but will return to a ready food source if not disturbed. This time of year they will begin to key in on mast crops (Acorns) which are beginning to fall most places. But...being 'opportunistic' feeders... will not hesitate to root out any source of food that gives them a good return on their effort.

    Shooting hogs obviously is less effective than trapping, but it does tend to make them leery of the area they were shot from, at least for awhile.

    The single best way to 'move' hogs from a relatively small property is have someone come in with Hog Dogs and run them. Hogs absolutely hate dogs. It is an ineffective way to reduce their numbers IMO, but it will run them off your property for a period of time. Hopefully they move on...but no guarantees. Basically....its 'swapping hogs' with your neighbor, but for short term riddance it can work while you repair your yard.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
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  13. CulturedHick

    CulturedHick Member

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    This is the 21st that we caught with a snare this year.
    HOG.jpg
     
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  14. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Excellent. Snares can be just the 'thing' when carefully placed. Good job.
     
  15. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    How can hogs spoil your deer hunting "let me count the ways"?

    Couple of hogs spoiled my Deer Hunt (part of it) this evening...by virtue of showing up when they did.

    Not that I had deer in front of me and they ran them off (like so many times before) but because they came right at the last 45 minutes of light. Deer were moving good this morning. I passed up a respectable 8 point and let a bunch of Does walk. Watched some smaller bucks chasing the ladies around. Rut is right around the corner it appears.

    So I went back this evening to see what might be moving. Passed on a nice tall racked 8 point with exceptionally long tines and main beams that nearly touch in the middle. Nice buck...but only a 4.5 yr. old. So....its that magic time of the evening (last 30-45 minutes of good shooting light) and I am expecting to see some buck movement.

    Perfect weather, perfect time of the day. I have a group of 5 does that visit the food plot religiously right toward last light (last 30 minutes), so I am confident they will attract a buck or two when they show up.

    Well...right about 5:30 I see two big, black Sows pop out onto on an old logging road about 100 yds. distant, DANG....! I have a self imposed 'shoot on sight' rule for hogs.
    And these hogs...are big, fat ones. And these hogs are just standing there. And these hogs are absolutely broadside to me. I know if I shoot...the rest of my evenings Deer Hunt will be over. But I also know if I don't shoot...these pigs will go on to make a Bazillion more of themselves. Why couldn't they have showed up earlier...or after dark? Maybe they KNOW when its 'Deer-Thirty' and take pleasure in being difficult.

    Compelled to oblige the pigs.... I set the cross-hairs high on the shoulder of the Sow in front, took in a breath, held it, pressed the trigger. Sow went straight down, never made a sound, never moved again. The second one ran to the edge of cover and for some reason stopped with just her hind quarters still sticking out (still broadside).

    I suppose I could have broken the pig down and then gone and finished it...but it would have been a disservice to the animal. I do try to kill them as quickly and cleanly as I can. I waited until dark to see if any others might show up. But that was it. The report of the rifle pretty much cleared the immediate area (as expected).

    So in the end...who really won?

    Sow taped out 44.5" (heart girth).
     

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  16. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    Nice hog. Should be good eating.
     
  17. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I'm sure the Coyotes and Buzzards will agree.

    They should have the hog cleaned up in a couple of days.
     
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  18. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    Hey Flint! Good to see you post again, was beginning to think this thread would die from neglect. I would be disappointed too, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Have a blessed day friend,

    Leon
     
  19. Packrattusnongratus

    Packrattusnongratus Member

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    I come back each week to see what's new. Always enjoy the posts. Thanks again to Flintknapper. Be Well, Packy.
     
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  20. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Thanks for checking in Packy.

    Pulled some game cam cards today and the hogs seem to have gravitated back to the feeders (from eating acorns) so I will need to get the trap set if this group continues to come in. Never ending supply of them. :(

    It was quite cold this morning for this time of year (about 22-23°F). I would have thought they'd be someplace bedded up and trying to keep warm. If they can tolerate this type of weather...it makes you wonder how far North they might be able to spread and thrive.

     
  21. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    We've seen reports of them in south central Nebraska already, in a few generations I'm sure they'll make the dakotas
     
  22. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Well they survived the severe Ice Storm up here that lasted well over a month. I see no reason they can’t tolerate even more harsh conditions. We had several days with highs in the low teens and lows below zero during that storm. We’ve actually seen where they have burrowed out coyote dens and “built shelter” by piling up brush and leaves. They aren’t survivors by being stupid.
     
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  23. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    I was kind of hoping there would be a temperature line they wouldn't want to cross...but doesn't sound like it. If they are smart enough to create shelters for themselves...then we really are in trouble.

    Won't be long before they can 'vote'.
     
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  24. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    I bet they would vote to take your SoCom. So I hope not.
     
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  25. Leethal

    Leethal Member

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    I have been enjoying this thread for many years!
    I even bought a .458SOCOM, so I could be just like Flintknapper! LOL! just kidding.
    I live in South Central Montana, and have been thankful we haven't had any feral hogs here!
    But now. Canadian hogs have been crossing over our Northern border, and the local "experts" are saying that hunting these swine actually hurts eradication efforts!
    https://billingsgazette.com/news/st...7b5e0974d.html#tracking-source=home-top-story
    I think I might need to take a few days off, and take a trip to the North...
     
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