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Deer hunters face unwanted competition as feral hog explosion thins herds

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Vicki, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member

    Deer hunters face unwanted competition as feral hog explosion thins herds

    Published March 31, 2016 FoxNews.com

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    [​IMG] This photo, provided by LouisianaBowhunter.com, shows a herd of wild hogs feasting on a deer fawn. (LouisianaBowhunter.com)

    Deer hunters are facing competition from a source that is mean, relentless and out of control.

    The explosion of feral hogs across the U.S. is threatening the deer population -- spreading disease, dominating the food chain and even, on occasion, killing and eating fawns. In Louisiana, where there are an estimated 700,000 wild hogs, hunters and wildlife officials say they are taking a toll on the whitetail deer herd.

    "They are in the marshes and beaches of Louisiana all the way up into the hills and piney woods and swamps," Jim LaCour, state wildlife veterinarian for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told FoxNews.com. "They’re in every habitat in the state."
    "If you start to see hogs in your hunting area, you are absolutely not going to see deer."
    - hunter Justin Lanclos
    "They’re very adaptable and also highly destructive," LaCour said.
    LaCour described the feral pigs, which can weigh up to 500 pounds, as "opportunistic" eaters -- omnivores that feast on anything crossing their path, including deer fawn, other piglets and dead animals.

    LaCour said hogs carry many diseases, such as leptospirosis, which can infect or kill other animals, like deer, as well as humans.

    "Hogs are the sport utility vehicle for disease and parasites -- they move them across the landscape," he said. "That bacteria [leptospirosis] can cause abortion in the deer – and it can kill adult deer or people."

    Their presence is also detrimental to the land, forcing wildlife officials to carry out aerial gunning in certain areas "because they tear up the marsh and that leads to coastal erosion."

    Hogs were first introduced to North America by Spanish settlers. The breed most commonly seen in Texas is a mixture of those hogs and Russian boars brought over more recently for sport hunting, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
    Some speculate the population boom is due to relatively recent cross-breeding in the wild. Others, like LaCour, say the popularity of hog hunting in the 1980's and early '90's led humans to move the feral pigs from confined, geographically isolated areas into places they had never been before.

    Wild hogs can reproduce by the time they are 6 months old. Feral sows can have two litters per year averaging six piglets per litter, according to wildlife experts. Statisticians have determined that 75 percent of the population must be harvested to maintain a static population -- prompting Louisiana and other states to adopt liberal hunting policies when it comes to killing the hogs. Texas has the highest rate of feral hogs to date, according to environmentalists.

    For deer hunter Justin Lanclos, the very sighting of a feral pig means trouble.
    "If you start to see hogs in your hunting area, you are absolutely not going to see deer," said Lanclos, a 33-year-old bowhunter from Sulthur, La.

    "Deer are extremely smart and elusive," Lanclos told FoxNews.com. "They just don’t like to occupy the same area as hogs."

    Lanclos, the owner of retailer Louisiana Bowhunter, said he recently received a photo showing a herd of hogs -- or sounder -- running off with a whitetail fawn. The image, believed to have been taken in Louisiana, has since gone viral on social media.

    "We’ve got other photos of feral hogs carrying fawns," noted LaCour. "If the hogs are coming through a field and they happen to come across it, they’re going to eat it."

    Deer hunters face unwanted competition as feral hog explosion thins herds | Fox News
  2. old goat

    old goat CH Dog

    It part of our game management program . We have to cull as many hogs as we can . During birthing it's rough on the babies . They're having twins but only 1 will make it and if the hogs are bad then your in more trouble . We cull hogs 24/7 365 days year .
  3. wicked13

    wicked13 CH Dog

    Damn I never knew them fuckers eat deer makes me wanna check out the hunting up north and east of me Can you eat em or are they full of parasites and pretty much vermin
  4. old goat

    old goat CH Dog

    You can eat them . But summer time they will have ticks and fleas . These things are great four BBQ .
  5. AGK

    AGK Super duper pooper scooper Administrator

    Get the dogs and get you some hogs. A part of me wishes we had hogs here but the deer hunter in me says we don't want them here. Honestly I think I would enjoy hog hunting even more than deer hunting simply because you can use dogs. I'd be putting one or 2 on the ol spit, apple in the mouth and all. Lol.
  6. slim12

    slim12 Super Moderator Staff Member

    They are destructive. I went on a hog hunt in the mountains of NC year before last. The guy carried me to a filed that was planted one day and re-disc-ed that night by a bunch of pigs. Trail cameras showed them just having a field day.

    It was a fun time but the farm life takes a beating.


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