Concerning the truth and myth of wild pigs in Texas, Higginbotham says it’s true that these animals are intelligent. He says improper baiting and trapping is one of the chief concerns because the hogs, like rats, learn how to spring or avoid traps.

As for population and propagation levels, he says estimates indicate 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas and that, contrary to common belief, they can’t double in population levels every year. However, feral hogs are the most prolific large mammal on the face of the earth. He says sows drop approximately 1.5 litters per year with five to six offspring to each litter. According to the latest data, he says, the population base grows an alarming rate each year of about 20 percent. A recent study indicates feral hog populations in Texas number about 1.5 million. An estimated 5 to 6 million wild hogs are believed to populate the 48 lower states.

“Controlling feral hogs in Texas is going to take much more than just hunting them,” Higginbotham said. “Hunting represents a very small control effort. The feral hog problem has grown to a crisis level and the only way to effectively control it is through a process of property owners taking an active role in management efforts.”

Snaring/trapping and aerial and ground gunning remain the best methods of controlling feral hog populations, but experts warn understanding how to properly use traps and snares is critical.

“They learn to avoid danger very quickly and half-hearted attempts to control them just make them less susceptible to future control efforts, and controlling the population of feral pigs is our only hope, for the problem is so great there is no hope of eradication” Higginbotham warns.

 

FACT:

  • Damage from feral hogs in Texas tops $52 million.
  • They are known to be territorial.
  • Can damage peach and pecan trees.
  • Increase in numbers each year by as much as 20-percent.
  • Are intelligent, crafty animals.

 

FICTION:

  • Will aggressively attack humans (most attacks are coincidental).
  • Spread swine flu.
  • Are near impossible to kill.
  • Double in population every year.