A big part of any gamekeeper’s game plan is to provide better habitat for native wildlife. Feral hogs are wildlife too; they’re just not native, not invited and are detrimental to every effort you make to improve your property for deer and turkeys. Here are a few things you can change to make your property less attractive to hogs.
1. Plant Differently
Choose varieties that are less attractive to hogs. Corn and chufa are guaranteed to attract hogs to your property. Instead, BioLogic’s Non-Typical Clover, Spring Protein Peas or LabLab for summer food plots seems less attractive to hogs.
2. Deny Entry
If you use feeders for protein pellets or corn for your “approved of guests,” build a 4-foot-high fence around each feeder. Deer and turkeys can jump or fly into the fenced area, but hogs cannot. They are poor jumpers. But beware, they are good at digging, so you must make sure your trap fence is seated properly. Also, don’t let the animals spend that much time in the trap. It’s best to remove them directly after the gate closes.
Trapping is proven to be the best way to get control over feral hog populations, but there are other methods that help.
4. Kill the Sows
Everyone talks about shooting a big boar. But shoot a sow instead. She is the one having three litters of pigs in a 14-month period and populating your land!
5. No Mercy
Sows should be your primary target but try to kill them all, even the smallest pigs. It is not pleasant work, but it’s the only way to take back your land.
6. Own the Night
Just like our military’s advantage over most foes, they “own the night.” Meaning, they have a way to continue operations even in the dark. Night or thermal vision equipment greatly enhances your ability to shoot unsuspecting hogs at night. It is expensive but allows you to see when hogs are most active. If these tools are too expensive, use lights with red or green lenses.
7. Death from Above
Helicopter gunning with shotguns or AR-type rifles has proven effective in some areas. The availability of open terrain is the limiting factor here.
While experimental at this time, there are some promising possibilities on the horizon that could change how we deal with feral hogs. Sodium nitrate appears to be the medicine of choice, but a delivery system that gets the poison “only to hogs” is the bump in the road at present time.
9. Form a Co-op
Work with your neighbors to control feral hogs. Help each other fight the war. After all, his pigs are your pigs. They do not respect property boundaries.
For more tips, read “Keep Your Game Alive.” Fox, coons, coyotes or cats, just about every predator likes a meal of eggs, a tender, young turkey poult or the “fillet mignon” of a newborn fawn. If you want to raise more gobblers, whitetails or other game animals you should consider attacking the problem at its source.