What is in this article?:
- Now is best time of year to aggressively control wild pigs
- Prolific breeders
- Trap designs
- Feral hogs are a major problem on agricultural lands in Texas.
- The new two months may be the best time to make a dent in those populations.
- But control measures require more than just setting traps for wild pigs, a Texas AgriLife Extension specialist says.
“Wild pigs are one of the most prolific large mammals in the world,” Higginbotham said.
According to a 2011 study, the average age of a sow having her first litter is about 13 months, he said. Mature sows will have an average of 1.5 litters per year, and the average litter size is 5.6 piglets.
“Though sows can have litters any month of the year, there always seems to be a peak in farrowing during the early spring,” Higginbotham said. “This is an added incentive for landowners to strike as soon as possible before even more pigs hit the ground.”
Landowners have the choice of several control methods for wild pigs. These include trapping, snaring, dogging and shooting, both aerially and on the ground, he said. But because of the large amount of cover afforded by forest and brush in many parts of Texas, trapping and shooting remain the most effective options for landowners in such areas.
“A 2011 survey of 700 landowners in 139 Texas counties by AgriLife Extension detailed the frequency of control method utilized,” Higginbotham said. “Of 36,664 wild pigs removed in 2010 by survey respondents, 57 percent were removed through trapping and 24 percent via aerial and landowner shooting. Hunting was responsible for removing another 11 percent of the pigs taken. Catch dogs removed 6 percent of the total while 2 percent were removed through the use of snares.”