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Agriculture Today


New facts available on feral hog behavior




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June 8, 2011 | 3,137 views | Post a comment

By Paul Schattenberg

COLLEGE STATION -- Though feral hogs are well-known pests to landowners throughout the state, there is still much people are unaware of regarding their behavior and what may be done to manage them, said Texas AgriLife Extension Service experts.

To help fill in the blanks on feral hogs, a group of AgriLife Extension experts have developed several fact sheets relating to management of this problematic species, said Dr. Jim Cathey, a specialist in wildlife ecology at Texas A&M University in College Station and contributing author to these publications.

Cathey and other AgriLife Extension personnel collaborated on several new feral hog fact sheets reflecting a variety of expertise and perspectives.

“We tried to address the realistic and practical aspects of feral hog identification and management through these publications,” Cathey said. “Their content is based on what we know from our individual experience and professional expertise, as well as from input received from farmers, ranchers, and other landowners who have had encounters with feral hogs.”

The new fact sheets address topics ranging from recognizing evidence of feral hogs to methods of capturing these non-native animals. Feral hogs cause an estimated $52 million in damages to the Texas agriculture industry each year. They also cause problems in suburban areas, and in rural areas they compete with wildlife for food, cover, and space.

The new fact sheets can be found on the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership website at http://pcwp.tamu.edu/feral-hogs/capture-techniques and may be downloaded free from that site. Color versions of these publications may be obtained for a charge from the Texas AgriLife Extension Bookstore at http://agrilifebookstore.org.

One of the new publications titled “Recognizing Feral Hog Sign” deals with indicators of feral hog activity, including damage from rooting, crop damage, wallows and rubs, tracks and trails, droppings, and beds.

Additional new publications, “Box Traps for Capturing Feral Hogs,” “Building a Feral Hog Snare,” and “Corral Traps for Capturing Feral Hogs,” give detailed instructions on how to construct and use these different means of capture.

A new associated fact sheet titled “Placing and Baiting Feral Hog Traps” provides instruction on how to choose promising locations for trap placement and the best types of bait to use. It also includes a hog bait recipe, list of baits, and trapping tips.

Cathey said each management approach referred to in the new fact sheets may be viewed as one option in the “toolbox” for feral hog management.

“A combination of techniques will likely be needed to have a sustained effect and diminish feral hog impacts,” he said. “And to produce the best results, these different techniques should be used simultaneously.”

For more information or technical assistance on feral hogs in the Plum Creek Watershed area, contact Jared Timmons at 254-485-4886 or jbtimmons@ag.tamu.edu .
 

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