People in America have loved or hated feral hogs in the United States for decades now, but here are some facts about feral hogs. Commonly called wild hogs, feral hogs, feral pigs, or wild boar, they are all really refering to the same animal. Sportsmen regularly head out hog hunting for this excellent tasting animal, but what is the deal with feral hogs? Well, the term “feral” refers to any domesticated animal that has gone wild. Because hogs are not native to this continent, all hogs on this continent are the products of domesticated hogs gone wild. Thus, all wild hogs are all feral hogs.
Although wild feral hogs are considered free-ranging livestock in most states, there are many positives and negatives regarding their presence, and it all depends on whether you are more interested in hunting hog or farming, ranching, or keeping your property intact. As hog populations across the country expand, control methods become more critical. Landowners, especially farmers and ranchers, cringe at the thought of wild hogs becoming established near the ag fields, hay fields, and range lands. Wild hogs are notorious for destroying agricultural crops and tearing up ranchers fences.
Most hunters, however, look forward to having them and hunting them on their deer or hog hunting leases. To some hunters, a wild hog represents a formidable trophy worthy of payment for hunting priviledges. Their large size, strength, and boars with long tusks make good-looking trophies for successful hog hunters. To some landowners, the combination of feral hogs and lease hunters makes having feral hogs on their property a bit easier to accept. Regardless of how you feel about feral hogs, once you have them you have them. Hog hunting and trapping may slow their population growth or move them off your land for a while, but they will be back.
The love/hate relationship between wild hogs and people can be a problem. Some individuals, as in potential wild hog hunters, may want to trap and stock feral hogs into an area, but others, such as farmers, may want to remain “feral hog free” for as long as possible. Many well-meaning hunters have released a few pigs into areas that soon turned into sizable hog populations with the ability to destroy acres and acres of fields in a single night. I’ve seen some areas as large as 30 acres so torn up by hogs that it looked as if some farmer disked the entire area. The first fact about hogs that everyone should know is that they are destructive!