Feral hogs are not native to North America. They compete with native animals for limited food and can destroy plant communities. Damage caused by feral hogs is a growing problem because of their destructive feeding habits, potential to spread disease and increasingly growing population. Researchers, landowners and hunters must increase their understanding of feral hog biology, natural history, damage management, and control techniques to win the war.
It is important to note that only legal methods can be used to control feral hogs. Legal control methods in most states include shooting, snaring, trapping and capture via the use of dogs that are specially trained for that purpose. These methods have shown to be useful in significantly reducing the damage feral hogs can cause. However, none of these techniques will guarantee total, permanent eradication of a hog population. This techniques can be used to “control” a hog population, not completely eliminate one.
The best method of feral hog control is through the use of traps. We can not hope to eradicate wild hogs right now, although there are some baits and delivery systems being developed that show promise. There are currently no toxicants that can be legally used for feral hog control. In Texas, the state has successfully prosecuted landowners that have chosen to try and reduce feral hog populations via the use of substances not registered for use.
Research projects on feral hogs have shown that it is possible to reduce the damage that feral hogs cause. For most landowners, hog trapping using large traps, pre-baiting and varying baits among traps that appeal to the feral hogs’ keen sense of smell increase the odds of trapping success. Of course, shoot all of the hogs that you see.