Meeting focuses on feral hog concerns

Image
  • Submitted photo Kory Gilbert of Hogg Boss Traps in Bastrop spoke to those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting about trapping Feral Hogs.
    Submitted photo Kory Gilbert of Hogg Boss Traps in Bastrop spoke to those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting about trapping Feral Hogs.
Body

Fifty-one people came together at a Tuesday evening meeting in Marion on February 18, to express their concerns about the exploding population of wild hogs in our area and learn effective control techniques. Feral hog trapping was discussed by Kory Gilbert of Hogg Boss Traps of Bastrop. John Hanks of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries answered questions and provided information on wild hog population trends and control techniques. This meeting was coordinated by Trailblazer RC&D and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Marion Mayor Danny Smith and Union Parish Police Juror Nathan Pilgreen welcomed the large group to the meeting and expressed their concerns regarding the tremendous damage caused by wild hogs.

It is estimated that wild hog damage to agricultural crops and the environment in the United States runs around $1.5 billion annually. Locally, agricultural producers, homeowners, and city governments alike are suffering from destroyed crops, degraded water quality, and rooted up lawns - causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage each year.

Wild hogs reproduce at alarming rates. A female can produce three large litters each year with a great survival rate. The presenters and participants agreed the only way to control the exploding wild hog population is to eliminate the hogs. Presenters offered information on various control methods including:

Hunting feral hogs a night. In many states, it is legal to hunt hogs at night, and there are reasonably priced night vision and/or thermal optic devices available. If you are interested in this option, contact your local office of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for regulations on night hunting.

Hunting feral hogs from a helicopter. This is an extremely effective but very expensive way to eradicate feral hogs. If you are considering this option, contact your local office of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for more information.

Hunting feral hogs with dogs. Using dogs to hunt feral hogs is very effective and cost efficient. The last few hogs on your property can be the most difficult to catch, but a good pack of hunting dogs being handled by an experienced handler can track them down and eliminate them from your property.

If done correctly, trapping hogs can result in 100 percent eradication of your feral hog problem. If done incorrectly, it can actually make the feral hogs more difficult to remove from your property. To demonstrate the effectiveness of trapping feral hogs, Kory Gilbert of Hogg Boss Traps in Bastrop provided a hands-on demonstration of an effective, cost efficient cellular-controlled hog gate.

Free registration for this workshop was made possible by the support of these partners and sponsors: ENABLE Midstream Partners; Mudd & Holland Consulting Foresters, LLC; Burnham Construction; Canfor Southern Pine; Whitetails Unlimited, Lincoln Chapter; Union Parish Police Jury; Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; LSU AgCenter; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; and Trailblazer RC&D. Special thanks go to Kory Gilbert of Hogg Boss Traps of Bastrop; Nathan Pilgreen of the Union Parish Police Jury; and Peyton McKennie of Tiger Bend Outdoors.

Trailblazer RC&D is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership, coordination, partnership development, and technical assistance projects to encourage strong communities, sustainable agriculture, and a healthy environment.