Wild hogs are taking over ranches in many areas of the U.S.. Hog trap use is increasing as feral pig populations are increasing in more than 20 states. Somewhere between 1-4 million wild pigs live in Texas alone. In some areas feral hogs are reproducing at the rate of ten piglets per litter and w/three litters per year possible one pair can produce thirty offspring in a year.
Feral hogs compete with deer and other animals for the same food only pigs are even worse than goats in destruction. They not only eat the plants they eat the roots so that as long as they are present the food quickly decreases. Deer populations suffer in size, quality and quantity.
Their rooting not only denudes the land it is indicated in excessive erosion which can cause irreparable damage to the environment.
Even if deer are fed grain the hogs will steal it from them. Deer feeders have to be well fenced to keep out hogs using four ft high 2″x4″ minimum sized welded wire with the wire sung at least a foot in the ground.
Feral pigs are shy wary animals and it is very time consuming to hunt them out of existence so trapping them with a hog trap becomes the best option to rid the ranch of them.
Several types of hog trap /s have been designed for this purpose.
Two are shown in simple hog trap plans from Clemson University. One is a permanent stationary trap using 4″ steel fence posts and 2″x4″ or better 6″x6″ 10ga welded wire mesh (same as used for concrete reinforcement. The other is a portable using wire mesh, plywood and 2″x4″ lumber.
In South Texas a lot of hunters and ranchers fabricate 6″x6″x10ga welded wire panels to angle iron frames. The primary requirement to building these traps is the ability to weld. The most popular size is 4’Wx8’Lx4’High with wire mesh roof and floor. Another popular model is a round trap. They are more complicated and expensive to make. A round trap is easy to move though when desired.
Caution Caution Caution
Do not let a wild hog’s size fool you. Be extremely careful when approaching a trap containing wild hogs. Wild hogs can be very aggressive and dangerous – even small ones – especially when cornered or trapped.
If the intent is to kill one or more for meat you might do well not to let them see you at all. If they are recently trapped they will be very excited and full of adrenaline and I am told that this will make the meat taste more wild. I have never been able to compare the taste side by side but the way to avoid this problem is to wait until the adrenaline has all been metabolized and they have calmed down. When this has happened shoot them in the head with a rifle, one by one from a blind or from behind some kind of cover some distance away. When one falls it will not arouse the others if they do not see you.
When you have harvested all you want do not blindly enter the trap because a wounded hog is more dangerous than a healthy frightened one.
As soon as possible hoist them up in the air by the hind legs stick them in the neck and cut the carotid artery to bleed them out then skin and clean them out.