Guest Post: A Problem We Don’t Have Here.. Yet…

wild, pig, tshtf, teotwawki, preparedness, food, supply, storage,

by Wyzyrd

I recently had a conversation with a friend in southern Texas, and he related that his father’s crops had, once again, been decimated by a pack of feral hogs, and that he wished his dad’s place was isolated enough that the Natural Resources folks could just come in with choppers and military-grade firearms (he mentioned Barrett .50’s) and go after them efficiently. This is apparently routinely-done in less-populated areas of the State.

wild, pig, tshtf, teotwawki, preparedness, food, supply, storage,

This led to some thought and a bit of research. It seems that feral hog populations are a multi-million (if not closer to a billion) dollar ‘nuisance’ all across the Southern half of the country, and the problem is spreading fast. (Michigan already has a problem and has issued a ‘shoot on sight’ order for feral pigs – it doesn’t only happen where it stays warmer.)

In addition to massive crop damage, these critters also spread brucellosis and other diseases to domestic livestock, and have few compunctions about injuring, killing (and probably eating) anyone or anything that gets in their way. The main difference between ‘Little Buttercup’ in the pig-pen, and those wild boar that killed armored knights in the Arthurian tales is a year or so in the wild.

The problem is apparently made worse by the infusion of European and Russian strains in the 1960’s by entrepreneurs who wanted to create a bigger ‘adventure’ for paying hunters on their preserves. These are tough, resiliant animals, not the cute piglet you remember from taking your kids to the petting zoo. Those tusks can ‘unzip’ a human like a sword in a samurai movie. One sow can have 10-15 offspring in one year.

What can be done? Not much. If you raise pigs, make sure you have good fences in place and maintain them. Dispose of ‘garbage’ wisely. Consider where you want to locate your compost piles. Pigs define the term ‘omnivore’. If it’s organic matter, they can probably eat it. In a TEOTWAWKI situation, you may need to consider some larger caliber firearms. At least get some more .12ga slugs. If you shoot a big feral hog in the head or upper shoulder with a 5.56, you will just annoy him, and make his disposition even worse. Stock up on heavy rubber gloves and protective gear for butchering any you may kill, and learn to cook ’em the way your grandma told you to do. They are most likely carrying SOMETHING. Don’t make yourself sick. If you have neighbors who raise pigs, offer to help out w/fences, etc, in return for some sausage. If ‘old Mr. Smith’ gets sick, or dies, you could have a serious issue on your hands in a year or so. Keep an eye on it.

Not trying to be an alarmist, at all (“Oh NO!!.. Mutant Zombie Swine!!!), but if you think about a potential problem now, it is less likely to surprise you in the future.


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13 Comments

  1. Yep, they are a constant nuisance on our place in South Texas. They tear up our deer feeders, fences, hay pens, water stations, and they knocked over a small solar panel I had set up for a lake aeration system rooting under it for food. Generally, we us hog traps to catch them and then put them down with a .357 at close range. We keep some of the meat to mix with venison and make sausage – most of it we give to the local food bank.

    Some of my friends from Dallas like to come down and hunt them from the deer stands – cheap entertainment.

    The chopper idea sounds great, though I am pretty certain I wouldn’t want somebody shooting a .50 onto our place. We have some rocky areas and I would be concerned about ricochets.

  2. a good article but the author needs to go shoot a few pigs himself before offering advice. We routinely take down large hogs with a 5.56 and it does not “annoy” them it punches hole through them, both FMJ and soft point 55 or 62 grain.

  3. Just a minor update for Virginians – Loudoun County, VA, 60 miles from here, where I lived from 1985-2001 reports a fairly bad feral hog problem already. It will be rough to deal with there, as the county is split between “bedroom suburbs” and “rich-folks horse farms” Luckily, the Blue Ridge is in the way, but I don’t really believe that will slow them down all THAT much.

  4. @theboatyard :
    Yes, I agree – never shot one myself. I am relying on advice from another friend with more experience, who told me “nothing less than .308/7.62, because you’re a pretty dang crappy shot”

  5. @theboatyard and @Ken,

    For most of the commonly seen south Texas piggies a .223 would probably (and that is meant to be a probable, not a guarantee) drop them or cause sufficient damage that they would soon expire. However, I have personally seen 400+ pound ferals and there is no way a .223 would ensure a quick kill – a real problem if the animal decides to contest your presence in its territory. I have shot dozens of smaller pigs with a .223 Mini-14 with good solid body shots and seen them run over a mile before they drop. I know of several ranches that will not let hunters on their place with 30-30’s because they won’t stop a pig.

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife recommends a .243 as the MINIMUM caliber to hunt feral hogs. A .243 delivers twice the energy (for the same bullet weight) as a .223. Even taking into account the TP&W assumes most hunters are only average shots, this recommendation does not have a 200% safety factor built into it.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, we like to trap them and shoot them when they are behind bars. No muss, no fuss.

    I recommend anyone going into the boonies where feral pigs are a common sight listen to Ken – take the biggest caliber you can comfortably carry.

  6. They are growing in population here in Kentucky. There have been over thirty taken just in our area alone. Deer feeders might as well be magnets. Most of the hogs here have been gotten by traps or dogs. I have witnessed myself a bullet ricochet off one,s head and hit the gate to the trap. I also witnessed one that was down then shot back to life. Definately need to watch what you are doing around these guys. We usually just make roast out of them. Stick one in the crockpot with onions and some seasoning, add some noodles towards the end. Yummy!!! There is no telling how long it will take for them to become a serious problem. 95% of the hogs we’ve (well, my husband and father in law) cleaned have all been pregnant.

  7. It looked like (in the video) they were using a semi auto slug gun. We have these beasts in Georgia (obviously smaller- not being in texas) 😀 I would probably run if I came across one but after 10ft would be exhausted and would then be forced to shoot it, get help to drag it out, skin and butcher it- sounds like alot of work for ham steaks and bacon.

  8. Feral hogs may well prove a boon in a TEOTWAWKI situation.. They were released in many parts of the world long ago with intent.. With the full knowledge they would be meat to eat at a later time.. They may perform that function in the near future for many of us..

    • Vic –

      I was thinking the same thing. They are certainly something to watch out for while in the woods. Also – if not hunted at the same rate their population may get even bigger -thus more meat. Although – they may be hunted even more and population decrease after the “crunch”.

      Thanks – Rourke

  9. Looking from a TEOTWAWKI pov, when talking about the “tactical” rifles and the hunting of deer/boar. I would think, the .223/5.56 would be capable up to 200 yrds as long as shot placement is correct. Personally, I chose the 7.62×39 specifically with hunting larger game in mind. But even at 100 yrds, you need to ensure you’re hitting vital areas.
    If all you do is puncture a lung and tear up some intestine… the chase is on! You run the possiblity that the your game could run into someone else and then its no longer your game. As noted by Harry, a mile is a long way. And a second shot isnt a tactically sound choice.
    I chose to use scopes on both rifles and my slug gun, simply because a scope improves chances on getting a quick kill. Even a “cheap” scope is better than no scope at all and when you think 2 is 1 and 1 is none. I’ll go with the “cheap” scopes.

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