Education

Feral swine

I knew the subject would come up eventually.  When I hunt small game such as rabbits or squirrels I use a Ruger 10-22 with a standard magazine, I carry in a cross-draw or hip holster an old .44 magnum revolver with loads I loaded some time ago.  When I would get a tag and carry a 7×57 rifle, the .44 would ride at the side.  Do I fear lions, wolves or coyotes?  No.  The only wildlife I fear in Kansas is feral swine.

How do feral swine (sometimes referred to as wild hogs) differ from their domestic counterparts?   Some wildlife biologists in Michigan have started listing the characteristics that make these downright nasty critters so dangerous that they must be destroyed.  As of 1 April 2012 hunters will destroy these animals and will arrest farmers for keeping and breeding.  Feral means that domestic animals have escaped into the wild and propogated their species outside custody.  There is no difference between domestic hogs and their feral counterparts–they are the same breeds and produce the same meat products.  The difference–and any farmer or hunter in Kansas or Missouri can tell you–is confinement and fencing.  Domestic swine are fenced or penned.  Swine not meeting those criteria are fair game.

Some useful hints in dealing with free running swine.

1.    Before going on a hunt, be sure you know the law and regulations for your state,

2.     Use a repeating large calibre rifle or slug bearing shotgun.  It is essential because of the damage a wounded beast can do.

3.     If you must use black powder or bow you should use a treestand so as to be out of the way.

4.     If you are a landowner and there are reports of feral swine in the area, make sure you and your hands and adult family are armed when travelling the land.  Keep children safe indoors or in fenced areas.  Recommended firearms–repeating 12 gauge shotgun with slug or rifle of at least 7mm.

5.     Avoid campaigning or voting for feral swine at the local, state and national levels.

I should point out that it was more than forty years ago that I pissed off my grandfather’s boar and suddenly discovered that I did know how to climb a fence quickly.  It was quickly in the perception of my cousin but I perceived it as a good quarter of an hour.  The personality is the same, the meat is mostly the same.  Confinement is the difference.

There were some game ranches in Texas where Russian Boars were let loose to be hunted and got away.  These cause serious problems so landowners should be wary–and armed.  I have not been able to trace down the rumor that they became walk ons at Arkansas.  But that’s strictly a Southeast Conference problem.

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