"Feral swine multiply rapidly, with sows producing several litters a year of four to six piglets, so as with any invasive species, it's crucial to mount aggressive eradication efforts before the population is widely established, Batcheller said. They're also wily and secretive, and become even more so when people try to shoot or trap them."
|Hog and raccoons|
We have been working with the USDA to trap hogs running wild on adjoining Mark Twain National Forest land. For two months we have been putting out bait corn on the edge of a field where pigs had been seen. Initially we saw 5 hogs on the game camera but after a few days, only a single big boar showed up and he has been a regular visitor. Boars are known to kill and eat piglets and he may be scaring away the females with young.
Over time our corn has developed quite a following. Our game camera that initially captured a single raccoon now pictures up to eight at a time. On a recent night, as I poured corn out, young raccoons came out of the woods to eat at my feet. They looked offended when I threw sticks at them but waited patiently10 feet away until I left. A nighttime inspection with a powerful flashlight makes the nearest tree look like Christmas with all the little eyes glowing back.
Turkey are regular daytime visitors, pecking at the individual kernels left by the mammals. Deer come in from time to time and occasionally we have a United Nations gathering of three species at once. We even have a daytime picture of an unknown trespasser carrying a rifle.
The last few days there have been multiple sightings of a bear wearing an MDC radio collar. It isn't surprising that he came by to get his portrait at our game camera. He even went into the newly placed hog trap to look around. Fortunately he didn't set it off as we would have had a challenge getting it out of the trap safely.
|Collared bear- click to enlarge|
To paraphrase Forest Gump, "Hog trappin" is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to find.
Late Breaking News
|Russian Boar- Click to enlarge|
They were first introduced by Columbus who brought eight to the new world. Cortes, de Soto, and La Salle contributed and more were introduced for sport hunting in the early 20th century. They are celebrated at the University of Arkansas as their razorback. Our specimen lived up to his reputation, charging at us in his trap until the last.