Ricky L. Kilpatrick, Van Osdell, Mary Ann | 10/24/2007 2:06:40 AM
BOSSIER CITY – About 70 people attending a seminar at the LSU AgCenter’s Red River Research Station recently learned ways to stop feral hogs from impinging on other wildlife populations and crops.
Farmers and hunters are reporting the wild hogs as nuisances because they cause considerable damage to pastureland, said Ricky Kilpatrick, LSU AgCenter agent in Bossier Parish.
A sizable herd of feral hogs can contaminate streams, endanger livestock through disease transmission, tear down fences and be hazardous to motorists, Kilpatrick said.
“There are several ways to trap hogs. There are pros and cons to each,” he said.
Sgt. Roy Schufft of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries discussed legalities of controlling feral hogs on public or private property, noting that additional restrictions apply in wildlife management areas.
“You have to have a basic hunting license, it has to be daylight and you can use any firearm you have in your disposal,” he said.
He added that hogs can be chased by dogs and hunted year-round. There is no limit.
“Places where there were no hogs now have a lot of hogs. If there’s a couple of them, you’ll have a whole family of them. They’re traveling,” said Schufft, who works in seven northeastern Louisiana parishes. “I don’t know anywhere in this region where there are no hogs.”
“The rumor that wild hogs don’t taste good is wrong. Eat all you can,” Schufft said.
Participants were shown several types of traps, including cages and snares. A corral-type trap has a “saloon door” while other types use tripping mechanisms.
Jerry Dison, LSU AgCenter master maintenance repairer, has had success with portable snare traps at the LSU AgCenter Red River Research Station. He said eight to 10 snares can be staggered along a hog trail.
Dison wears gloves to avoid leaving a scent on the trap and to avoid brucellosis bacteria that cause disease in humans and pseudorabies, a viral disease in swine.
Trapped feral hogs should never be around domestic swine, said Kilpatrick. A high percentage of feral hogs have tested positive for brucellosis and pseudorabies by the state agriculture department, he said.
Schufft said a deer caught in a hog trap should be let go unless it is injured.
“If the deer is injured, give us a call,” he said. “We will get the deer and donate the meat to charity.”
Dison cautioned that the higher the snare, the more likely a deer will be caught. Snares should be placed on the ground because hogs walk with their heads to the ground.
Randall Dupree, trapper for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, said the department can trap hogs if the landowner furnishes the corn for bait. Their traps are limited and may not be available immediately.
“You can snare anytime and do not need a trapper’s license on your own property,” said Dupree.
He prefers a freefall door tripped by a trigger rather than a swinging door that hogs can nose out of.
“When they turn back loose, they’re going to be leery of returning.” Dupree said.
Being omnivores, hogs eat most anything in their path – plant or animal, even carcasses, Dupree explained.
Joe Casida of Derry said he was successful with a trap made by the agriculture department at Natchitoches Central High School. He caught 150 hogs last year. Casida said they have an open top so deer can hop out.
“We’re not going to get rid of hogs, we are just trying to manage them,” Kilpatrick concluded.
More information on hog trapping is available from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at (318) 371-3049 or the Department of Agriculture and Forestry at 800-558-9741.