As an avid hunter my favorite part was to watch the woods and animals wake up. Watching the sun slowly shine between the trees and the woods feel alive again. This year though I noticed things a bit differently. As I scouted and walked the woods it was as if the ground was torn up in all the creeks and fields where the wild hogs have come through like a bulldozer and created wallows everywhere. Then while on vacation around Christmas my wife and I went on a 2-mile nature hike in a populated area. Upon our hike we ran into about 30 wild hogs with babies. All over the trails you could see where they created washouts and tore up the side of the mountain. We were fortunate enough to be ok but what about if it was a family with kids? Upon returning home from vacation I went back out and spoke to a few local farmers if they were experiencing any issues. Upon speaking to one owner he has a 90 acre that are unusable to his cattle as the hogs keep tearing up the grass which increases food costs. Due to the hogs tearing up the field the farmer has had lease land elsewhere. This has then forced him to increase his food for his animals and overall either taking profits away to grow or increase prices to his customers. Small farmers normally don't have the financial backup as large corporation back farms do. I knew I wanted to help as I love the outdoors, I wanted to find a way to really help and make a difference.
My goal is to raise money to help pay for hog traps and supplies needed. I am currently using my personnel funding and trying to shoot them, but hogs reproduce faster than you can shoot them. When a large group come into the field, I can't get them all with a single shot. This is where large traps come into play. With large traps I can get groups faster which will allow the grass and land to recover sooner so the farmers can use it again. This will allow wildlife to become healthier and grow as wild hogs are not a native animal. Due to current hunting limitations on public land it is very difficult to make a dent in the hog population while hunting. By teaming up with local farmers we can make a difference and all while stimulating the local economy. At this time, I am a small operation but with your help we can gather to tools needed. With enough assistance I’d love to increase my operation and create a nonprofit organization and grow where farmers can reach out to for assistance if they are having issues. Once the hogs have been trapped my goal is to then harvest as much meat as possible and donate it to local charities such as Hunters for the Hungry and any others that may need it.
Thank you again for your time and donations. Please follow me on Instagram @hopeforsmallfarms as I track the process and hopefully allow this one farmer and many others access to their own land again. If you or you know someone that is having wild hog problems please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Hog Information
Source: South Carolina Department of Natural Recourses.
Wild pigs have been present in coastal South Carolina since they were released by the Spanish in the 1500s. Their historic range was geographically limited to floodplains of major river systems. In the mountains of the state, Eurasian wild hogs were introduced in the early 1900s. In the 1980s wild pigs were found in only 26 counties, with the distribution generally resembling their historic range. By 2008 wild pigs were documented in all 46 counties with small scattered populations in the piedmont related to recent translocations by humans. The harvest of wild pigs in 2009 was estimated at 36,888 and the estimated population in 2010 is 150,000.
In the United States, $1.5 billion dollars in agricultural damage is lost annually due to feral hogs. Wild hogs consume and trample crops such as hay, corn, peanuts, small grains, vegetables, watermelons, soybeans, cotton, and others. They damage pasture by rooting and digging. Feral hogs can damage fences, roads and cause serious damage to dikes. Wild hogs can also have an impact on livestock: They can prey on lambs, goats, newborn cattle, poultry, & exotic game. Predation on young animals usually occurs on calving or lambing grounds, may be attracted to afterbirth. They kill prey by biting and crushing skull or neck. Wild hogs can cause forestry and reforestation problems. Hardwood and pine seedlings (especially longleaf) are very susceptible to pig damage through consumption, rooting and trampling. Wild hogs cause damage in suburban communities. Yards, landscape and ornamental plants can be destroyed.
Feral Hog - Ecological Impact
Wild hogs directly compete with native wildlife for food and they can negatively impact natural ecosystems. Hogs present problems related to land, wildlife, and timber management. They can cause significant damage to agriculture and pose disease risks to humans, as well as, domestic livestock. Wild hogs are extremely difficult to control once they become established. It is now illegal to release hogs into the wild or to remove a live hog from the wild without a permit in South Carolina.
• Impacting of rooting by damaging root systems that kill native plants
• Destruction of plant & animal communities by trampling of plant materials and soil compaction
• Increase in soil erosion
• Decreased water quality - Effects most pronounced in wetland areas
• Destruction of rare & endangered plant communities in SC Heritage Preserves
• Depredation to threatened loggerhead sea turtle nests on North Island, Winyah Bay, SC
Feral Hog - Damage and Diseases
• In the United States, $1.5 billion dollars in agricultural damage is lost annually due to feral hogs.
• Wild hogs consume and trample crops such as hay, corn, peanuts, small grains, vegetables, watermelons, soybeans, cotton, and others. They damage pasture by rooting and digging.
• Feral hogs can damage fences, roads and cause serious damage to dikes.
• Wild hogs can also have an impact on livestock:
o They can prey on lambs, goats, newborn cattle, poultry, & exotic game.
o Predation on young animals usually occurs on calving or lambing grounds, may be attracted to afterbirth. They kill prey by biting and crushing skull or neck.
• Wild hogs can cause forestry and reforestation problems. Hardwood and pine seedlings (especially longleaf) are very susceptible to pig damage through consumption, rooting and trampling.
• Wild hogs cause damage in suburban communities. Yards, landscape and ornamental plants can be destroyed. They also cause damage to gardens and can cause considerable damage to golf courses.
• Feral hogs carry disease that affect human beings, livestock and wildlife.
• Known Feral Swine Diseases and Risks:
o Swine Brucellosis
o Classic Swine Fever
o African Swine Fever
o Foot-and-Mouth Disease
o Influenza Virus