Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

February 25, 2015

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May 9, 2013

Some Hog Dogs have it tough


This hog dog came in Second

when it had a fight with a

big boar hog (feral hog).

Several, several stitches

and it is ready to hunt again.

From now on,

it will be wearing a flak jacket.


These are the weapons

on a wild hog.

As evidenced above,

the tusk can rip a dog open.

They can take down a small deer

and have been known to attach humans.

And their numbers are increasing

at a dramatic rate in East Texas.

January 4, 2013

They got greedy


We have had the hog trap door wired open which allows the hogs to enter and exit without penalty.

After they become comfortable, we activate the trap.

In this trap are four pigs.



They will be great on the grill.

January 1, 2013

hogs, hogs, hogs on our deer lease eating our deer corn



December 6, 2012

they made a mistake


these guys and gals normally do not appear until after dark.

this day, they made a mistake and appeared while I was in hunting blind.



I tried to pick a smaller one that would be good eating.



I suggest to my grandsons

they place their shots in the animals ear.

No meat is wasted and if you miss

the animal does not run off wounded.

December 4, 2012

We’ve got a situation on our deer lease.

The population of feral hogs is exploding.

Momma can have three batches per year.


Once they eat all our corn,

it’s time for a snack from momma.

September 20, 2011

Hog Out Month in October

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is challenging all 254 Texas counties to participate in Hog Out Month in October – a statewide challenge to decrease the state’s feral hog population.

This challenge, which Staples announced Tuesday morning, will coordinate various feral hog removal strategies implemented across the state into one statewide effort.

“Wild hogs are finding their way into urban and rural areas destroying yards, golf courses, parks and crops at a cost of up to $400 million each year,” Staples said. “These animals reproduce at staggering rates and are now a menace on Texas highways, which is why I encourage all Texans to continue to step up efforts to reduce the number of feral hogs and protect our state from further damage.”

Beginning Thursday, qualified hunters will be able to take to the skies to take aim at the state’s burgeoning feral hog population.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved rules for hunting the hogs and coyotes by helicopter, in accordance with House Bill 716 passed by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

The new rules permit qualified landowners or their agents to pay helicopter operators for aerial operations. Qualification involves filing a form with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and does not involve a fee.

An estimated 2 million feral hogs live in Texas, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage across the state each year, according to the Texas Department of Agriculture. The statewide challenge, which kicks off Oct. 1 during Hog Out Month, will run through Dec. 31. Grants will be awarded to the five counties with the most hogs removed and highest participation in feral hog abatement programs.

The deadline for counties to submit a notice of intent to participate is Sept. 30.

In October 2010, Staples kicked off the first county challenge to rally Texans to reduce the number of feral hogs in the state.

The TDA works with the Wildlife Services branch of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, which removes thousands of hogs annually through various feral hog abatement strategies that result in an estimated savings of more than $4 million to Texas landowners.

Landowners are encouraged to call their local AgriLife Extension Agent for information on feral hog control measures.

“The only way to combat a problem as far-reaching as feral hogs is to aggressively employ multiple tactics in a coordinated and concentrated effort, starting at the local level,” Staples said. “Good local participation complements the work done in other communities resulting in a comprehensive statewide strategy.”

Counties may obtain a notice of intent to participate in the Hog Out Month challenge by visiting www.texasagriculture.gov, calling (512) 463-6695 or emailing Grants@TexasAgriculture.gov.

Texas Feral Hog Facts:

• Feral hogs cause an estimated $400 million in damages annually.

• There are an estimated 2 million feral hogs in Texas.

• Feral hogs are predators of lambs, kid goats, baby calves, newborn fawns and ground-nesting birds, and compete for food and space with many native species of wildlife.

• Feral hogs commonly destroy urban yards, parks and golf courses, as well as rangeland, pastures, crops, fencing, wildlife feeders and other property. Additionally, they contribute to E. coli and other diseases in Texas streams, ponds and watersheds.

• Vehicle collisions with feral hogs cause an estimated $1,200 in damage per collision, and create safety hazards for those involved.



February 1, 2011

Hunting Feral Hogs with Helicopters?

Feral hogs may face aerial attack at Balcones Canyonlands refuge

Population control efforts are falling short; officials mull using helicopters.

Aerial shooting of feral hogs could look like this scene near Mertzon, or brush could be too dense to allow effective hunting of the destructive animals.

Aerial shooting of feral hogs could look like this scene near Mertzon, or brush could be too dense to allow effective hunting of the destructive animals.

Hoping to combat the destructive impact of feral hogs on the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Austin, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering culling the hogs by shooting them from a helicopter.

For years the refuge staff has tried to keep hog populations down by trapping them or killing them in one of several late autumn hunts — but to little avail. Rooting aggressively for food and willing to wallow in anything that looks like a comforting depression of mud, the hogs have caused widespread damage to pastures, according to refuge manager Deborah Holle .

The refuge, formed in 1992 to protect habitat for two endangered songbirds, comprises about 23,000 acres in Burnet, Travis and Williamson counties. There is no evidence that the hogs disrupt the life of the songbirds, but they do wreak havoc on other wildlife in the refuge, Holle said, outcompeting them for food and destroying their habitat.

Under the Feral Hog Management Plan, approved in 2001, hunters can shoot the animals during the refuge’s “Big Game Hunt.” The federal agency is considering amending the plan to allow for aerial shooting, which it calls a “successful and accepted means of hog control” in a news release. “Aerial shooting can be a cost-effective method for reducing the number of feral hogs occurring in high densities.”

The amendment to the plan would, specifically, allow personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to shoot feral hogs on refuge lands away from public roads and developed areas. Shooting could begin as soon as next month , before the endangered birds begin their nesting period in early March.

Despite operating a half-dozen traps, Holle says the refuge nets only about 40 hogs a year. Once trapped, the animals are left for coyotes.

Destruction by feral hogs is a statewide problem, according to Mike Bodenchuk , state director for Texas Wildlife Services, which runs programs to keep the animals in check.

He said that in 2003, “the pig bomb went off,” and the population increased 20 percent a year through 2007 as litters outraced population control tactics. They now number about 2 million.

Bodenchuk said the pigs cause $400 million in damage annually, he said.

The state allows people to hunt hogs on their own land, or with the permission of a landowner, year-round in an effort to keep numbers down.

“Eating wild hog is the most delicious pork you’ll ever get,” said Joel McMurtrey , who used to spearhead hog eradication efforts at the refuge and whose e-mail handle is hawgmn .

He said the hogs are hard to count and to catch because with the slightest pressure they become nocturnal.

“I wish them luck with their activity,” McMurtrey said of the Wildlife Services plan, but hunting the hogs by helicopter “will give very little advantage because the brush is so dense and it’s hard to see what’s there.”

asherprice@statesman.com; 445-3643

November 4, 2010

Hunters – How Honest are You?

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 4:23 pm
Tags: , ,

If you unintentional broke a game law, would you turn yourself in to the authorities when you knew the penalty would be severe?  I’m guessing 99% would not.

And that’s what makes the case of Louisiana hunter Gary Kinsland so stunningly worth consideration.

Kinsland, a 63-year-old with decades of hunting experience and an obvious well-developed sense of right and wrong, made an unintentional mistake. A big one. A huge one.

But he took responsibility for that violation and reported himself to authorities, even though he knew doing so would result in severe penalties.

This past hunting season, Kinsland was in a stand on the Red River Wildlife Management Area in far east-central Louisiana, hoping to see a deer, when he heard a group of feral hogs squealing and making other obvious hog noises as they moved through the thick cover.

The hogs, which Kinsland had decided to try taking if they gave him a shot, disappeared before showing themselves, only to return later that day. At least that’s what Kinsland thought when he heard rusting and “commotion” from the same area where he’d earlier heard the feral swine.

Kinsland picked a small opening where he figured the pigs would pass, and when the first of a pair of dark, four-legged forms shuffled into that opening about 75 yards away, he fired and the hog dropped.

On his way to the downed pig, he saw the smaller second pig and dropped it, too.

When he got close to the animals, “. . . I just stood there for a while in disbelief and sadness. . .,” the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported him saying..

What Kinsland said he honestly thought was a pair of feral hogs was, in fact a Louisiana Black Bear with and her cub — two of only an estimated 700 black bears living in the state.

Louisiana black bears are classifies as “threathened” under the federal Endangered Species Act and protected by strict state and federal laws. Killing one is considered a major violation.

Kinsland could have turned around and simply walked away from the problem; chances would have been good that, even if the dead bears were found, he could escape being discovered as their killer.

Or he could have further increased his chances of not being caught by hiding the evidence — burying the bruins in a version of the “shoot, shovel and shut up” tactic used by some who find themselves in somewhat similar situations.

He did neither.

Kinsland telephoned the supervisor of the Red River WMA, a man with whom he had become friends, and told him what had happened. The LDWF employee quickly contacted state game wardens.

“I immediately knew I was in a tough bind, but I’m glad that I turned myself in since I try to teach my two young daughters and family honesty,” Kinsland told LDWF. “By walking away from this incident, I would be living a lie. It was not a pretty picture that I was facing, but I had to deal with it.”

Kinsland pled no contest to the two state charges of taking bears during a closed season, LDWF reported. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, which the judge suspended, and placed on supervised probation for two years. He was fined $950 for the criminal violation and ordered to pay $5,000 more in civil restitution.

The judge also mandated Kinsland take a Hunter Education Course and speak about his experience to 24 other Hunter Ed classes.

In those classes, he concentrates on teaching hunters to positively identify their targets, especially if they are hunting feral hogs in areas where bears are known or suspected to range.

“I try to explain to the class that even the most experienced hunter can make the same mistake I did and that you have to be able to see the snout, head and ears to make a positive ID before shooting a feral hog,” he told LDWF communications staff.

Black bears are beginning to reestablish themselves in parts of Texas. Most of the estimated 200 or so black bears in Texas are in the mountains of the Trans-Pecos. But a few scattered individuals have been documented in the Edwards Plateau. And over the past decade a handful have been documented in East Texas.

The bears, which are protected by Texas law, can look very much like feral hogs, especially in low light and to the eyes of someone anticipating seeing a feral hog and not at all expecting to encounter one of the rarest large mammals in the state.

And that’s how unintentional mistakes can happen.

It’s something for Texas hunters to keep in mind as more than one million of us head afield for this year’s hunting seasons.

Our unintentional mistakes have consequences. How we take responsibility for those mistakes, so often made with no witnesses save ourselves, and what we learn from them speaks to our character as hunters.



shoot the one on the left

and get an attaboy!

shoot the one on the right

and get a $10,000 fine in Texas!

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