Hogs Gone Wild

These destructive and ubiquitous critters aren’t the cute pink piggies you see in happy little farms. Feral hog populations have increased by the millions, spreading across the southern states like a plague. Hogs can eat entire fields of crop, including rice, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, and melons. Their snouts and inches-long tusks leave ruts and craters in the ground, disrupting native flora and allowing intrusive vegetation to take their place.

In Texas, there’s no such thing as hog season. The wild omnivores can be killed year-round. There’s no limit when it comes to hog hunting—the more you shoot, the better. Even with this in place, hogs have a lot going for them when it comes to survival.

1.      Hogs don’t have any natural predators. The sows travel in herds, which is intimidating for any hungry animal to try and pick one off (especially when a boar is traveling with them).

2.      Sows can reproduce between 8-16 piglets in one year. The average lifespan on a hog is 4-5 years. Do the math, and you’ve got over 50 pigs trotting around your property.

3.      Hogs are highly adaptable to both environments and food sources. Being omnivores, they can easily switch between meat and plant, and rapid changes in weather do little to wane their population.

Hogs are chewing their way through millions of dollars in property damage, and the population doesn’t seem to be declining anytime soon. Get your shotguns ready, folks—if your trigger finger’s itchy, go out and gun down some hogs!

 

Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-plague-of-pigs-in-texas-7...

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