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Shawn Billings
(@shawn-billings)
1,000+ posts Registered

Monday I was working on a 130 acre tract in the boonies. It was my first day on the job and I took off to the back line expecting to see the fence and then figured to head East to the Southeast corner. I picked the one place where the old fence was down and there were no posts, so I completely missed it. I didn't prepare any approximate search coordinates, so I was traipsing around half lost, until I was sure I'd gone too far. I turned around headed a slightly different way so that I might pick up the fence I knew I'd missed. I found a flagged line (which turned out to still be way too far South. There were signs of wild hogs everywhere, and it was very fresh. Sure enough, about a hundred yards away, I see a sow. Pretty big too. She's making a lot of racket. I started whistling, then talking. She didn't notice or didn't care. I took a shot on a nail I found and figured as long as she stayed over there and I was over here and I could hear her, it didn't matter.

After that, I was still pretty sure I was way in the wrong place, so I continued back North along a trail. I approached a pipeline clearing that crossed the trail perpendicularly. I could hear hogs about a hundred feet down the pipeline clearing. I could see through the trees that there was a large sow, a small boar and some piglets. I've seen Ol' Yeller. I know how that goes. So not wanting to spook them, I made some noise. In the woolies, I try to always keep a sidearm handy. I made a loud hissing noise. They stopped and the piglets started moving around panicked. The sow and the boar looked my direction. I was still obscured by the trees. I didn't step into the intersection of the clearings. The boar started running right toward me. I had that 357 in my hand in a hurry. Since I wasn't on my subject property, I really, really didn't want to start blasting unless I really, really had to.

He stopped in the trees looking my direction, then peeled off with the piglets and sow the other direction.

I bumped into the same herd (is it a herd of pigs?) that afternoon when I found the Southeast corner of my tract. They were further away, but the piglets were panicked again and they were running all through the bottom I was in. Sure made it hard to concentrate. I have seen pictures of what wild boars can do with those tusks, but I don't know how real the danger is. I haven't spent much time around wild hogs. I don't know if most of those victims were doing something stupid to provoke it or if a hog will charge an unsuspecting person.

Back in the summer, I was locating a creek across a property I was subdividing. I kept hearing a popping noise that sounded like those Africans that click with their throats. I couldn't quite place the noise as I'd never heard it before. I walked up on a dead hog in the creek (maybe a hundred pounds) so I knew they were in the area. I told a friend about it who hunts a lot and he told me it was a hog popping his jaws. That day I had forgotten to carry my sidearm. You can bet that I didn't forget it the next time I was out there.

Shawn Billings, RPLS
Owner of Pendulum Surveying in East Texas
I also provide sales, support and training for Javad Triumph-LS RTK Systems

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Posted : January 11, 2017 6:13 am
Nate The Surveyor
(@nate-the-surveyor)
5,000+ posts Registered

Ha ha ha, (Just kidding!) We came across a pile of wild pigs, some time back. Cute little piggies. Angry mommas, and vicious boars.
I told my son, stay close, and leave them alone as we can.
We left soon.
Wild pigs are sure on the rise.
N

Surveying is more than a Job----it is a passion to provide a foundation for future generation, that is beyond reproach.

Nate

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Posted : January 11, 2017 6:29 am
Adam
 Adam
(@adam)
1,000+ posts Registered

My brother n law lived in Mt. Pleasant for a while. He said their favorite hobby was to pile up in the back of the truck and try to run over and shoot as many as possible. I have come up on a few skulls over the years, but haven't ever seen one. I wish the dog in my avatar (Duke) would go with me for the same reasons you see when you watch "Old Yeller", but he's more of a homebody than me.

Adam Plumley, PLS
AP Surveying, PLLC
Javad GNSS 5PLS Team Member

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Posted : January 11, 2017 6:33 am
Adam
 Adam
(@adam)
1,000+ posts Registered

We have to worry about coyotes. I think this big one might have some Red Wolf in him. What do ya'll think? He is really big for a coyote. My neighbor trapped him a hundred and fifty yards from my house.

Adam Plumley, PLS
AP Surveying, PLLC
Javad GNSS 5PLS Team Member

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Posted : January 11, 2017 6:44 am
Shawn Billings
(@shawn-billings)
1,000+ posts Registered

That's really big.

I've crossed a couple of coyotes in the field. They always just pass by without incident.

Shawn Billings, RPLS
Owner of Pendulum Surveying in East Texas
I also provide sales, support and training for Javad Triumph-LS RTK Systems

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Posted : January 11, 2017 7:08 am
flyin solo
(@flyin-solo)
500+ posts Registered

only since a big job in June '15 did it start seeming reasonable to me to bring the ruger along on some of the jobs.

out west of dripping springs on a big ranch there were ruts everywhere, and all the deer on site would let you practically walk up and pet them. found a full boar skeleton hanging half way through a barbed wire fence way out back. never did catch any scurrying around though.

one job in pilot knob (southeast of austin- topo and stakeout of about 5 miles of r.o.w.) we kept running up on a BIG pile of pigs. seems like they'd come out of the mesquite nether-region where they apparently spent their evenings, and go galavanting around in the creek bed during the day. hardly ever saw them but walking up on the creek through head-high brush you'd hear them from a good bit away. did my best to 1. avoid the general vicinity when i heard them and 2. make a bunch of noise when i did get near. that was the job where i actually, for the first time ever, walked out into the field with a sidearm. also the job where i kicked over a stump and dislodged about 800 rattlers. was pretty hard to get bored on that gig. (found an old forgotten cemetery on one of the tracts, too.)

last summer down in lockhart severed and topo'ed 35 acres off 180 acres of corn and sorghum. right out in the middle of it was 2-3 acre stand of trees. for no apparent reason. before i even went to the site i guessed, based on google earth photos, there was either an old homestead or else a well or pond down in there. and even more likely creatures, probably of the porcine persuasion. so first day i walked all the way out there from the road with a machete and the ruger, mainly to scout how to go about shooting it, but also to see what we were dealing with. two acres of poison ivy forest it turned out, but sure enough i came around one corner and something started hissing at me. BIG sow turned and ran back into the middle of it. walked back to the truck, rolled the ATV off the trailer, navigated back there on the ATV in such a way as to not kill too much crop, and SLOWLY weaved through the thicket, doing my best to avoid the curtains of poison ivy and any potential hydrologic features that might explain the existence of the area in the first place, clear a good enough grid to get sufficient shots, and scare momma pig (and whoever else) off for a while. spent half the day doing that, managed to knock down a pretty good path through all of it. next morning we came back out and shot it in under an hour. never found hide nor hair of a house or water, but found where a pretty decent number of pigs had been bedding down. just glad they ran off and let us get our work done.

they're definitely on the uptick around here, maybe because of the return of rain the last couple years? (just a couple months ago driving back from rocksprings there was a boar laying dead on the side of 46 a few miles east of boerne- had to be 400 lb.+) i wish i had more time lately to go out and get some bacon- the state has basically given carte blanche to blast away.

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Posted : January 11, 2017 7:12 am
holy cow
(@holy-cow)
10,000+ posts Registered

You can learn anything on the internet these days.............................

The name for a group of pigs depends on the animals' ages. A group of young pigs is called a drift, drove or litter. Groups of older pigs are called a sounder of swine, a team or passel of hogs or a singular of boars.

In my experience, the only time litter is used is to describe the several pigs all born to one sow from a single birthing. Anywhere from one to sixteen. Sometimes mama runs out of buttons on her vest.

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Posted : January 11, 2017 7:17 am
Andy Nold
(@andy-nold)
1,000+ posts Registered

You beat me to the punch on the collective nouns, HC.

Animal Group Name
Pigs (General) Drift, Drove
Pigs (Boars) Singular, Sounder
Pigs (Hogs) Team, Passel, Drift, Parcel
Pigs (Piglets) Litter, Farrow

Feral pigs seem to have spread across the state. They are a big problem in the river bottoms that run through Fort Worth and Dallas. I have been warned about them when working on the Waggoner Ranch near Electra and I have seen signs of rutting, feces and tracks while working along the Pecos River near Coyanosa.

“A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man!” - Jebediah Springfield

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Posted : January 11, 2017 8:16 am
imaudigger
(@imaudigger)
2,500+ posts Registered

I have heard that more people are killed by hogs each year than sharks....don't have any idea what that equates to.
One thing for sure - don't get between any momma and her kids.

A friend saw a coyote out in his field trying to eat a goat. He stalked it with his rifle....it disappeared in the grass and he kept looking for it. Suddenly it sprang up within several feet of him and turned around to fight. As soon as it started approaching him with it's teeth exposed, the fight was over.

That is the only time I have ever heard of a coyote being aggressive. I think it was startled which triggered fight or flight. Usually they see you before you see them.

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Posted : January 11, 2017 8:34 am
JaRo
 JaRo
(@jaro)
1,000+ posts Registered

Andy Nold, post: 408536, member: 7 wrote: I have been warned about them when working on the Waggoner Ranch near Electra

We have a road job starting right at the main entrance to the ranch. I was out there about two weeks ago. There was a heard of deer at the front gate that was not afraid of anything, just stand there staring at you.

East Texas, Like a State of it's own, It's a State of Mind.

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Posted : January 11, 2017 8:48 am
Shawn Billings
(@shawn-billings)
1,000+ posts Registered

RE Coyotes. A few years ago, I was set up on the side of a quiet county road with a wide cleared right-of-way. A coyote comes trotting across the road from the other side and passes within about 50 feet of where I was standing. Didn't seem to have a care in the world. Crossed over and kept trotting into the woods on my side of the road.

I would say that if I see a shark out where I'm surveying, I'm quitting, but they probably don't get around so good on dry land, so I guess I'd be ok with it.

Shawn Billings, RPLS
Owner of Pendulum Surveying in East Texas
I also provide sales, support and training for Javad Triumph-LS RTK Systems

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Posted : January 11, 2017 8:49 am
Richard Germiller
(@richard-germiller)
250+ posts Registered

Shawn Billings, post: 408544, member: 6521 wrote: RE Coyotes. A few years ago, I was set up on the side of a quiet county road with a wide cleared right-of-way. A coyote comes trotting across the road from the other side and passes within about 50 feet of where I was standing. Didn't seem to have a care in the world. Crossed over and kept trotting into the woods on my side of the road.

I would say that if I see a shark out where I'm surveying, I'm quitting, but they probably don't get around so good on dry land, so I guess I'd be ok with it.

I wouldn't be so sure about that!

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Posted : January 11, 2017 9:55 am
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

Adam, post: 408506, member: 8900 wrote: We have to worry about coyotes. I think this big one might have some Red Wolf in him. What do ya'll think? He is really big for a coyote. My neighbor trapped him a hundred and fifty yards from my house.

I ran into a couple of our State Wildlife Dept. employees with some folks from the University out in the boonies a couple of years ago. They were attempting to collect info on our coyote population with tranquilizer guns and ear tags. After a quick tailgate lesson I was brought up to date on our wolf/ coyote hybrids.

From what I gleaned (in a short period of time) our coyote and our indigenous wolf population have actually spent a good long time interbreeding....occasionally. Pack protocol and species behavior keeps this to a minimum in a natural state. But in the last 20 years human encroachment and environmental stresses seem to have facilitated an increase in the frequency. At the time they were attempting to collect DNA to begin an ardent discovery process. Apparently coyotes, wolves and everyday porch dogs are almost indistinguishable by all but the best DNA analysis.

One ranger did have a good 'seat of the pants grip' on the differences however. His opinion was the common coyote maintains its fox-like muzzle, smaller skull and sloping forehead. Coyote-Wolf hybrids bred in captivity tend to assume the shorter thicker muzzle of the wolf with a larger more prominent forehead. Hybrids also tend to be heavier than your everyday 'road runner chaser'.

Apparently in Southern Oklahoma the hybrid is an established item.

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : January 11, 2017 11:43 am
eddycreek
(@eddycreek)
500+ posts Registered

paden cash, post: 408582, member: 20 wrote: I ran into a couple of our State Wildlife Dept. employees with some folks from the University out in the boonies a couple of years ago. They were attempting to collect info on our coyote population with tranquilizer guns and ear tags. After a quick tailgate lesson I was brought up to date on our wolf/ coyote hybrids.

From what I gleaned (in a short period of time) our coyote and our indigenous wolf population have actually spent a good long time interbreeding....occasionally. Pack protocol and species behavior keeps this to a minimum in a natural state. But in the last 20 years human encroachment and environmental stresses seem to have facilitated an increase in the frequency. At the time they were attempting to collect DNA to begin an ardent discovery process. Apparently coyotes, wolves and everyday porch dogs are almost indistinguishable by all but the best DNA analysis.

One ranger did have a good 'seat of the pants grip' on the differences however. His opinion was the common coyote maintains its fox-like muzzle, smaller skull and sloping forehead. Coyote-Wolf hybrids bred in captivity tend to assume the shorter thicker muzzle of the wolf with a larger more prominent forehead. Hybrids also tend to be heavier than your everyday 'road runner chaser'.

Apparently in Southern Oklahoma the hybrid is an established item.

Maybe a tranquilizer gun was the wrong tool to be using.

This one was in my yard the other night about 9:30.

Dog was raising cain, usually barking at deer by the house. I could tell from the way he was barking he could see whatever it was and he was still on the carport. Turned on the light and went out, could see the coyote out at the edge of the light pacing back and forth. Had to go fetch the gun, and by the time I came back out I couldn't see him, but the dog could. Backed the truck off the carport and swung the headlights around into the field and he was standing on top of a hill at about 100 yards. If he'd have gone 10 more feet, I wouldn't have been able to see him and he would have made it.

Attached files

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Posted : January 11, 2017 11:53 am
hlbennettpls
(@hlbennettpls)
250+ posts Registered

It's amazing how scared people are of these things. I grew up hog hunting in S. FL and we'd go out with nothing more than a rope, a knife and some dogs (oh and beer). Sure we had a few guys get cut, or poked, but nothing like what most folks think. They are way more afraid of you than you are of them, and all they really want to do is get the heck out of your way. Sure, if cornered, like any animal I'm sure they'll turn and fight. Don't corner them and you should be good to go. They are numerous around these parts, and some mighty fine eating too. Carry that sidearm and go get you some bacon!

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Posted : January 11, 2017 11:56 am
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