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Wild Hogs Wreak Havoc Across the U.S.



Laura Ingraham dedicated a segment on her show, “The Ingraham Angle,” to the increasing issue of wild hogs, inviting Derrick Hunt, a rancher from Texas, to discuss the problem.

Derrick Hunt shared that wild hogs, especially the boar hogs, can grow as large as 350 pounds. These animals cause extensive damage to agricultural land, with Texas alone experiencing approximately $50 million in annual damages. Crops such as watermelons, corn, and hay bales, which are priced at $150 each, are particularly vulnerable.

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To manage this issue, ranchers like Hunt have implemented advanced trapping systems equipped with cell capture technology. These traps allow remote monitoring and control. When a group of hogs, known as a “sounder,” enters the trap, the system sends an alert, enabling ranchers to capture the entire group efficiently.

The problem isn’t confined to rural areas; it is spreading across states. In Florida, licensed hunting operations offer a unique solution where hunters pay to help control the population. Once trapped, these hogs are often sold to buying collectives and sent to slaughterhouses, with a significant portion of the meat being exported to Europe.

A comparison of maps from 1982 and 2023 illustrates the rapid spread of feral swine. In 1982, the feral hog population was relatively contained, but by 2023, it has expanded dramatically, covering much of the southern United States. Texas alone has an estimated population of 2.6 million wild hogs, and with the current harvest rates, maintaining this number requires significant effort.

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Wild hogs are not only destructive but also dangerous. They can be aggressive, and in confined spaces, they can charge at humans, posing a serious threat. Remarkably, there are more fatal wild pig attacks annually than shark attacks.

Efforts to control the wild hog population include hunting from helicopters, which has proven somewhat effective. However, given their speed and ability to protect themselves, encountering a wild hog is a situation best avoided.

Laura even added a touch of humor, sharing her own culinary misadventures: “Oh, wait a second. You gotta really smoke those because I’ve tried wild hog sausage, and not great. Not my fave, let me tell you.” Despite her love for animals, she acknowledged the necessity of controlling this invasive species: “They are a complete madness. I’m a big animal person, but this is invasive at this point.”

The spread of wild hogs presents a growing challenge, impacting both agriculture and safety. As the population continues to rise, effective management strategies and increased awareness are essential to mitigate the damage caused by these invasive animals.