Hey, Twitter. Feral hogs are a big problem. But, they aren’t out for blood – AL.com

Hey, Twitter. Feral hogs are a big problem. But, they aren’t out for blood - AL.com 2

A stampede of feral hogs in your backyard? Probably hogwash.

Jason Isbell, a Lauderdale-bred musician with a fiery Twitter account, got an interesting response to his viral tweet about gun control and the stance for owning assault rifles. William McNabb, from Arkansas (ironically) posed this query: “Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

The question opened Patagonia’s Box of memes. “My milkshake brings 30-50 feral hogs to my yard,” heckled one Twitter user.

And the hogs may not be wallowing in our backyards, but they are in all 67 counties.

Here’s a solid answer to the question: Feral hogs can be killed or captured at close range by a .22 pistol or trap. Some recommend at least a .308 rifle, but it is not technically necessary for protection.

But, McNabb, odds are your small children would not be outright attacked by feral hogs for no reason, according to Michael Niemeyer, director of wildlife control operations in south Alabama for Wildlife Solutions. They are known to be “aggressive” creatures, but after years of capturing the animals, he said he would describe them as defensive.

“Most of the time, if you see a feral hog it’ll be high-tailing it the other way,” he said. A sounder of feral hogs, the name of their groups, can reach 50-75 he said, but the odds of a stampede are one in a million. Usually, they are seen in a sounder of four to 10.

Matt Brock, wildlife biologist for the state’s division of Wildlife and Freshwater fisheries, said he doesn’t usually see more than 15 on average. Brock has captured or killed thousands and has never been charged at if the feral hog had somewhere else to run to. He said feral hogs can become familiar or comfortable around humans, and those are the cases in which hogs are typically seen in heavily populated areas.

“The problem with hogs is not that they want to harm people,” Niemeyer said. “They destroy our habitat. They kill the ecosystem.”

The invasive breed has no natural predators and they reproduce like bunnies, according to experts. They may not be attacking humans outright, but controlling the population is a priority for the state and other trapping services. Controlling the population isn’t as easy as one would think though. It’s not a shot here and a shot there. Trapping groups work to trap the entire sounder, which is the only effective way to help the situation, according to an article from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Now that we’ve settled that, and we’ve boared you to death, please enjoy our favorite feral hog memes:

Source >>> Originally published at here

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