A hungry sow and her piglets chowing down on freshly dropped corn from a feeder can appear harmless, but don’t venture close. The protective sow can quickly turn nasty. Especially keep youngsters protected when outside.
An email on Nov. 27 from Chester Moore, editor of Texas Fish and Game magazine, told of a woman near Anahuac in southeast Texas recently being killed by a hog – or hogs.
The Chambers County sheriff confirmed the case and said the medical examiner’s report indicated she did not die from natural causes or canine bites but from what appeared to be an attack by feral hogs. Radio/TV station KFDM in Beaumont, a station I grew up listening to, reported the tragic event.
Moore’s message quoted a survey stating Texas leads America with 24% of the total deaths reported from the 21 states having such attacks.
Growing up in east Texas and spending much significant time at the edge the Big Thicket along Beach Creek, my mentor, “Uncle Josh” Munro, told me, “There are many things in the woods that can hurt you, Little Jack, but hogs can kill you … and eat you.”
Stay away from all hogs – even cute little piglets. Mama will be nearby and ultra-protective.
Proliferation of hogs in Texas has created increased encounters with these opportunistic hunters. A man on our new deer lease advised me to always carry at least a pistol. The smallest caliber should be no lighter than .357 magnum, 9 mm, or .40 S&W. Being familiar with a pistol, how it handles and where it shoots is imperative. You should be able to fire a follow up shot in case the porker is still coming. Preferably more than one round!
Hogs may be hunted day or night with practically any weapon. Removing as many as possible is encouraged, but always with landowner’s permission and a hunting license. Near feeders is a good place to hunt – especially after the season when it doesn’t interfere with whitetail hunting.
One thought, however, is that a legal shot at a whitetail can sometimes be a dinner bell for hungry hogs, javelinas, coyotes, mountain lions or bobcats. Be watchful! They have figured out what a gunshot means as well as they have the sound of a feeder scattering corn.
One way to hunt hogs is to sit in a vehicle near a feeder after dark with your rifle resting on the window ledge and someone in the back seat with a spotlight. Keep quiet! If you have a trail camera mounted near the feeder, it should flash when animals break the plane of the camera. The camera’s flash should alert you to the presence of animals. Make sure your target is a hog, however! Hunting game (deer, turkeys or anything else defined in the TPW Outdoor Annual as game) is illegal 30.1 minutes after sunset.
Having a red filter on your spotlight will prevent a naked beam from scattering the hogs.
And always wear latex or other protective gloves when field dressing pork. Hogs carry diseases. If it’s warm weather, get the meat into a cooler quickly to avoid spoilage. Before refrigeration and walk-in coolers, people waited to butcher hogs until the first norther.