Ask The Biologist

Hog Hell

Hog Hell

By Bob Humphrey

There isn’t any good news when it comes to wild pigs on your deer lease.

QUESTION: I hunt on a lease in northwest Florida. A few years ago, the wild pig population was tolerable, but now it’s out of control. You cannot go anywhere without seeing pig sign. And if you put out corn, they take over the area. I have three questions:
1) Can you provide information to how often pigs breed and at what age?
2) Is there anything to feed the pigs to make them sterile?
3) Is there something we can use to attract deer and not hogs?
— Greg

ANSWER: I didn’t know the answer to your first question so I looked it up. When it comes to breeding, wild hogs are rock stars. They are capable of breeding at less than one year of age, as soon as they reach a weight of around 60 pounds – sometimes less if there is ample food. Litter size varies but averages six, and an adult hog will produce about three litters every two years.

I imagine there is probably something out there that could be used to sterilize them, although I doubt it’s FDA approved for application in the wild. And it would almost certainly be cost prohibitive. As for attracting deer and not hogs, I’d say you’re out of luck. Hogs will eat anything deer will, and more.

Think out side the box, or the pen. One thing you might consider is putting up fencing high enough and strong enough to keep hogs out but allow deer to jump in. Hogs don’t jump. You might also consider putting some effort toward eradication. Have a contest with all your lessees: Guy who kills the most hogs gets first dibs on the best stand, or something like that. Or you might want to hire a professional to trap and remove hogs.

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