The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

February 8, 2012

Invasion of the Wild Hogs

By Bill Braley for the SNAP

Wednesday, February 7, 2012 — Stanly County has been invaded. We now have feral hogs in some parts of Stanly County.

The property we hunt on in Montgomery County was invaded last year. In the property we hunted in Richmond County, feral hogs were first seen when an unsuspecting deer hunter shot and killed a 300-plus pound hog.

One of the locals, upon hearing our conversation about hogs in Montgomery County last year, rebuffed us. In his words, “I have lived and farmed here for 60 years and we ain’t got no wild hogs. You fellars must have seen somebody’s livestock that got loose.”

I saw the same gentleman again this year and he had quite a different story. It seems that feral hogs are doing extensive damage to soybean and corn crops.

On our property in Montgomery County, we started seeing hogs at the beginning of last deer season on trail cameras. The hogs would come in to the deer feeders about 8:30 p.m. and feed until about 3 a.m.

They were so dominant; they would feed and then lay down under the feeders to keep the deer away. The hunters were not happy.

This year we set out to start harvesting the hogs. Heather Braley contacted wildlife and got all the information on legal harvesting rules. Her efforts were rewarded by taking the first feral hog, weighing 125 pounds, with her bow. She later shot a second hog that was not found.

More recently during a deer drive, another hog weighing 215 pounds was killed. In the Norwood community, during a drive held every year, several hogs have been taken.

So, we have officially been invaded in Stanly County by feral hogs. They are very destructive and according to wildlife biologists can breed two to three times per year having eight to 10 pigs per litter.

If you have 10 on the property this year and they are not harvested, you can have as many as 80 the next year.

On the bright side they are extremely good to eat. Many folks who have eaten wild pig prefer it over tame pig.

Anyone wishing to hunt these tasty critters can check the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission website for permits. Good hunting.