In yesterday's paper, The Vicksburg Post, was a supplement called Outdoors which was pertaining to deer season that is fast approaching and the nuisance of animals. I wanted to share with you an article that was about the destruction that animals, like hogs, can do to farmlands and camps.
Lonnie Fortner has a healthy respect for the feral hogs that have invaded his farmland in Warren and Claiborne counties.
"A hog is the smartest animal in the world," Fortner said. When the decides he does not want to be trapped, seen or killed, he is not going to be trapped, seen or killed."
That sort of elusiveness is frustrating and costly for Mississippi farmers whose land is quickly being overrun by hogs and other four-legged intruders.
A 2010 U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimated the country's five million feral pigs cause more then $1 billion in damage to public and private property annually.
Wild hogs have been classified as a "nuisance animal" by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, meaning landowners may kill the animals throughout the year with few restrictions.
Beavers, coyotes, nutria, foxes and skunks also are on the list of nuisance animals.
Although they can be dangerous, alligators have their own hunting seasons in September and are not on the MDWFP's nuisance list.
Wild hogs are considered the most troubling of the nuisance species. Their population has exploded in recent years and the creatures have become to farmland what cockroaches are to urban kitchens.
The beasts multiply quickly. For every one that's spotted, are likely dozens more nearby. And the damage they can do in a single night can undo days of work and cost farmers thousands of dollars.
"It's one of those thing where you cringe to know you have hogs on your place," said Wesley Purvis, the Warren County agent for the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "It's not just row crops they'll tear up. They will demolish pasture land, too."
Fortner, who farms mostly soybeans, corn and peanuts, said during the spring he'll often return to the fields in the morning and find uprooted seeds that had been planted the night before.
"In springtime, it's an all night job. You spend all day planting, then stay up as late as you can to deal with the hogs," he said. "You will feel completely helpless at times. You spend the whole year dealing with them, and the fight literally never ends."
Hogs are the most destructive of Mississippi's nuisance animals, but far from the only ones drawing the wrath of farmers. In Issaquena County, Josh Miller said beavers are a big problem on his 2,200-acre plot of peanuts, corn, soybeans and timber.
The bucktoothed beasts are well known for their habit of gnawing on trees, but cause enough damage.Their dams, too, create problems by stopping up streams and drainage ditches that lead to flooding.
Contributed by Ernest Bowker
A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter
Article by Fred Messina, editor of "On Target Outdoors" from The Vicksburg Evening Post on Friday, January 19, 1990. Photo by Bob Phillips.
Bob Phillips came up the other day with a photo of his wife Marian and a deer she got on Brown's Point New Years Eve. The deer was an 8-point with 16 inches of inside spread that weighed in at 190 pounds. A nice trophy in anyone's book. However, the tale Bob told is that this was Marian's fourth deer this year and he claimed that he would have done better than he did if he had not spent so much time hauling Marian's deer out of the woods. Come off it, Bob. We all know who the hunter was.