The hog problem in agriculture continues to get worse. We typically think of hogs destroying crops in the field with their feeding frenzies. But they do much more out where they don’t belong. In forestry, hogs literally root up newly planted seedlings. In some places, large numbers of hogs affect water quality by creating wallows near streams.
They also rub against trees and can damage younger trees that way. As for forest wildlife, hog competition cuts into the food supply since they too eat acorns and fruits and berries. Plus feral hogs eagerly consume bird eggs of ground nesters like turkeys and waterfowl.
Local timber owners have an opportunity coming up to learn more about feral hog damage, what is being done to deal with the problem and what steps landowners can take. Feral hogs will be the topic for the 2015 annual membership meeting of the Warren County Forestry Association. The meeting will be Thursday, January 29 beginning at 6 p.m. at the International Paper Company Training Center at Redwood.
Everyone with a forestry interest is invited to attend and join the county association. Dues of $30 will be collected at the door and this does cover dinner. A second dinner ticket for a spouse or guest is $15. Make checks payable to Warren County Forestry Association. There is a serious RSVP need to get the right number of catered meals. So call the Warren County Extension office at 601-636-5442 no later then 5:00 PM Friday, January 23 to get counted in.
The exact title of the meeting’s educational presentation is “Feral Hog Biology, Management and Control” by speaker Cliff Covington, MSState Extension Service Wildlife Department. Some readers might remember Cliff from his days as County Agent in Claiborne County. He has been working with the feral hog problem from the landowner education angle for quite some time now.
By the way, the correct term is feral even though we often hear “Wild hogs.” Feral animals are domestic ones that have gone wild and their wild descendants. Hogs are not native to this part of the world. Some domestic hogs escaped from early European settlements.
And to tell the truth some modern sportsmen abetted the current feral hog dilemma by intentionally releasing domestic hogs a few decades back. Their idea was to increase huntable wild game in the woods. Bad idea…
There might be hunting club members who want to attend the feral hog meeting. No problem; you don’t have to actually own the land. Just own thirty bucks and bring it with you. And don’t forget to call in by the Friday before.
Terry Rector writes for the Warren County Soil and WaterConservation District, 601-636-7679, Ext. 3.