We’ve all seen the issues that some states are having with feral pigs, especially in places like Texas in particular, along with other areas scattered across the southeastern part of the U.S.
It’s a concerning issue, considering the massive groups of the invasive species have been seen making their way into residential areas, and ruining property, not to mention destroying ecosystems.
However, we’ve seen this issue grow over the years in Canada as well, and it may not be long before we see these creatures enter bordering U.S. states, like North Dakota, Montana, and Minnesota.
Dr. Ryan Brook, who is head of the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project, says the issue is actually relatively new:
“The U.S. has a 400-plus year history with invasive wild pigs, but we didn’t have any here until the early 1980s. There was a big push to diversify agriculture with species like wild boards and ostriches.
Wild boars were brought in from Europe to be raised on farms across Canada.”
According to Field & Stream,the majority of these creatures were kept on meat farms, but others were used on high-fence hunting preserves.
Brook noted that the hybridization resulted in much larger “super pigs,” that can actually thrive in colder climates, unlike the feral pigs we’ve seen here in the U.S.
The reason they are able to survive is because of their much larger size, which Brook described:
“For surviving in cold winters, one of the rules of ecology is: the bigger the better. Large body animals survive the cold better and have better reproduction in those conditions.”
In the early 2000s, the market for farmed pigs dropped significantly in Canada, and others even escaped from their enclosures, with others being set free because there was nobody who wanted to buy.
Since, we’ve seen the feral pig population boom over the past 20 or so years. The creatures roam approximately 620,000 square miles in Canada, especially in the Provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta.
“That they can survive in such a cold climate is one of the big surprises of this issue. The Prairie Provinces are where we have the coldest winters in Canada except for the very far north. One of the things they do to survive is tunnel under the snow.
Wild hogs feed on anything. They gobble up tons and tons of goslings and ducklings in the spring. They can take down a whitetail deer, even an adult.
It’s become clear that they’re threatening our whitetail deer, elk, and especially, waterfowl. Not to mention the crop damage. The downsides outweigh any benefit wild hogs may have as a huntable species.”
And because of this massive spike in these massive feral pigs, it’s only inevitable that they’ll end up in American states, as they itch closer and closer:
“We have already documented pig occurrences less than 10 miles from the U.S. border. Quite honestly, I think there have already been some in Manitoba going into North Dakota for the last 5 or 6 years.
There is no physical, biological boundary at the U.S.-Canada border. There is hardly any kind of fencing to speak of. There’s a real risk of pigs moving south into the U.S.”
Yeesh… about to be open season on wild pigs up north… get ready hunters.
Joe Rogan Details The Massive Feral Hog Problem In Texas
The king of podcasting himself, Joe Rogan, discussed one of the most complex wildlife management issues in the country.
He used his platform to sit down with Texas chef and butcher Jesse Griffiths and educate the masses on the seemingly uncontrollable plague of feral hogs that continues to explode throughout Rogan’s new home state of Texas.
A problem that costs the country over a billion dollars a year, there’s somewhere between 2 million and 4 million wild hogs in the state of Texas alone (6 million estimated in the entire country). And because they have no breeding season, they reproduce at an astronomical rate. They can begin to breed around 5-6 months old, the gestation period is less than 4 months, and they can have anywhere from 2-12 piglets per litter.
Just do some quick math and you realize that it’s possible for a pig to have a few dozen piglets each year, who can begin to breed themselves before the year is over. It’s nuts.
So if you’ve ever seen videos of folks in Texas gunning down wild pigs from a helicopter, this is why.
And if you remember back to Jason Isbell’s Twitter conversation on gun control, it earned a viral reaction when Willie here said he needed one kill the 30-50 wild pigs than run through his yard.
Legit question for rural Americans – How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?