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-   -   Feral hogs in Upstate NY (http://www.adkforum.com/showthread.php?t=16198)

oruacat2 09-04-2011 01:38 PM

Feral hogs in Upstate NY
 
Not ADK-specific, but I thought you might find this piece interesting

poconoron 01-15-2012 11:56 PM

Looks like they may be a threat to ADKs in the very near future:

From North Country Public Radio:

Feral hogs invade Champlain Valley, Adirondacks

(01/09/12) Invasive plants and animals have been a big problem in the North Country for decades, from Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake George to zebra mussels in the St. Lawrence River. But farmers in the Clinton County town of Peru are wrestling with a new invasive animal - and this one weighs three hundred pounds and comes with razor-sharp tusks.

Feral pigs or boars have established a breeding population on the eastern edge of the Adirondack Park. Scientists fear the animals could spread fast, wiping out native animals and damaging crops.

"Come on, hurry up!" Bob Rulf calls his dog up into the cab of his pick-up. And with his field manager, Richard Howard ridingshotgun, he heads off across his orchard in the Champlain Valley. Itís a gorgous mix of apple trees, farm fields and woods in the foothills of the Adirondacks Ė but Rulf and Howard are facing an invasion that has them stumped.

"When we first saw these hoof marks, we thought, It's gotta be deer. Those deer are digging the seeds out. But it wasn't deer. The guys called Richard at 3 o'clock in the morning and said, 'It's pigs!'"

These arenít little cute pink pigs. These are big Russian boars with razor sharp tusks that weigh up to three hundred pounds. "They'll eat just about anything," Howard says. "But the main problem was over here in our corn field and they would knock it down and pull the ears all apart."

Out in the fields, Rulf and Howard meet up with Ben Tabor. Heís a wildlife technician with the Department of Environmental Conservation. Tabor says it appears that this population of feral pigs is firmly established, having weathered at least a couple of North Country winters.

"It seems like they've bred. We've had pictures of litters, at least three times. We saw some tracks of small size, insuating that there was another litter," he explained.

Feral pigs are nocturnal. They move around and forage at night. But using motion activated cameras, Taborís team has identified roughly three dozen of these animals.

"Somebody let them go. A few people have suggested that they're escapees from a nearby farm," he said.

The fear is that the population could expand rapidly, spreading across the region. Pigs breed fast, with populations sometimes tripling in a single year. If that happens here, Tabor says, the environmental impact on Adirondack forests could be dramatic.

"They're going to out compete other animals. They also tend to eat other animals directly. Amphibians, frogs, grouse, ground-nesting turkeys, any ground nesting birds definitely," Tabor explained.

Pigs are such efficient eaters, Tabor says, that they literally wipe out everything on the ground, leaving churned mud. "Back past those pines, it's just completely devoid of any understory. It's all rooted up."

Back in the truck, Bob Rulf and Richard Howard take me to a corner of the field where the pigs have been active. "This is what they do," Howard says, pointing to a churned up area of ground. "It looks like big foot walked through here," Rulf chimes in.

Hillary Oles heads the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program, based in Keene. She says environmental groups like hers are still trying to get a grip on what a feral pig infestation might mean for the North Country.

"All indicators from elsewhere in New York state and in other states where feral pigs have been established very much indicate that it could be a real problem," she said.

Feral pigs have been spreading fast in the southern Tier of New York. Containing this outbreak wonít be easy. Pigs are incredibly smart, adaptable animals. Through the summer and fall, hunters and trappers have only killed half a dozen hogs. State biologists are hoping for more snow and cold weather, which should make food more scarce here in the Champlain Valley. That would help field crews as they use bait piles to lure and trap more of the hogs.

oruacat2 01-16-2012 05:23 AM

What sort of idiot would just release these hogs into the wild?

WinterWarlock 01-16-2012 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oruacat2 (Post 180439)
What sort of idiot would just release these hogs into the wild?

Last I read, they had been working their way North from Pennsylvania...they've been a big problem in the Allegheny area for years.

I grew up in a non-hunting family, but have always wanted to get out myself...this is exactly what I was wanting to try, so maybe now's the time to finally get a license and get out.

poconoron 01-16-2012 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WinterWarlock (Post 180440)
Last I read, they had been working their way North from Pennsylvania...they've been a big problem in the Allegheny area for years.

I grew up in a non-hunting family, but have always wanted to get out myself...this is exactly what I was wanting to try, so maybe now's the time to finally get a license and get out.

That would be a seemingly logical way to go, however:

For all of those reasons, state wildlife and agricultural officials would like to rid Pennsylvania of wild hogs before it's too late. They tried to do that last fall by baiting hogs into traps where entire family groups could be killed.

Hunters, though, have inadvertently been making that job harder. They killed an estimated 300 hogs last year, but by pressuring them, especially around baited areas, hunters are actually causing the pigs to spread out rather than controlling populations, Griswold said.
"It seems like a contradiction, but hunting is going to lead to our inability to control hogs in Pennsylvania. In this case, it's counterproductive," Griswold said.


See link:

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbur.../s_506122.html

This looks like a very difficult problem for states to come to grips with.

bethfit 01-16-2012 01:32 PM

I would think they would be good eating...no?

WinterWarlock 01-16-2012 01:38 PM

Not sure what the alternative is then...maybe he means having a specific season? Maybe opening it up to year round helps, or perhaps the problem is there simply aren't enough hunters?

I certainly hope they don't resort to poisons, which always have unintended consequences.

I'm up for a pig roast - it'd be a great way to have a Gathering party!

Scott



Quote:

Originally Posted by poconoron (Post 180444)
That would be a seemingly logical way to go, however:

For all of those reasons, state wildlife and agricultural officials would like to rid Pennsylvania of wild hogs before it's too late. They tried to do that last fall by baiting hogs into traps where entire family groups could be killed.

Hunters, though, have inadvertently been making that job harder. They killed an estimated 300 hogs last year, but by pressuring them, especially around baited areas, hunters are actually causing the pigs to spread out rather than controlling populations, Griswold said.
"It seems like a contradiction, but hunting is going to lead to our inability to control hogs in Pennsylvania. In this case, it's counterproductive," Griswold said.


See link:

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbur.../s_506122.html

This looks like a very difficult problem for states to come to grips with.


texasyankee 01-16-2012 03:21 PM

Texas has more feral hogs than any other state. With mild winters, few natural predators and lots of cover, Texas is prime breeding ground. Here is a Q&A from the Texas Parks and Wildlife.


http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild...ral_hogs/#hunt

adkman12986 01-16-2012 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WinterWarlock (Post 180449)
Not sure what the alternative is then...maybe he means having a specific season? Maybe opening it up to year round helps, or perhaps the problem is there simply aren't enough hunters?

I certainly hope they don't resort to poisons, which always have unintended consequences.

I'm up for a pig roast - it'd be a great way to have a Gathering party!

Scott

I agree that poisons are Not the way to go. To many non targeted animals will die. Years ago they used to have a bounty on the coyotes. Maybe this might be the way to go. Yes I know the state is broke but they seem to find money for other pork (no pun intended) barrel spending. Besides wild pork is good eating.

poconoron 01-16-2012 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WinterWarlock (Post 180449)
Not sure what the alternative is then...maybe he means having a specific season? Maybe opening it up to year round helps, or perhaps the problem is there simply aren't enough hunters?

Scott

The problem is that apparently hunting the swine at all tends to disperse the remaining animals into other, new areas where they are nearly impossible to find since they are extremely intelligent.

The trapping done by state agencies apparently has a much better chance of catching entire family groups, from what I've read, and mitigates against further dispersing of survivors into entirely new range areas.

At least that's the party line I've seen on several state wildlife websites.

geogymn 01-17-2012 09:30 AM

Family trappings seem like the most logical way to address said problem. Is the public authorized to do so?
Mewonders how many piglets meet there demise by way of coyote?

WinterWarlock 01-17-2012 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by geogymn (Post 180474)
Mewonders how many piglets meet there demise by way of coyote?

I wonder how many coyotes meet their demise by way of momma hogs? :rolleyes:

Limekiln 01-17-2012 09:55 AM

I don't think you'll find a hog killing an Adirondack coyote.

adk 01-17-2012 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Limekiln (Post 180476)
I don't think you'll find a hog killing an Adirondack coyote.

I wonder if our Coy-Wolf hybrids would start to predate on a feral pig population? They are certainly capable and smart enough to predate on at least the young etc. I wonder if there is any examples of Wild pigs and Pure Red Wolf interactions that would be an interesting viewpoint for how that might pan out here in the Adirondacks with a strong Coywolf population. Either way I would at least guess that a strong winter above all else, would keep the feral pig population down if it did take hold. I do also agree that luring feral pigs into a pen would be far more effective then having hunters try to do it..

Alpine1 01-17-2012 12:00 PM

I have seen a couple videos from a guy in Texas who hunts wild hogs with dogs, mostly pitbull mix. On several occasion a dog has been killed by the hog. Maybe not the same as a pack of coyotes hunting a hog but I'd dare say the coyote might have his hands full if not careful.

poconoron 01-17-2012 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adk (Post 180478)
I wonder if our Coy-Wolf hybrids would start to predate on a feral pig population? They are certainly capable and smart enough to predate on at least the young etc. I wonder if there is any examples of Wild pigs and Pure Red Wolf interactions that would be an interesting viewpoint for how that might pan out here in the Adirondacks with a strong Coywolf population. Either way I would at least guess that a strong winter above all else, would keep the feral pig population down if it did take hold. I do also agree that luring feral pigs into a pen would be far more effective then having hunters try to do it..

That's an interesting thought - and I suspect that our larger ADK coy-wolf would have more success in preying on the swine than smaller coyotes in Texas and California (where the hogs are apparently very common).

bobadkhunter 01-17-2012 02:11 PM

I live in St.lawrence Co. and this was the 5TH year in a row we have had pig "sign" on our hunting property. Two years ago I finally got pictures on my trail cam(6-8 pics). This past year i got only 2 pics. The pictures appear to be of a male ,a female and one frame had one small piglet. None of our hunting gruop has seen any of the pigs and we deer hunt the property alot. I've sent the pictures to our Region 6 biologist. She contacted me and stated she was aware of these particular pigs. The DEC attempted to trap this family gruop on a neighboring property approx. 3-4 miles away without success. That wa last year, this year she told me she could send over DEC shooters ,but I had to state that these pigs were going thru our property daily or staying on our property. I couldn't say this for sure since I only had 2 pics which were days apart. My belief is they go thru on a weekly basis but certainly not every day. Supposedly you can shoot these pigs anytime and you only have to have a small game licence(thats what DEC told me).
This past fall a farmer/hunter killed a boar that weighed approx. 350 lbs. I was sent the photo and it appears to be quite possibly the boar(black Russian type) that I had on my trail cam. This farmers property is approx. 7 miles from mine. If I could figure out how to post pictures on here I'd post my photos.

Wldrns 01-17-2012 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobadkhunter (Post 180486)
... Supposedly you can shoot these pigs anytime and you only have to have a small game licence(thats what DEC told me).

From the DEC website: "DEC's goal is to eradicate feral swine from the state's landscape. In New York, people with a small game license may shoot and keep feral swine at any time and in any number."

ADKHUNTER 01-17-2012 07:29 PM

I certainly don't want to see any invasive species around but if they're gonna be here I'm sure gonna do my best to kill them. Year round hunting! Not too shabby. :)

Limekiln 01-17-2012 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ADKHUNTER (Post 180492)
I certainly don't want to see any invasive species around but if they're gonna be here I'm sure gonna do my best to kill them. Year round hunting! Not too shabby. :)

Exactly!


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