The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Changing Feral Hog Population Control Tactics

We at Shotem and Caughtem have not been quiet when it comes to our distaste of the feral hog species.  Our willingness to go to great lengths to help others hunt, kill and pursue their entire population.  However, the Missouri Department of Wildlife is changing its stance on their see all....kill them all policy potentially on all their federal lands.  They are starting to think that trapping might have a greater effect on the hog populations.  They are hoping that private properties also follow suit.

Here is the article should you wish to read more on the development.

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem heard the news that Tennessee residents are pressuring the state to open a feral pig hunting season.  We thought this would make a great debate for all to way in on the subject.  Here are some details and our thoughts.  Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

An official with the Tennessee Wildlife Commission met with concerned hunters Tuesday who want to open a new hunting season.  Their goal is to open a feral hog hunting season and allow them to use dogs when they track them. They say the animals have caused significant damage on private and public land.  Right now, hunters can kill feral hogs, but only if they get an exemption from the state.  The five counties asking for the changes are Polk, Monroe, White, Bradley and McMinn.

Though we think that feral hogs are more than a pain, there are some things we have noticed in surrounding states that we feel have worked best for this invasive species.  Wild Boar have covered much of the southern states since Christopher Columbus released the first pigs from his boat.  As many know pigs are not natural to North America.  If you travel to Texas to hunt wild pigs they will give you a stack of tags for a nominal fee.  In Oklahoma however, they decided to also create a hunting season for pigs and charge a pretty high price to do so for revenues sake.  It has backfired.  Many hunting properties began trapping pigs in Texas and importing them into the state in order to make a buck.  As such the number of pigs has doubled in the state in a relatively short amount of time.  Missouri has taken a different approach.  Kill them all.  No tags, no license, just get rid of them.  They have been able to keep the population fairly in check.  They are an impressive animal with even more impressive breeding capabilities.  They can survive in almost any climate and can double their numbers in months.

Which side of the debate and what are your thoughts on the subject?   

 
Friday, 22 November 2013 22:50

Hunting Wild Boar in the Cold

We at Shotem and Caughtem will be heading down south this weekend to take in a little hog hunt before opening season for deer.  Since it should be a cold one we thought we might throw out a couple of cold weather tactics we use when out hunting hogs in the cold.  Let us know your tips in the comment section below.  

Hunting feral pigs in the winter is not much different than hunting them in the summer.  The only difference is their need to cool off in the water or in bogs tends to be dramatically less during the colder months.  The advantage to hunting hogs in the colder climates is that the pigs tend to burn more calories to stay warm, so they are in constant need of a good food source.  Since hogs do not see well, much of their movement will still be under or close to the cover of darkness.  Even when temperatures drop they still tend to move at night or close to dark.  Cold weather does however, keep them a little more active during the day than you would typically see during the summer months due to the need for food should you not have the ability to hunt at night.  Because of this we find that hunting food sources or places where the hogs must travel to get to these places from there bedding spots are the best place to find hogs.  Look for heavy rooting and track marks in crop fields, treed areas with acorns, berries and leftover nuts from the fall drop should put you on track with where the pigs will be coming to and from.    

Lucky for us where we are going not only allows lights but night hunting as well.  This should increase our chances of landing a hog.  You will notice that many of the photos you see with people standing by their prized food source are night photos.  We tend to see good activity between the hours of 8-12pm and about 2-5am.  Windy nights will tend to keep them in cover but they will still need food.  Should wind be high check close to hedge rows or edges of fields since they will not travel far from wind cover.  If stalking pay close attention to wind direction since no matter what they will smell you coming from quite a distance away.

Most of all we hope to get in a little rifle practice right before the start of the season so that we can pack some pig next to our deer meat in the freezer.  We find the smaller pigs tend to eat the best.  80-120 pound hogs seem to make the best hot links and sausages.  Good Luck this weekend and hope you too will have a Shotem and Caughtem weekend.  We hope you will join us in our galleries soon.

 

Thursday, 06 June 2013 14:22

Feral Hog Hunting at Night

We at Shotem and Caughtem noticed that with the rising temperatures that many would be wild boar hunters will have to switch tactics to appropriately hunt these animals by going nocturnal.  We can say that hunting at night is a whole different ball game.  Many deer hunters get only a glimpse of the rush of being in the great outdoors at night as they make their way to their stands in the pitch black.  Night is when the Wild Things come out.  A hunters senses find a whole new acuity.   Hunting at night can be both an exhilarating rush and an unnerving sense that there is more going on than one realizes.  Leaves russel as  different predators and prey move around, weird noises as animals communicate, all while you try and not give away your position.  Some hunters will find refuge in a stand, some will have some since of comfort as the retreat to their blinds and others will brave the elements by hunkering down by a tree near a creek, river or wallering spot.  

There are a whole host of products available to the would be night hunter.  Different night vision options, lights for feeders and rifles and even specialty scopes.  With the rising wild boar populations more and more options are becoming available to the average hunter.  As technology becomes smaller and more capable we feel this industry will continue to add newer technology to help advance a hunters capabilities.  Here are some of the equipment we have had the opportunity to use and our thoughts.  

When hunting feral hogs at night the least expensive option to aid in your hunt is a light mounted to your rifle.  We tried the whole light in our hand thing and it is not only awkward but ineffective.  Not one of us shining a light by hand next to our rifle were happy with the results it provided.  We found that the color of light also made a huge impact on our success.  Though many say that either green or red lights are effective, we found that red light is the only way to go.  This too comes with its challenges as red light intensity can be stifled due to it's color which effects the range capabilities.  We were impressed by the lights offered by a company called Elusive Wildlife.  Their lights come with all the necessary adaptations to mount to a rail or scope and offer great intensity for low light sensitive scopes at 150-200 yards.  They also make a red circular feeder light that has motion detection should you have the benefit of hunting a baited area.  Tip:  When using lights mounted to scopes or rifles it is best to illuminate your light high in the sky and then dropping down to sight in your animal.

Should you have a lot more cash at your disposal the night vision options are endless and pretty darn cool.  We were using an old cheaper version of an infrared monocular and they can be quite a useful tool.  Even better are some of the night vision and infrared scopes available that not only allow you to see your animal but also take your shot.  Their only down fall is the energy needs.  Tip: Many of these devices need multiple power sources to allow you to stay in your position for long periods.  On one of our nights hunts we had to change the batteries out twice so bring extras.  This technology is ever advancing so there are some useful used options that might get you a good view of your surroundings allowing you to switch to cheaper alternatives prior to taking your shot.

If you have some tips or tricks to hunting at night or what to share your experience leave your comments below or share your photos in the Shotem Gallery and tell your story.

 

Published in On Location

Yes we at Shotem and Caughtem have been doing a lot of blogs on the invasive feral hog problem.  Luckily so far they have stayed clear of Kansas but this article started to raise even our eyebrows.  We have hunted hogs in Oklahoma and Texas and have witnessed this animals destructive power and ability to out wit and out breed even the most dedicated hunters.  But know they are starting to have problems in even the far Northern States and we felt we would add our two cents on the subject.  If like with any invasive species the Wildlife and Parks for each state would adopt the Missouri rule of thumb I doubt we would have the problems of illegal transport of these horrible wild animals.  Missouri has waged an all out war on the animal and we praise their efforts in this fight.  No license, no permits we don't care just help us get rid of the animals is Missouri's stance.  Day or Night.  We at Shotem and Caughtem do not want to see armed men and women roaming people's properties or state parks shooting at everything they see but we also know that no farmer or rancher want these animals anywhere near their properties.  Candace, one of our members, of the Queens of Camo has plenty of experience with hogs should you need a second good resource to ask questions about hog hunting.  Send her a message on their discussion forum http://www.shotemandcaughtem.com/groups-main/viewdiscussion/5-ask-the-queens-of-camo.html?groupid=2

But the pig wars are moving north. In Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania — states where not long ago the only pigs were of the “Charlotte’s Web” variety — state officials are scrambling to deal with an invasion of roaming behemoths that rototill fields, dig up lawns, decimate wetlands, kill livestock, spread diseases like pseudo-rabies and, occasionally, attack humans.


In 1990, fewer than two million wild pigs inhabited 20 states, according to John J. Mayer, the manager of the environmental science group at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, S.C., who tracked the state populations. That number has now risen to six million, with sightings in 47 states and established populations in 38 — “a national explosion of pigs,” as Dr. Mayer put it.

The swine are thought to have spread largely after escaping from private shooting preserves and during illegal transport by hunters across state lines. Experts on invasive species estimate that they are responsible for more than $1.5 billion in annual agricultural damage alone, amounting in 2007 to $300 per pig. The Agriculture Department is so concerned that it has requested an additional $20 million in 2014 for its Wildlife Services program to address the issue.

There is wide agreement that the pigs are undesirable — like the Asian carp that is threatening to invade the Great Lakes, but far bigger, meaner and mounted on four legs. But efforts to eradicate or at least contain them have been hampered by the lack of a national policy to deal with invasive species as a whole, the slowness of states to recognize the problem and the bickering between agencies about who is responsible for dealing with them.

“As a nation, we have not thought through this invasive species problem, and we just have disaster after disaster after disaster,” said Patrick Rusz, the director of wildlife services at the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy. Dr. Rusz, who travels around the state educating farmers about the menace posed by the wild pigs and encouraging them to set traps on their land, is so avid a hog-hater that in the early stages of Michigan’s invasion, he went to bars to eavesdrop on hunters who might have spotted the porcine invaders.

At least in Michigan, Dr. Rusz said, the pigs appear to be winning — their numbers are estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 and growing. Wild pigs are virtual Houdinis, able to dig or climb over almost any barrier; pig experts are fond of saying that “if a fence won’t hold water, it won’t hold a wild pig.”

Allowing hunters to shoot them in the wild all year round, as Michigan and other states do, is not in itself enough to limit the population, Dr. Rusz said. So trapping is an important component of wild pig control, as are bans on owning or breeding the animals.

But state bans like an invasive species order issued by Michigan in 2011, which prohibited ownership of Russian wild boar and other feral swine, have been opposed by shooting preserves and other businesses with a stake in keeping them.  We at Shotem and Caughtem hope all states change their minds and let us hunters start to post more photos of our kills as long as we have permission and a hunters license from any state.  Let us know your feelings on the subject in the comment section below and as always we will be bragging about our Wild Hog kills in the Shotem Gallery.

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem reported on the possible bill a couple of months ago.  Now it is official.  Oklahoma landowners can now take to the skies to hunt feral wild pigs and coyotes.  Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comment section below or post photos of your hunt to the Shotem gallery. 

Oklahoma landowners would be able to take to the skies to hunt feral hogs and other “depredating animals” under a bill signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Wednesday that’s intended to help landowners control growing populations of wild hogs that have become a problem in many rural parts of the state. The wild animals are known to tear up cropland, destroy fences and spread diseases.

State law already allows the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture to authorize people with a big-game commercial hunting area license to hunt wild hogs and other depredating animals— like coyotes — from aircraft. The bill signed by Fallin expands the law to include landowners and those hired by landowners.

 

We at Shotem and Caughtem can not support enough the hunting of Wild Boar as not a paid expense but a necessity to curb hog populations around the United States.  Luckily, Florida has adopted a good way to curb this population.  Check out the regulations below and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.