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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.

 

Published in Hunter and Angler Blog
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.

 

Published in News/Events

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.

 
Published in News/Events