Wednesday, November 16, 2011


2011 Map
1982 map
As you can see, feral hogs have expanded their range in the last couple of decades. The Texas Parks & Wildlife department had their population at 1 million, then 2 million, and now some sources estimate that there are up to 2.6 to 3.9 million in the state. A wild sow can have up to 20 babies at a time. They can do this a couple of times a year!

We got cable TV for the first time and the technician who installed it had a degree in wildlife management. We got to talking about feral pigs. He said they chase off deer and other wildlfe and consume vast amounts of acorns and other forest foods. These feral hogs are not native to Texas, but were brought here by the Spanish explorers. Domestic pigs have added to the gene pool over the last hundred years and many are much larger than the wild boars of Eurasia.

The latest craze are reality shows about hunting feral hogs.
For a person in a city like Houston, all of this seems like a far away problem.
However, just 20 miles away, feral pigs live in Addicks reservoir and I'm told by my students that they tear up the local golf courses at night!

I'm afraid to ask if anyone sees wild hogs in their area, but I'd like to know.
David/ :-)


  1. You'd be shocked. We don't have feral pigs here per say, but we have A LOT of animals called javelinas that do the amount of damage. They are hearty rodents and quite large. A pack will charge humans if we entire their range....and there are a lot of them. But you can usually smell them a mile away:)

  2. I watched a bit of a clip from one of these game shows on another blog and found it so disturbing, I had to turn it off. I understand some creatures have to be curbed to keep a balance or because they are dangerous but it seems odd to turn death into entertainment. It's why fox hunting is shocking in this country too.

  3. I've seen them in Atascocita twice. Once I saw a mom and a bunch of babies walking through a wooded area and crossing over a dry ditch. The other time was a lot more shocking - a few of them actually out near the road in a grassed area rooting around. It was a pretty populated area (out in front of a manmade pond near a neighborhood) and I was surprised to see them so close to everything. So we definitely have them here near Lake Houston.

  4. Oh, yes, we have tons of them. My daughter even had a wreck with one when it was crossing the highway in the middle of the night. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt. But I hear of that happening more and more, and we see their destruction everywhere around here. They are quite dangerous, and will attack if provoked or hurt. I don't know if the reality shows are going to be a hit. I can't imagine people wanting to see anything getting killed. I did meet a man that sells the meat. Most people here don't like the wild taste of the meat, so he said it's imported to China!!!!

  5. Hi Holley,
    I was guessing you would have a story about this. Since they come out a night a lot, it would be almost impossible to prevent damage to crops and gardens...unless you stayed up all night in your fields! Ugh.
    Hi Melissa,
    Yes, close to everything...I think they will get bolder each year and start going right into people's lawns...especially if you live near a wild area.
    Hi Esther,
    I've never thought of comparing it to a fox hunt. I always feel sorry for a fox cornered by a pack of dogs. I don't like the sport at all.
    For these wild pigs, I don't quite have the same's bizarre that people find it so entertaining. The shows trap most of them live and the pigs are used for meat.

    Hi Rohrbot,
    Glad you commented about the Javalina. Surprisingly, they do not interbreed with these feral hogs. The Javalina down in far South Texas are native and part of the natural ecosystem. Of course, so are roaches! We have our ideas of what is 'good' to have around us and I'm sure these guys get into plenty of suburban trouble. I didn't realize you could smell a pack of them a mile a way. They are fierce fighters when cornered even though they are smaller.
    David/ :-)

  6. a problem in Sweden to and they do a massive mess in a very short time. Shy and hard to hunt down, and dogs risks getting hurt is what I've heard to. On the roads they are a great danger when driving in dusk or dawn, they are massive so hitting them with the car is definitely not anyone would like to do. The only + is that they taste great, small ones at least.

  7. That would just be the last straw. Already have burrowing armadillos, munching and antler-rubbing deer, and drought. Wild pigs would put me over the edge.


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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