It is believed that hogs were first introduced into the United States by Hernando de Soto in or around 1539. Recent excavations from some of Hernando de Sotos’ encampments in Florida have discovered jaw bones of pigs and other swine bone fragments. It is further believed some of those pigs may have escaped into the wild and became the first wild pigs in the Americas.
Wild pigs are a true omnivore, meaning that they will eat almost anything. The diet of a wild hog can include grubs, worms, termites, acorns – anything that the hog can get its mouth on, its likely to eat. There are even stories of wild hogs killing and eating new born deer.
Several factors have contributed to a recent surge in hog populations.
1. For some reason, several states have passed laws prohibiting butchers from processing wild hogs. If a hunter kills a hog, and brings that hog to a butcher, in some states the butcher will not be able to process the meat.
This has helped prevent an active hog hunting community of hunters from developing. There are a group of people that hunt hogs, but not to the degree of deer hunters. Most people that hunt hogs process the meat themselves. This is something that not everyone wants to do.
2. More deer hunters are using feeders. In some cases, deer hunters keep their feeders going all year long, and as a result, supply the hogs with a year round supply of food.
3. Lack of large natural predators to keep the wild hog population in check.
4. Other reasons too numerous to go into here.
When tracking wild hogs, keep in mind they require 2 things – water and food.
Water – Since pigs do not have sweat glads, if a creek, bog, or some other source of water is nearby, the hogs will be close. This is especially true in the hottest parts of the summer – June, July, August and September.
Food – this goes without saying too much more. All living things need food. But if there are deer feeders or oak trees in the area, that would be a good place to look for signs of wild hogs.
This video was filmed in August of 2007.