Wild pigs, hogs, or boars are not often animals that jump to the forefront of peoples’ minds when they think about hunting. For many parts of the country, boars are not a significant burden on local economies or farming communities, but that is not the case in all parts of the US.
While boars can be a dangerous species in close proximity, that is not reason enough to hunt them because any animal can show signs of aggression, even house pets. When it comes to boars, wild, undomesticated pigs, there are several reasons for hunting the species.
1. Reproduction Rate is Uncontrollable
One of the primary reasons for the licensed hunting of any species is population control. Whether some people like to admit it, most hunters are strong allies of conservation efforts. Pigs are among the fastest breeding animals on earth. They reach sexual maturity at 12 months old and can produce up to two litters of up to 13 piglets twice per year. An average boar will live five years, meaning they have the potential of producing 130 pigs in their lifetime.
With the current population of feral hogs estimated at nine million in the US alone, hunting is necessary. Additionally, the population is expected to balloon, resulting in significant damage and expense. Some states are more likely to take the brunt of those costs than others; for example, Texas has a wild boar population of over two and a half million, nearly a third of the entire US population. Hunting is the only way to control the rising numbers and potential costs.
2. Cause of Significant Destruction and Expense
While Texas has one of the largest wild boar populations in the country, they do not share the majority of the costs for damage. That is not to say the expense is minimal. In one year, the Texas Department of Agriculture spent nearly $52 million to repair wild hog damage across the state. However, the multimillion-dollar number seems small compared to the estimated two and a half-billion dollars in damage estimated across the US by the Department of Agriculture.
People have a sentimental connection to pigs, believing them all to be Wilbur, but the truth is boars are destructive animals that reproduce at a rapid rate, making any other method of control unfeasible when compared to hunting. However, if population control and expense are not enough to get you on board with boar hunting, consider health and safety.
3. Carriers of Disease and Pests
Wild hogs are not friendly and often have pests and illnesses that are transmissible to people. Most boars can have issues with lice, fleas, and ticks. Along with these infestations, they can be carriers of tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, and other transferable diseases.
For individuals looking to take up wild boar hunting, it is necessary to take precautions to protect yourself against infection. Keeping your distance and ensuring your kill is amongst the most important, preventing any aggression or attacks in close quarters.
If you aren’t sold yet with the above public safety measures, consider boar meat is delicious. A boar is a pig, and it is an excellent source of bacon.
While you do not have to be pro-boar hunting, it is good to understand the necessity of the practice. Most hunters care about the environment and the animals they help control. Hunting is not some bad word, and when done for the right reasons, it is beneficial to the population and animals. Do you have anything to add to the conversation? Leave a comment below.