Managing wild pig damage focus of seminar
By Michelle Mann firstname.lastname@example.org
Carter is the Alabama Extension Service Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management Regional Extension Agent serving Coffee, Dale, Pike Crenshaw, Covington, Geneva, Houston, Henry and Barbour Counties.He is among those from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences planning five wild pig damage management workshops throughout the state.Reservations are now being taken for the Wiregrass region workshop set for Sept. 30, from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., at the Enterprise State Community College multipurpose room.Those interested can register online atwww.aces.edu/go/657 or by calling (334) 844-1010. The registration fee is $20 per participant and includes coffee, snacks, lunch, continuing education hours and a color copy of the Wild Pig Management booklet.The seminar is targeted at landowners or farmers who have problems with wild pigs, Carter said, adding that interested homeowners are also invited to register.Topics covered include wild pig history, biology and ecology, an overview of wild pig control methods, trapping of wild pigs and how to get money for pig traps.There will also be a demonstration of trap designs and techniques. “We highlight trapping because it is the most effective method of containing wild pigs,” Carter said. “A group of wild pigs is called a sounder and the most effective way to control the problems is to trap the entire sounder.”Carter said that wild pigs were first introduced into the United States in the 1500s as a food source and they've slowly migrated throughout the nation.Carter said that wild pigs caused some $1.5 billion in total damage to properties nationwide last year. He said that reports of estimated damage in Alabama last year tops $60 million.“Wild hogs are one of those species that adapt to any environment so well and people’s yards area is just a natural food source for them,” Carter said. “Definitely they are dangerous creatures but it is not likely that they are going to seek you out—their attack would be in fear or their self defense.”Carter said the speaker lineup includes Mark Smith from Auburn University, Chris Jaworawski from ACES and Jeff Thurmond from NRCS.There’s no natural predator for wild pigs, except for man, Carter said. “There’s some risk of predation when the wild pigs are juveniles, but that decreases when they get bigger than 40 pounds—even coyotes and bobcats will not mess with them.”There is an open hunting season for wild pigs in Alabama. Locally, the Fort Rucker Outdoor Recreation is hosting a Wild Hog Hunt through Sept. 22. Team categories include two man trapping teams and two man weapon teams. The entry fee is $70 per team. There are cash prizes for first, second and third place. Those interested can contact the Fort Rucker Outdoor Recreation office at (334) 255-4305 or visit rucker.armymwr.com.