Deer hunters face unwanted contest as feral hog explosion thins herds

78
Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 2:22 AM

The explosion of feral hogs across the U. S. is threatening the deer population -- spreading disease, dominating the food chain and even, on occasion, killing and eating fawns.

Deer hunters face unwanted contest as feral hog explosion thins herds

Deer hunters are facing contest from a source that's mean, relentless and out of control.

The explosion of feral hogs across the U. S. is threatening the deer population -- spreading disease, dominating the food chain and even, on occasion, killing and eating fawns. In Louisiana, where there are an estimated 700.000 wild hogs, hunters and wildlife executive declare they're taking a toll on the whitetail deer herd.

"They are in the marshes and beaches of LA all the way up into the hills and piney woods and swamps," Jim LaCour, state wildlife veterinarian for the LA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries, told FoxNews. com. "They’re in every habitat in the state."

"If you start to look hogs in your hunting area, you're absolutely not going to look deer."

- hunter Justin Lanclos

"They’re very adaptable and also highly destructive," LaCour said.

LaCour described the feral pigs, which can weigh up to five hundred pounds, as "opportunistic" eaters -- omnivores that feast on anything crossing their path, including deer fawn, other piglets and deceased animals.

LaCour said hogs carry many diseases, such as leptospirosis, which can infect or murder other animals, love deer, as well as humans.

"Hogs are the sport utility vehicle for sickness and parasites -- they move them across the landscape," he said. "That bacteria [leptospirosis] can cause abortion in the deer – and it can murder adult deer or people."

Their presence is also harmful to the land, forcing wildlife executive to carry out aerial gunning in certain areas "because they tear up the marsh and that leads to coastal erosion."

Hogs were first introduced to N America by Spanish settlers. The breed most commonly seen in TX is a combination of those hogs and Russian boars brought over more recently for sport hunting, according to the TX Parks and Wildlife Department.

Some speculate the pop boom is due to relatively recent cross-breeding in the wild. Others, love LaCour, declare the popularity of hog hunting in the one thousand nine hundred eighty'south and early 'ninety'south led humans to move the feral pigs from confined, geographically isolated areas into places they'd never been before.

Wild hogs can reproduce by the time they are six months old. Feral sows can have two litters per year averaging six piglets per litter, according to wildlife experts. Statisticians have determined that seventy-five % of the pop should be harvested to support a static population -- prompting LA and other states to adopt liberal hunting policies when it comes to killing the hogs. TX has the highest rate of feral hogs to date, according to environmentalists.

For deer hunter Justin Lanclos, the very sighting of a feral pig means trouble.

"If you start to look hogs in your hunting area, you're absolutely not going to see deer," said Lanclos, a 33-year-old bowhunter from Sulthur, La.

"Deer are extremely bright and elusive," Lanclos told FoxNews. com. "They just don’t love to occupy the same area as hogs."

Lanclos, the owner of retailer LA Bowhunter, said he recently received a photo showing a herd of hogs -- or sounder -- running off with a whitetail fawn. The image, believed to have been taken in Louisiana, has since gone viral on social media.

"We’ve got other photos of feral hogs carrying fawns," well-known LaCour. "If the hogs are coming through a field and they happen to arrive across it, they’re going to eat it."

READ ALSO
seventeen stunning temples in Japan

seventeen stunning temples in Japan

More from Travel + Leisure:-- The world'south friendliest cities-- Best places to travel in two thousand-sixteenth -- Destinations where your dollar will go really, really distant in two thousand-sixteenth Planning a getaway? Don't miss Travel + Leisure'south...

52
IBM, Tesla and Southwestern Energy Rise, Endo Skids

IBM, Tesla and Southwestern Energy Rise, Endo Skids

(IBM), up $3.04 to $151.45 IBM said it'll widen its business services div by buying Bluewolf Group, which provides cloud consulting and implementation services.

56
Business Highlights

Business Highlights

Tesla'south Model three doesn't go on sale until late two thousand seventeen, but potential buyers could reserve one with a $1.000 deposit at Tesla stores starting Thursday morning.

79
Casinos: Lee Greenwood at Thunder Valley

Casinos: Lee Greenwood at Thunder Valley

When Cavaliere was forming a new grouping in the mid-1960s, he asked Greenwood to connect him. Greenwood declined, and Cavaliere built the Youthful Rascals, whose first recording, “Good Lovin’,” topped the charts., seventy-three, is firmly established...

79