18 May 2008 at 11:24:01 AM
As this article states, the population of wild pigs now tops 2 MILLION (and we aren't talking about cute little Green Acres Arnold piggies, either)
He and other ranchers and farmers in Texas and the South are waging an uphill battle against herds of voracious feral hogs. The beasts, up to 3 feet tall and 400 pounds, devour feed intended for livestock and tear up pastures at his 300-acre Red Cap Farms in their incessant search for food.
"See how rough it is?" a frustrated Gipson said as his pickup bounced across the once-smooth pasture.
They show little respect for traditional barriers such as barbed wire fencing, which merely acts as backscratchers for their hairy leathery hides.
"They got in that yard a couple weeks ago and cultivated it," Gipson, 67, said, nodding to an area outside his shop. "I smoothed it out and I'll be damned if they didn't come back the next night and cultivate it again.
So, they're making a contraceptive pill at A&M. The hogs will breed, etc but the females just won't get pregnant.
The hogs have keen senses of smell and hearing and sharp continuously growing tusks — two on top and two on the bottom — all the makings of imposing physical specimens that see a calf as a prospective meal.
Gipson said his son-in-law recently was inspecting some land on foot when he was confronted by several of the animals, which normally leave the shelter of creek bottoms to do their foraging after dark. Outweighed and outnumbered, Gipson said his son-in-law climbed a tree to safety until they left.
"You might shoot one, but you'd have the rest of them on you," he said. "You better know what you're doing."
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