It's the biggest threat to tennessee agriculture and wildlife you haven't heard anything about.
Fox 17's scott couch shows us how all those wild hogs are impacting mid-state farmers... and what's being done to thin the herd.
walking in woods -- "well if you don't keep em' in check one way or the other then they'll take over"
ken moody is something of a swine expert.
for the past 18-years, he's been walking these woods
in fentress county -- leading clients on his clarkrange hunting preserve
to wild boar.
"dogs barking as they bay a wild pig''
moody/hunting guide says t-1 :00:21:49 "it's a very exciting hunt.
you're hunting a semi-dangerous animal that will get aggressive and can
be aggressive and the meat is excellent"
moody and his clients keep the population "in check" on his fenced in preserve.
but outside his gate, wild hogs threaten to take over.
they're dominating the same food supply deer and bear depend on.
"they're exploding in the state and that's why the
usda and the twra are starting to work together and try to do more to
address this problem throughout the state"
pigs are prolific breeders.
a single sow can have about two dozen piglets a year and they have no natural enemies.
*i need an audio edit ***** cover with driving video -- :08:41:30 "i
was out here two or three days ago" :32 ---- :37 "eleven hogs ran right
across the road in front of me"
phil henderson owns a 250-acre farm just east of cookeville.
it's beautiful land but henderson says wild hogs are ruining it.
"it's like driving on cobblestones. these are my roads. you work
hard to prepare em' and maintain em' and they come in and they just
henderson photographed these pigs with a motion activated camera.
he and a neighbor have killed about 250 wild hogs over the past
4-years but henderson says they haven't even put a dent in the problem.
this field of wheat he just planted to help the deer survive the winter is the hogs latest target.
"this pine tree is another victim
of the hogs. you can see at the bottom of the tree where they kept
circling and circling. they call that girdling -- rubbing off the bark
until this tree died."
other trees nearby are dying now and wallows like this are popping up all over.
phil henderson says t-"were on the cutting edge of a huge problem in agriculture in the state of tennessee"
state and federal wildlife officials agree.
they're now changing strategy on wild hogs -- away from just
encouraging trophy hunting to promoting the construction of large pig
traps like this.
seed corn draws them in and the doors close behind them.
"we're talking about trapping hogs and really at this
point trying to manipulate the population so we can get it on a downward
hunters like ken moody suggest licensing people to capture wild hogs for sale to game operations like his.
but wildlife officials say that would risk spreading dangerous hog-born diseases like brucelosis, pseudo-rabies and e-coli.
it's already a concern because people are moving hogs illegally so they can hunt them at home.
"what we're seeing in tn is a pocket here, pocket here, pocket here
and we know those hogs aren't just randomly showing up there"
the end game is to kill as many of tennessee's wild hogs as possible
before the diseases they carry are spread to the animals we depend on
Tuesday, November 23 2010, 06:21 PM CST
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