If I didn't already have enough problems now my favorite riding route has been invaded by wild boar(s).
I can tell you that nothing scares a horse more! And a rider as well!
Anyone else having this problem? How do you get rid of them? How dangerous are they to horses and ponies.
A week ago Sunday I was riding around my favorite crop field when suddenly my mare spooked big. She set off running which she doesn't usually do. We come across deer all the time and a little jump from being startled is usually all that it amounts too.
When I got her stopped I went back to see what was up. Holy smoke I nearly died when I was looking straight at a large boar, tusks and all. It looked back at me and then I notice its back leg seemed to be stuck so we went by quickly and got out of there.
So last Saturday I am out for my ride around the same field, I thought for sure the hog was a one time thing. But I was wrong. Another huge spook, this time I was able to spin her back around more quickly and I could hear the snapping of branches and bushes moving (kind of like Jurassic park) and there in the woods beside the field looking out at me was another boar. This one didn't even attempt to run off, so I did. I turned around and head back the way I came.
Yesterday I didn't even bother trying to go around the field.
Will they stay there? Will the hogs make there way to our homes and barns?
I was told by two different people that not far from me is an area where they introduced Russian boars. Great!
No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
Turn your horse out in pasture. We have feral pigs in my area and they scare the crap out of me when I encounter them on the trail, but my horse doesn't care because she is used to them. She lives outside 24/7 and the pigs occasionally come through the pasture.
Beside the landowner, call the local Wildlife folks. Here in parts of Texas, they are a huge problem. Kill dogs, tear up shrubs and lawns in surburban areas, and think all year long is hunting season on them. There are some native species but from what I understand, the biggest, baddest ones were domestic species that got loose, turned out or whatever. After a couple of generations, they turn into nasty, rank and really big bad guys.
Fla is chock full of 'em so our horses are very used to them. They tear up the trails terribly and yes can scare unsuspecting riders and horses. It's not uncommon to come across 5-6 at a time if riding in certain places.
They hunt them pretty often down here, but can't seem to get rid of them as they have such big litters... They are considered exotics, so no limits on them as deer and small game have as far as I know.
Usually if I yell at them and ride toward them they move away. Once I had one stand its ground, then walk toward us, so we turned around and didn't try riding by it, assuming it was protecting babies nearby.
You got a sow leading young, they are really dangerous.
But a horse is usually not on their menu, so you should be fine. of course, should the pigs indicate they do not like you, vacating the premissis at expedient speeds is highly favorable and encouraged.
They've always run from us, but we use caution and certainly won't antagonize them. Several years back when camping at Dupuis, my horse was laying down sleeping in his electric paddock and a huge white & black one wandered into camp in search of food. My horse just stayed where he was, didn't care at all.
We did chase that one off as he/she seemed entirely too friendly. Later on about 2 am, I heard this loud noise which sounded like someone was eating chicken bones with an amplifier. I got out of my tent and the same hog was there, routing through my neighbor's bag of garbage - I chased it off, and put the bag of garbage in back of my truck.
Later on, I thought - now that wasn't the smartest thing to do in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping....." but it worked.
I think someone must have shot Mr Piggy as we never saw him again.
They can get pretty bold sometimes. A couple of years ago we had a problem with three wild pigs running my yearlings off of their feed (and once through a fence). This happened daily and they would actually hang out near the paddocks around feeding time. It wasn't a lot of fun and the yearlings were terrified of them. We ended up having to shoot them as chasing them off wasn't effective at all. They had a good thing with two meals a day and they knew it.
Welcome to the real world of feral hogs. There are more than 5-6 million in the U.S. and rapidly reproducing and advancing northward. They are acclimating to colder climates very well.
Very wise to traps but eventually you find a different "sounder" (a herd of hogs) that's not so trap wise. Whether the trap is a box trap or circular/heart shape.
My favorite feral hogs are the ones in my freezer named "Sausage"!!!
Here in our area of Texas, the wild hogs are running 250 to 300 lbs and in other parts of the state as much as 600 lbs. Have read of several cases where someone's dog tangled with one and the dog did not win. Nasty creatures!
Holy cow! I'm glad there aren't any where I live. Up til now the scariest thing I've seen is a bull moose from about six feet away. He didn't care that we walked by, fortunately, but I could feel my horse's heart racing. And mine, too.
We have them here, too. So far, I haven't come across one while riding. But my neighbor's gelding, who is kept alone - and pastured 24/7 - is terrified of them. When he can hear a sounder in the woods, he won't take shelter in his barn because it's too close to the treeline.
I've seen no evidence of them on my farm, though, which is only a couple of miles from my neighbor's place. Maybe the bobcat and the coyote keep them at bay. My neighbor's up near the highway and not so blessed with predators as I am.
Ask around in your area and I bet you'll find a local hunter that likes to hunt them and will take care of them for you. Some places pay a bounty on them, and a friend of mine earned thousands of dollars last year hunting them and eliminating the damage they cause in the local training area. There are people that know a lot about them and can dispatch them with the least bother and are very good at hunting them.
It is not uncommon for us to encounter wild pigs here in central Georgia. Luckily for me all my horses are familiar with pigs and don't spook too bad when they see one since I have a pet potbellied pig at home. I've seen herds of upwards of a dozen including sows and piglets. They cause unbelievable damage to crops. There is no specific season to hunt them...it is open all year long. The farmer has allowed hunting on his land but the hunters haven't been able to make a dent in the population. The one thing I fear the most is encountering one of the hunters with his pack of hog dogs. Now THAT could be scary. I do have a friend whose dog was savaged by a wild pig...she survived but her leg was badly damaged.
Generally speaking....pigs will run away and not attack a horse, of course there is always the exeption. If the pig doesn't look inclined to move away then I would cede the trail to him and find another way to go.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."