Join TexasGunTalk

Birth control for wild hogs,by TAMU

Discussion in 'News Articles' started by 300shooter, May 21, 2008.

  1. 300shooter

    300shooter Active Member

    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas researchers developing 'pill' for wild hogs

    Associated Press Writer

    GILMER, Texas (AP) -- Broad areas of grazing land at Pete Gipson's farm have plow-like scars. But it wasn't an out-of-control mechanical device that left disjointed ruts and holes.

    Gipson and other ranchers and farmers in the South are tormented by herds of voracious feral hogs. The beasts, up to 3 feet tall and 400 pounds, devour feed intended for livestock and tear up pastures in their incessant search for food.

    The hogs show little respect for such barriers as barbed wire fences, which merely serve as backscratchers for their hairy, leathery hides.

    "They got in that yard a couple weeks ago and cultivated it," said Gipson, 67, as his pickup truck bounced across a once-smooth pasture at his 300-acre Red Cap Farms. "I smoothed it out and I'll be damned if they didn't come back the next night and cultivate it again."

    In Texas, the wild pig population - now topping 2 million - is exploding thanks to high reproductive rates and few natural predators.

    The Texas AgriLife Extension Service estimates the hogs cause $50 million in damage each year.

    A solution to the pig problem might come from a lab at Texas A&M University, where a team of researchers is testing an oral contraceptive for the hogs and other pests. It may even become applicable for pets like cats and dogs.

    The contraceptive, called a phosphodiesterase 3 inhibitor and in development for about a year and a half, is now in a capsule form and has been fed to captive pigs at the university's research facility. It prevents the females' eggs from maturing.

    "It does appear to be effective," said Duane Kraemer, a professor of veterinary physiology and pharmacology who heads the research team.

    "The animals can continue to cycle and breed. Their behaviors are the same, except they don't get pregnant."

    Still, Kraemer cautions, the "development of an oral contraceptive for an animal that people eat and is to be released into the environment is a complex issue, no question about it."

    The hogs are descendants of animals introduced more than 300 years ago by Spanish explorers, domestic hogs that have escaped over the years and survivors of Russian boars brought to Texas in the 1930s as exotic hunting game.

    After generations of crossbreeding in the wild, the hogs have evolved into fierce survivors that typically travel in herds known as sounds.

    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.

    Gipson said his son-in-law recently was inspecting some land on foot when he was confronted by several of the animals, which leave the shelter of creek bottoms to do their foraging after dark. Outweighed and outnumbered, his son-in-law climbed a tree to safety until they left, Gipson said.

    "You might shoot one, but you'd have the rest of them on you," he said.

    There is no closed season on hunting the pigs, and in Texas all you need is a regular hunting license. But it might take more than a shotgun to bring down a big hog.

    "Just cleans the dirt off them," said Jake Williams, Gipson's farmhand.

    Earlier this month, the Texas Department of Agriculture announced it had awarded the extension service $1 million to provide technical help to landowners under siege from the beasts.

    "They eat most anything," Kraemer said. "One of the reasons there's concern is they eat eggs of birds that nest in the ground, little deer if they can catch them, sheep and goats. And, of course, they dig for grubs and worms and roots and in the process of doing so, they tear up crops, pastures and make such a mess you can hardly drive on these pastures. It's just terrible."

    He estimates it could be three to five years before the birth-control pill for pigs is readily available. The next step in the research is to test the contraceptive outside the lab.

    Among hurdles yet to be overcome are how to ensure that the drug is administered only to wild hogs and won't cause any environmental damage.

    "It's got to be effective, it's got to be specific, it's got to be acceptable to meat consumed by humans," Kraemer said. "And it's got to be environmentally safe."

  2. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Why don't they take marine snipers out there for some hands on training with real targets.
  3. coastal.plains.drifter

    coastal.plains.drifter New Member

    May 21, 2008
    South Texas
    Hunting ?

    Birth control for hogs. I have heard it all now. I have a crazy idea. How about land owners allowing hunters to go in and clean them out for a modest fee. Donate the meat to charities or have a big BBQ or have a big hog social event with 100+ ways to prepare and eat feral hog. There is nothing better than a full side of feral hog ribs cooked over a slow burning mesquite fire.

    Ideas anyone? :)
  4. idleprocess

    idleprocess Active Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    There is no season on hog hunting; they are classified as varmints and I believe the restrictions are pretty basic, like you need a hunting license and permission from the landowner (or a hunting lease).

    My understanding is that you can go into almost any farming community in Texas and easily get permission from farmers to hunt hogs once you clear what days you'll be out and roughly where to hunt.
  5. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Hogs for Africans?
  6. brainiac

    brainiac Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    Parker County
    How do you get the feral hogs to swallow the pill? Put it in the back of their mouth and tickle their throat? :D
  7. DopaVash

    DopaVash Member

    Apr 23, 2008
    Kingwood, Tx

    Works for my lady friend :D

    I keed, I keed.
  8. Darkwind

    Darkwind New Member

    Mar 18, 2009
    hey- I have a few thousand hog birth control pills in my closet

  9. kville79

    kville79 Active Member

    May 24, 2008
    I have hog contraceptive in 5.56mm, 7.62x54mm, 7.5x54mm, and 12GA... take your pick, I'll even administer it for free!
  10. TXCrossfire

    TXCrossfire New Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    Frisco, TX
    There is only ONE kind of birth control for hogs!

    Attached Files:

Share This Page