HuntWildPig.com’s New Resource, Fan Page, and Twitter Feed For Boar Hunters

HuntWildPig.com just released a resource page for all hog hunters as a one stop place for all tools and neat web sites. Some of the cool features include a National Feral Swine Mapping System, a LIVE hog cam, and some of the best websites for hunting Wild Boar.

While this is just a start to the page, and will be updated constantly, I’m asking for the readers input into what they have found to be a good resource for hunting wild boar, hunting in general, and outdoor life.

Boar Icon courtesy of Angelus

You can post the resources you find useful in the comments section, and can even post your website if you believe it will be  a value to our readers.

You can also contact me at greg@HuntWildPig.com or hit me up on the NEW HuntWildPig.com Fan Page on Facebook.

You can also follow us on Twitter @HuntWildPig

Lastly, I recently had a guest post from one of our readers that was really good. It made me realize that this is a community, and there are a lot of good outdoor writers that want to be heard. If you have a passion to write about wild boar hunting, outdoors, archery, firearms, or just hunting in general, please contact me directly at greg@huntwildpig.com .

Send your article, photos, and links to your site, and I will let you know if it is a good fit for HuntWildPig.com

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If You Bait it, The Hogs Will Come: Hog baiting secrets for your next hunt

 

“Ask any old timer and they will tell you that they have found hog circles around just about every creosote soaked telephone pole in the wilderness” – (photo by Keith Edkins)

Craig Pearson is an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and adventurist. His main passions are hog hunting in Texas and writing about his many adventures. He currently blogs for nightvision 4 less, a supplier of high quality night vision equipment.

 

Everybody has a secret family recipe for a good hog bait. While I’m not going to share my grandpa’s secret recipe, I can show you some essential bait components that will be sure to make your bait irresistible. 

Engine Oils and Lubricants: While the hogs don’t necessarily eat these, they love how they smell. I’ve used WD-40, old motor oil, and diesel fuel to great success. I start by clearing out a flat area by a watering hole or nesting ground and spreading good amount of diesel or motor oil in the dirt before I even put my food out. Hogs love to roll around in it and it can often keep them distracted better than food alone. WD-40 sprayed on the bait food seems to work well too.

Telephone Poles: Ask any old timer and they will tell you that they have found hog circles around just about every creosote soaked telephone pole in the wilderness. Hogs love to rub on old fashioned telephone poles. It supposedly soothes their hide and keeps the bugs under control. Regardless, they seem to love ‘em. Get your chainsaw out and hack off a few four foot sections and secure them around a watering hole and you got yourself some hog heaven!

Breads: Most hog hunters use rotten corn or apples, but hogs aren’t really that picky. If you want a cheap solution that will bring the hogs to your bait site, then old baked goods are the way to go. You can work out a deal with your local bakery or grocery store to take their unsellable bread off their hands for cheap. Even corn tortillas can be a perfect addition to your hog bait recipe. 

Peanuts and Candy: After my oil is soaked in the dirt, I like to sprinkle a healthy coating of cheap peanuts and hard candy everywhere. The hogs get distracted rooting the little bits up and can leave themselves open to a prime shot. 

Booze: While it may seem a crime to waste good liquor on hogs, it can make or break your ability to lure hogs to your site again and again. Many will tell you that hogs get “addicted” to cheap beer and whiskey and will go through great lengths to get their snouts on it. I recommend pouring beer or whiskey over the breads after burying them at the bait site. Works just as well on spoiled apples and corn!

Jell-O: There should always be room for some of this powdery goodness when it comes to hog baiting. Sprinkle about five or six packets of strawberry or raspberry Jell-O powder over the bushes near your bait site. Hogs can’t seem to stay away from it. Also, I have heard that Kool Aid works just as well!

For those times that you want to have a more relaxing hunt, just make the hogs come to you. No place starts out as the perfect spot for bagging some big hogs, but you can make it that way with these simple steps. All you need is the right bait and lots of patience.

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How To Start Hunting Wild Boar

 

Wild Boar Hunting Camp

Something yearns and burns in your soul…You want to get back to a primal way of life, even just for a moment… for proof that your alive… Hunt a Wild Boar!

How do you start hunting wild boar? Why do we hunt wild boar? Why do we even hunt in the new millennium? These are great, normal questions that you may ask yourself, and may define your life forever.

For me, it was reading books as a kid such as “Lord of the Flies” … getting lost in the survival aspect, rewarded with the taste of meat that was hunted, and the taste explosion on my tongue of freshly killed pig, spit roasted over a open fire. To some, it may be that trophy kill of a worthy and very dangerous prey, mounted on the wall to be cherished forever, with endless stories……(that change every year just slightly).

As for hunting in general, I can’t define why we hunt, only that we do…. We cherish the wilderness that gives us our game, protecting it, spreading conservation to others, leaving a legacy for our children… and hopefully, they do the same.

As for hunting wild pig, I can only show you the essentials of where to begin. You have probably been researching the steps to take, and good for you…. That’s step #:

1. Research how to hunt wild pig – See if you have the aptitude to commit to this path. Watch YouTube videos on hunting, skinning, and tutorials. Read blogs such as Phillip’s Hog-Blog for great experienced hog hunting. Check out your local outdoor sporting goods store, pick up different hunting rifles, bows, crossbows, and see which method calls out to you. Trust me, it will happen.

2. Take a Hunters Education Course – Most states require that you take a hunters education course before you can apply to get your hunters license. This is a good idea regardless of if its mandatory or not. Safety has always been paramount, and should always be paramount as a good hunter. This is not costly, and places like Bass Pro will generally reimburse your fee towards hunting gear.

3. Get Legal – Purchase your hunters license. As a resident, the hunting license is usually pretty cheap. You do have to show proof of a hunters education course, or a previous hunting license to get a current license. Check your state licensing fees at the top of this page under hunt by state. Some states like California actually require you to purchase a wild pig tag which is minimal, but still you want to make sure your legal.

4. Get Equipped- Purchase your weapon of choice for hunting boars. Do this in person at a reputable outfitter. Don’t just buy the first weapon you see that looks kick ass. Ask… be honest, and listen to the sales associate. Don’t buy it that day. Make notes, go home, and research the weapons first. (As a Bow Hunter….Never ever buy a bow online. A good bow is fitted to your body, and will be tuned to you specifically.) Other items you have to have will be:

5. Practice Practice Practice – There is a world of difference between shooting a wild boar, and shooting paper targets. But everyone has to start somewhere, so practice at a range you feel comfortable, and then move on to another challenge in distance. Try different positions and different angles (if safe). Personally, I love to practice on a 3D course that tests my skills bow hunting. Every weapon has it’s max effective range, and you need to know that before you take that shot. You need to have the confidence of  having a 99% chance of killing that animal humanely. No hunter wants to wound an animal, and leave it to suffer…that’s not why we hunt.

6. Make a Plan – Plan your first trip to either be guided, or go out with a friend that has actual knowledge of hog hunting. This will give you the needed first time skills, and answer many questions in the field for your hunt. I personally suggest going on a guided hunt with a friend. You will have an experience of a lifetime, and you will have the needed resources from the guide from the beginning to end of your hunt. Prices typically range from about $400-$800 depending on amenities. (Plan on tipping your guide for a great hunt depending on the experience, and services rendered.)

7. Book a Hunt – Research private hunting guides for your state, and be ready to call and ask questions. Some may include:

  1. Directions to the ranch
  2. What are the fees for hog hunting?
  3. Do you offer processing and storage on site?
  4. What is the terrain like?
  5. What is the size of the ranch?
  6. Can we camp onsite?
  7. What are the closest stores, outfitters, and restaurants to the ranch?
  8. What should I bring to go hog hunting?
  9. What weapons can I hunt with?
  10. What are the available dates to hunt?
  11. What payment do you accept?

(Be sure to let your guide know that this is your first time, so that they can tailor a hunt to your abilities)

In closing, most hunters had a father who would pass down that heritage to their children, and those skills would be passed down to their children, and so on…. In this day and age, hunting has diminished because the father is not in the children’s life in a lot of cases. I hope that you have found even a nugget of useful information that will inspire you to learn to hunt. Keep these traditions alive for yourself and your children.

If you have any questions, or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section.

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Spear Hunting Wild Boar, Hunting Skills, Where To Hunt In Orange County, CA – Reader Question # 1

A Readers Letter To www.HuntWildPig.com

Yesterday I received a letter from one of our readers named Hunter. I asked if I could post his question, as I feel it is important to the rest of our readers.

Hi Greg,

I really like your site. I traditionally hunt with a shotgun for most
commonly small game and fowl. On occassion I travel out and hunt
larger game. Areas I know best are central, south east CA and central
to south west AZ. For the first time I am considering bow hunting of
deer and boar. Living in south orange county, CA where are the best
places to learn good skills? Places to shoot or get classes? Areas to
consider hunting?
Also, a buddy of mine is talking to me about getting a boar spear and
go out couple of those and sidearm. Although this sounds incredibly
cool, what is your opinion of this type of activity? I am asking only
because you have had enough field time to think about running a site
called HuntWildPig. Is this endeavor complete foolishness? Have you
tried it? I expect we would likely both get close, kill a bush with
the long pointy thing and be left with take down by sidearm. Just a
guess.
Thanks for your time and advice.
Have a great day.

Ok, so as places to learn hunting skills living in Orange County, you’re going to have to travel a bit to hunt. I would suggest paying for a hunt at Big Horn Canyon Ranch in Riverside, CA. Here’s why:

  1. It has a very huntable population of exotic animals, with mostly wild boar. It is a beginners hunt for sure, and your almost guaranteed an animal. If not they only charged you $50. You don’t see that at most outfitters.
  2. The price is the best I’ve seen at the current rate of $395 for a feral hog.
  3. By paying a guide, you’re going to learn invaluable hands on skills such as skinning and quartering your hog, spot and stalk methods, and general hog hunting best practices.

Now I’m only saying to do this for your first hunt. By hunting on private land though, your chance for success goes up about 75 -90% spending on where you hunt. At Big Horn, you might as well rent a spit, and get a keg for the wild boar roast later with your buds! 😉 It’s a pretty sure thing.

The best place to learn to shoot with a bow is at a local archery shop where you bought your bow. Most likely they will have  a range, and they will offer lessons. Don’t get a group lesson, they are  a recreational waste of time. Get a private lesson at around $30-50 an hour(Group lessons run about 15-25 anyway). This benefits you by one on one instruction, helping you zero in your bow sight, and coming out proficient at hitting an animal. A good place is at Hi-Tech Archery in Fullerton. I don’t now how far south you are, but the best ranges to practice around me are Oranco Archery Range and Santiago Park if you want a free range to practice at.

Last subject is spear hunting. A Wild Boar is considered a game animal in California, therefore you cannot hunt them with a spear, as it is not a legal method of take for hunting game animals. Hunting a boar with a spear is cool though, and I don’t think its foolishness at all. You just need a state that allows it. Most people use spears these days as a self-defense measure when they are walking through crops where there are known populations of pig. Wild Boar are smart, and if your hunting in the hills of California, (hypothetically speaking of course) you will not get close to them with a spear unless they were injured anyways. Trust me when I say that hunting a wild hog with a bow and arrow is challenging enough!

 

If you’re looking for a good pig sticker here is one as an example:

 

(See the cross members at the end of the spear? That’s so that your spear stops at the pig when it is charging you, because that’s how mad it will be when you attempt to spear it!)

I personally use the Infantry 2 LMF by Gerber as my field knife, as it is awesome, has a fantastic sheath system w/ sharpener and can turn into a spear if need be with its 3 lashing holes. The price is amazing for the value you get. Here it is:

 

All in all, I see where you and your buddies vision is, finding an amazing hunt that will get your blood pumping, and be able to get up close and personal with a wild boar. Very noble, and challenging test of manhood for sure! I’m glad you wrote in those fantastic questions Hunter, and wish you well in your future hunts! Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

Follow the Water,

Greg

greg@huntwildpig.com

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Javelina Verses Wild Boar

 

You can see the distinctive collar or beard on the Javelina that separates from that of a Wild Boar.


Many hunters think that the Javelina and Wild Boar are the same thing. While they look similar in appearance, and have many similar traits, they are not the same. One sure sign is that they are smaller than a wild boar, and have a short-cropped beard (called a collar) around their face which gives them a very distinctive look.

Javelina, Peccary, Skunk Pig, and Musk Hog are the same animal. The scientific name is Tayassu tajacu. Javelina are in the Peccary family, with wild boar as a very distant cousin in the Suidea family.

Wild boar have tails, and Javelina do not.

Javelinas have scent glands near their eyes and on their back, wild hogs do not. This gives them their name of a musk hog, or skunk pig. They use their scent glands to mark territory and each other.

Wild boar outweigh a Javelina by about 100 pounds generally. Javelinas weight range is between  45-80 pounds, while wild hogs range between 80-350 pounds typically.

Javelinas travel in herds, which can get quite large, upwards of 60 Peccary. Wild boar travel in Sounders, with typically a pair of Sows, and their offspring.

Javelina have poor eyesight, yet have excellent noses, much like that of wild boar. They use their nose the same as a wild boar to root for their food, as they are opportunistic omnivores. Their favorite diet would be the prickly pear cactus and agave.

Javelinas can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico, Central America, and most of South America. They are found in desert environments in high chaparral, near water sources, and heavy brush.

Both wild boar and Javelina are great fun hunting!

Javelina range

 

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HuntWildPig.com Opens Wild Boar Hunting Store

 HuntWildPig.com is proud to announce that we have opened up a wild boar hunting store to be a one stop resource to all hog hunters! (pictured to the left is a bleeding wild boar 3D target that you will find under targets) We have all gear needed for your next pig hunt in the following categories: 

Books on Hunting Wild Boar

Dvd’s On Wild Boar Hunting

Game Cameras

Hog Dog Hunting Equipment

Hunting Knives

Scent-Lok Camouflage

Hunting Boots

Hunting Optics

Hunting Packs

Hunting Stands/Blinds

Hydration Packs(Camel-Bak)

Wild Boar Scents, Bait, and Calls

 Survival Equipment

Wild Boar Processing Equipment

and my favorite…. Wild Boar Targets and other 3D animal targets

We feel really great partnering with Amazon on this store to provide the same best prices, fastest shipping, and a trusted shopping experience to the community at HuntWildPig.com. While the store is a new addition to the web site, the ultimate goal is to be a resource to all wild boar hunters with all information needed to be successful in their hunt. We invite you to browse through the equipment, and welcome your comments. If there is anything that you feel should be added, we welcome those comments.

Follow the Water,

Greg 

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Gold Panning At Thurman Flats Picnic Area San Bernardino, CA

 

“Daddy Daughter Day” gold panning in Thurman Flats, near Big Bear,CA

One activity that I find relaxing is panning for gold. While the results are about as elusive as boar hunting with my bow, it is terribly exciting and fulfilling. The process is easy enough, and materials are cheap.

Today I took my daughter with me to Thurman Flats area in San Bernardino, CA. It is one of the first points of interest on the way up highway 38 going to Big Bear. Thurman Flats is considered a local secret, as there are wild blackberry bushes all over the place for anyone to pick when in season. The area is absolutely beautiful, with lush green bushes, wild flowers, and a creek that is shallow enough for kids to play in safely. The creek has  many branches of streams that flow away, and come back together, creating a picturesque scene that is soothing to the soul. Up top, there is a picnic area with bbq pits, gazebos, and bathrooms to hold a small event. The parking is ok, but can fill up on the weekends.

This  trip we did not collect berries(they were not in season), but instead came to play in the creek, and pan for gold. My daughter loves this trip, and calls it “walking in nature”. We loaded up the truck with a packed lunch, digging toys, survival/camping items, and my gold pans.

My Gold Pan…Got a few flakes!

Now you don’t need much equipment to start panning for gold, pretty much just a pan, a bucket, and a little sniffer to suck the specs of gold in your pan. I also like to use a little clear pill bottle to keep the flakes, as the container doubles as a little show piece for the coffee table. One other item that I find time-saving is a classifier, which just helps get all the large stuff out of my pan. The most important item to bring with you is patience, and a love for the outdoors, because most times your just there to collect memories.

A beautiful day at Thurman Flats cooling off in the river

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Top 3 Broadheads To Hunt Wild Boar

Most boar hunters use a rifle, or hunt with dogs. There are some, that choose to hunt these wild beasts with a bow.  But what about broadhead selection? What is the best arrow tip to take down a 300 pound trophy boar? How do you choose between the vast selection of broadheads in your local archery shop? What do different arrowheads do? There are so many choices in selection, it can be very intimidating when searching for your boar-hunting set up. Today we will discuss the top 3 broadheads to hunt wild boar with.

Muzzy 3-Blade Fixed-Blade Broadheads - Muzzy 75 - 75 Grain - 6-Pack - Fixed Bld Broadheads

Muzzy 3-Blade Fixed-Blade Broadheads – Muzzy 75 – 75 Grain – 6-Pack – Fixed Bld Broadheads
The “TroCar Tip” broadhead is a popular choice by Muzzy. Commonly called a chisel tip, you can see this broadhead has the punching power to break through bone. The “hog shield”, and possible thick layer of mud may be protecting a wild boar, and with this chisel tip and the 3 razor sharp blades following closely behind to sever hog vitals. The 3 razor-sharp blades can be replaced or easily converted to practice blades. You can use this arrowhead to take broad side shots at wild pigs with general reliability. A lot of hunters think that boars have thick skin, which isn’t actually true. The thick part is the hog shield which is a protective layer of scar tissue the protects the pigs vitals that are tucked low and behind the shoulder region. Shot placement isn’t as critical with this top-selling broadhead, and can take some abuse if shot into the dirt. The TroCar tip has an additional benefit, in that it helps arrow flight, and is easy to tune to your equipment. This broadhead will leave an excellent blood trail, if the hog hadn’t already dropped dead already.

New Archery Products Thunderhead Fixed-Blade Broadhead Replacement Blades - 100 Grain - Fixed Bld Broadheads

New Archery Products Thunderhead Fixed-Blade Broadhead Replacement Blades – 100 Grain – Fixed Bld Broadheads
A cut on contact classic broadhead such as the ThunderHead fixed blade is a proven winner when it comes to hunting wild hogs. It has a carbon tip, with stainless steel, razor-sharp, ventilated blades that deliver great penetration. The cost is less than newer technology, but with its history of great performance, this is a boar hunters reliable choice when hunting. The difference between this broadhead is that the blades start at the tip and move back continuously. While a chisel point broadhead will have that initial punch, with the cutting follow up. The Thunderhead will also leave a great blood trail when shot. Shot placement will be key with this broadhead, and it will be advisable to get a quartering away shot just past the hog shield, low in to the vital area of the hog.

 

 

 

 

Rage 2-Blade Expandable Mechanical Broadheads - 2
Rage 2-Blade Expandable Mechanical Broadheads – 2″ Cut Diameter – 125 grains – 3-Pack – Exp Broadheads

The mechanical broadhead is the newest technology in the bow hunting arena, and has quite a controversial debate amongst bow hunters. The benefits of a mechanical broadhead are that they fly like a field point, and don’t take much tuning (if any) to get them on target. Most of the negative arguments are that the chance of blade failure is not a chance a hunter wants to take. Another issue was that the bow hunter would lose kinetic power when the blades opened up on the animal, hindering penetration, while ultimately losing the wild pig as a result. While that may have been the case for earlier “mechs”… The Rage 2-blade expandable broadhead has become a solution to this problem.  With its slip cam rear blade deployment system, and cut on contact tip, the blades open up before entering the animal. The blades are an impressive 2” diameter to give max cutting effect on the animal, leaving a better blood trail.

So, what should you go with? Ultimately it’s up to the bow hunter on which arrowhead they use to slay their pig, but any of these will be good choices. Most hunters agree that the best option is to go with what you can afford. If it were me…. I would start with chisel point broadheads, as they are more forgiving for the beginning hunter, have brute punching power, and great cutting performance to quickly dispatch the boar. The blades quickly changeover into practice blades, so you can practice with confidence. If ever in doubt, ask around at your local pro shop, they will do everything possible to set you up for success.

What arrowhead do you suggest for hunting wild boar? Leave a comment below…

I wish you the best in your hunt,  

Greg

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Oranco Bowmen Archery Range In Chino, CA

Sunday was a great day… To be a Bow Hunter!

Oranco Bowmen Archery Range Front Entrance

This tree lined gravel road is the entrance and shaded parking lot for your vehicle. The trees were purposely planted to give shade to the archers, and to cut down on the wind factor on the range.

I thought I’d go try out the private archery club in Chino, CA called the Oranco Bowmen Archery Range. I had always heard of a range that was supposed to be one of the best ranges in the world, and didn’t believe it till I experienced it’s splendor! As I pulled in off the 71 freeway just north of the 91 fwy, I was immediately impressed by the beautiful rows of trees lining the gravel road entrance. 

Oranco Archery Range Chino, CA

The range rules are posted as soon as you enter the archery range. Pretty straight forward, and simple.

The rules for this private archery club in Southern California are pretty similar to most other ranges. You will notice that the range is only open to the public on Sundays from 8:30 am – 2pm, except for holidays. The Oranco Archery Range fees for non-members are $10, and $20 for a family. As soon as you park, you will need to walk over to the clubhouse to sign in and pay your fees. Remember to bring cash or check only (If you forget there’s a gas station near the 71 fwy, but the ATM fees are $2.95) If you want to be an annual member, which I highly suggest, it is $180 from the beginning of their season in June, and gets lower each month. You will also need to become a member of the NFAA / CBH / SAA for $75, which you should benefit from membership anyways. There is a $30 fee for new members as well, but that’s about it. So to get in, you’re looking at $285, which is a small price to pay for such a great range.

One complaint that some people have is that you cannot shoot crossbows at the range. The reason is that the crossbow bolts will enter the bales with such force, and because of the short length, they get buried into the bale, making a destructive object to some archers arrows that cost up to $25 per arrow. 

While the range states that there is no shooting broad heads at bales, understand that Oranco Archery Range does have a broad head pit where you can dial in your arrows into a sand pit. The pit is set at about 50 yards, and is right near the clubhouse. Most hunters know this, but just to make sure…  and field points don’t fly the same. You have to dial them in before the hunt, and Oranco is a great place to do that!

Competitive Practice Range

The Practice Range is shaded with pre-set targets, and is superb for dialing in your bow. This is the first range you see as you park.

 

As you enter the range you will see the practice range on the left hand side, and most target archers and hunters meet under the natural canopies of the trees as they hone their equipment and archery skills. The corrugated roof overhead blocks the sun, and gives moderate protection from  in-climate weather. Just walking down the line, you see a variety of archery tackle, from primal handmade stick bows to super technical olympic bows that cost a fortune.

 

Mobile trailer Oranco Clubhouse

A view of the clubhouse from across a drainage river bridge. This is where you sign in and pay your fees.

 

Oranco Bowmen Archery Range Clubhouse

Oranco Bowmen Archery Range Clubhouse

 

Raccoon Paper Target Bale at Oranco Archery Range

It feels amazing shooting the many animal paper targets on Oranco’s walking field course.

It was a lot of fun shooting at paper species such as these ducks! I shot these at 40 yards… I was aiming at the necks. I want to try my hand with those Guillotine turkey broad heads.

The best part of my day was walking their field mountain course that takes you through a series of outdoor targets with different animals. Although I am a wild pig hunter at heart, I couldn’t help but smile as I sent some arrows down range,  at 40 yards, aiming at the necks of some Mallards! (Yes, I need some practice) The rules are pretty much like that of a golf course, in that  you wait your turn when others are shooting ahead of you. Your allowed to release 4 arrows, before you have to move on to the next challenge, but that’s not a problem, because you can’t wait to see whats next. Bring some water on the course, as the hills will get to you after awhile.

Longest Shot I ever took

Seriously? Ok I’ll give it a shot at 80 yards. All on target, no bullseye…. but only had a 3 pin sight up to 40 yards. You can see that on every challenge there are markers for distances set into the ground as a reference.

 

There were some distance target challenges that kept me wanting more and more. The landscape was peaceful even though there was a public shooting range right next door. It kinda felt like my own version of a golf course that I will make into a weekly ritual.  The staff and members were so relaxed and friendly while exploring this awesome range, that it felt like I was home.

 

Gobbler Guillotine Arrowdynamic Solutions Guillotine Fixed-Blade Broadheads - 100 grain - Small Game Points Here’s that broad head I want to try on some turkeys! Has anyone actually tried these yet? Let us know…

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Wild Pig Eradication Plan In Cleveland National Forest

 

Uncle Sam is gearing up for a pig slaughter!

The US Government is about to throw away our tax dollars on a wild pig eradication effort in the Cleveland National Forest! On June 18th 2012, there was a letter addressed to “Interested Parties” from the US Forest Service on their summary plan to “Eradicate” wild pigs in the Cleveland National Forest, surrounding BLM property, The El Capitan Indian reservation, and surrounding San Diego communities. As an US Citizen, you have the right to respond and comment on this ignorant plan which is called the Feral Pig Damage Control Project EA_FinalForComment. This is a lengthy but pretty detailed comparison plan to the Santa Cruz Island eradication project in which the Government plans to get rid of the wild pigs. To make an educated decision, I highly suggest you spend 45 minutes or so reading this plan which will affect  all hunters, and the endangered wild pig population in your own backyard in Southern California. After you have read the above links, please email your thoughts to FeralPigComments@fs.fed.us by July 19 2012, (30 Days from notice)

The Cleveland National Forest is using the Study of The Eradication of Santa Cruz Island as a comparison for success in this project. You can view the project also from a different perspective from the hired professional hunting service from New Zealand, called “ProHunt”.You can read ProHunt’s Santa Cruz project completion report , which is a detailed plan, and accurate report of how the eradication process was handled from beginning to end.

Below is the copy of the letter I sent on this subject after staying up all night researching this plan, and weighing the pros and cons, and trying to remain as bi-partisan as possible:

 

 

Dear Environmental Coordinator, Cleveland National Forest,

This letter/comment is in response to the Feral Pig Damage Control Project proposed in your letter to “Interested Parties” regarding feral pig eradication efforts in the Cleveland National Forest.

After reading this lengthy plan, I, as well as many others feel that this would be a futile act, and a waste of taxpayers dollars to put in action. Here are a few of my concerns:

  1. You have no proposed ballpark costs posted to eradicate the wild pig population which has not been effectively managed in years past. This would not be a 6 figure plan, but more than likely, a high 7-8 figure plan over the next 5 years which still will not promise any results. The public has a right to know how much this is going to cost us in the next 5 years. No decision should be made until these projections are proposed and publicly reported. At that time you should open up to comments after cost projections.
  2. The Forest Service cannot possibly have enough manpower to pull this off regardless of the help from professional hunters and helicopters you want to hire. Where are you going to enlist the help to pull off this pig eradication? First off, wild pigs are nocturnal, so a helicopter does no good unless these pigs are not bedded down, and will not be visible to the pro-hunter in the sky through all of the vegetation and trees. You compare the successful efforts of the helicopter to Santa Cruz Island. There is very little cover there, and Santa Cruz Island is 7 times smaller than The Cleveland National Forest. I agree, that the chaparral in the forest is going to be easier to hunt, but for the most part, there is no way this will be an effective use of taxpayers dollars.
  3. To compare The Cleveland National Forest eradication project with an Island that is 7 times smaller is not really a true comparison, as the wild pigs have nowhere to go. The Cleveland National Forest would have to compete with private property, an active Native American reservation, and public access closures to not just hunters, but the general public. Santa Cruz is also a National Park, in which no hunting pressure was there in the first place, making the pigs easy targets, unlearned, and not adaptive to hunting methods. Santa Cruz has a hairline fraction of the visitors Cleveland National Forest has.
  4. If you look at the study, you will find that the Santa Cruz Island was also fenced into 5 segments with huge costs in fencing to control pig movement. The range of wild pigs, can be as far as 50 square miles or more. This project still took 2 years to complete with this fenced in method. There is no way possible to fence up and segment the CNF without a Presidential approval, and an act of congress. That funding alone would be well off into the $100 millions.
These are a few of the obstacles I see as a guaranteed project failure. While I agree there needs to be better control methods than the 8 wild pigs that were legally harvested last year, I believe we all need to go back to the drawing board on what we can do to have a cohesive agreement with this California State game animal. Lets educate the public and hunting community better by supporting public hunting with information, access points, hunter camps developed to process the game meat, and maybe even transportation concerns figured out for public hunters. The wild pig information currently posted is pretty vague, and needs accurate research and tracking. Lets work with the Department of Fish and Game and have sponsored hunts for pig hunters to keep the numbers in check. Make the public partners in this problem, not outsiders to our own land.
Please understand that just because there is a 30 day comment period for your decision, my colleagues and fellow hunters will do our best to make sure that this plan does not happen, and we will voice our opinions to the community, and take other further legal actions as necessary.
 
Sincerely,
 
Greg C
www.HuntWildPig.com
As I do my own rough math to ballpark the costs, I estimate:
 
$6 million for the SCI eradication x 7 times the size area = $42 million for 2 years in wages to Pro Hunters… but,
 
Tack on actual time of 5 years which is a more feasible and you get $ 21 million a year X 5 years = $105 million.
 
Now add in the fact that Cleveland National Forest is not an island, and already has hunting pressure, and I will assume another $50 million for incidentals + $105 million =  $155 million.
 
How much are we going to have to pay off the El Capitan indian reservation to ease their land? I can’t even imagine!
 
Legal costs for the law suit that is bound to happen?
 
(I mean seriously, where is the government accountant that is tallying this all up? At what point is enough money spent where you feel that there is a stopping point?)
 
If the US Government were successful with this operation with freelance hunters, I will estimate that we will be paying out $250-300 million with a bare minimum of 5-10 years of public closures … but hey, that’s just my guess.
To all my readers, I ask that you drop a few lines to the US Forest Service by July 18, 2012. Again, that email address is FeralPigComments@fs.fed.us 
 
Please leave comments on your opinion on this matter.
Follow The Water,
Greg “The Boar Hunter”
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