Pig trapping by First Bubba
The days in the box blind on Red River were relatively sparse but productive; a doe in “Primitive Arms” season and a pretty nice buck in “Deer Gun” season.
Thankfully, the trail cam did not reveal any feral hogs in the food plot, until deer season was over. Then here they came! EGADS! Big ones, little ones, ugly ones, scary ones! One huge male is black and white mottled with the pronounced humpback, long snout and back mane announcing his decidedly Russian boar heritage. A smaller boar is jet black and another one red both with distinctive Russian traits.
While the landowner gave us his blessing to remove all we can from the farm, we have no interest in the bigger ones other than adding them to the “feral swine genocide” numbers. The landowner loaned us his trap. Our interest is the 15 odd piglets in the sounder weighing 20 to 30 pounds on the hoof. Tender, juicy and dress out just right to be grilled whole.
Saturday was gorgeous for Oklahoma in January, not a cloud in the sky, light breeze with temps in the high 60’s. Snow and rain forecast for Monday and Tuesday which left the ground soft but not bottomless. Chuck brought his small tractor, and we head out to move the trap to the food plot.
My Dodge 3500 can’t make it up the hill! Too slick!
Chuck’s Dodge 2500 4WD can’t get the tractor and trailer out of the low spot.
The little John Deere 3038E 4WD saves the day.
We get Chuck’s pickup, and trailer snaked onto higher ground and checked out the trap.
Mac has hay stored in a “trap.” A fenced off area that keeps it relatively safe from his livestock…but not from the feral hogs! We found five different trails the pigs use to get into the trap to root in the rotted hay at the bottom of the big round bales.
There were piles of hog scat that would make an elephant proud and tracks of all sizes!
We decided that the trap didn’t need to be moved; simply baited and set.
Trapping hogs is not a difficult endeavor. After building your trap, lock the trap door open, bait it and sit back for a few days. Once they get accustomed to the trap, rebait it, set the door, trigger, and wait.
The trash can atop the trap is a feeder that will help keep the trap baited and the hogs interested until the trigger and door can be set.
On Monday, the trap is re-baited. Wednesday, the bait is refreshed.
Friday, the bait will be refreshed again, however, THIS time, the door will be unlocked and the trigger set.
Saturday morning, “hopefully.” a trap full of piglets will be our reward!
After the Wednesday “re-bait,” I pulled the SD card from the trail cam to check for activity. There is no doubt the pigs have cleaned out the trap. The SD card contains no less than 1000 photos of pigs and a few shots of Mac’s market calves! The big ugly mottled boar from the food plot shows up.
Friday starts not with sunshine, but with raindrops, clouds, and wind. The hay and the trap are swamps! The rubber boots are heavy on my feet and I feel off balance. With a sigh of relief, I get to the trap, get it baited and the trigger set.
The trick now is, get back to the truck “without” falling into the muck and get the truck off this two-lane mud track and back on the pavement.
WHEW! We made it! I have one little track of mud on my right knee, but I’m still clean enough for our social function. LOL!
The weatherman says this rain will taper off tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) will be cooler and windy but clearing and dry. However, the weatherman spoke with forked tongue.
Chuck has invited me to a “Men’s Breakfast” at his church.
Rising when the coffee pot starts bubbling at 6 AM, raindrops on the tin roof and wind whistling around the house corners assaults my ears. It is so wet, getting out of my yard was questionable, but I persevered and made it to the highway in the pouring rain.
Chuck and I talk at breakfast. As nasty as the weather is, we still have to check the trap. I despise feral hogs, but I won’t let them languish in a trap. Despite how I feel, they ARE God’s creatures.
We get to the river about 10:15 AM.
The roads and hay trap are rivers of livestock muck and slimy Oklahoma red clay mud.
It HAS eventually quit raining, but a 20 mph north wind slices to the bone. Before unloading the tractor, we tentatively peek over the hill:
AHA. Pigs in the trap!
It takes a second once we approach the trap to figure out that there are two adult sows and four piglets of about 30 pounds each! Just what we were looking to trap.
The little ones will fit on my grill whole and will cook up awesomely (if that’s a word!) tender.
Completely dressed out, they weigh 12 and 15 pounds. PERFECT!
I’m gathering the smoking wood in my mind now!