The first time I went into this location I got the creeps.
You know that feeling you get when you think something might be watching you?
Well, that’s what I had.
So I do what this inquisitive wildlife journalist always seems to do. I pressed on.
I found some large feral hog tracks. They were 3.5 inches long and were the only hog tracks in area.
This location is a piece of property I have access to in a local city. It’s close to homes and areas used for a variety of recreation so I decided to put my Moultrie Mobile XV-6000 that sends photos to an app on my cell phone when photos are taken.
The first photo taken Oct. 7 clearly shows the boar which judging by the tracks and its height measured next to the vegetation in the area is a big boy.
I’d say it weighs 200 plus pounds. It’s not a monster but a legit big hog.
The second shot comes three days later and is the same hog. Between this time and for an additional four days there were no other animals on this trail.
And when I scouted the area-even in a wide patch of open dirt the only trucks were this guy’s tracks. There were no rabbit, raccoon, other hog, opossum, armadillo or any of the tracks of animals common in this area. In fact, just 1/4-mile down from here there is plenty of other animal sign.
I believe I was in the area this hog stakes as its home base of operation and it keeps a lot of other animals, especially other hogs out.
In a 2017 article I did for The Wildlife Journalist, I quoted a study conducted by Dr. Jack Mayer of the Savannah River National Laboratory.
The study documented 412 wild hog attacks worldwide impacting 665 people. During this time there were four fatal hog attacks in the United States.
Of the 21 states reporting hog attacks Texas led the pack with 24 percent with Florida at 12 percent and South Carolina 10. Interestingly when examining worldwide shark fatalities hogs actually beat them out in deaths some years-including 2013.
Here’s where it gets interesting about our solitary boar. Check out these stats.
In his study, hogs that attack are described as solitary (82 percent), large (87 percent) and male (81 percent) and most attacks occurred when there was no hunting involved.
The boar in these photos checks off all of those boxes.
Someone like me who has an idea what he is looking for and knows to take precautions going into a spot like this is one thing.
But how many people in urban and suburban areas will have surprise encounters these kinds of hogs as their populations grow?
We need to start educating people about hogs in urban and suburban areas. And as whatever means are used to take out hog numbers in these zones (usually trapping), specifically targeting some of these lone boars might be wise.
We have a proven profile of a killer and we can’t know which one will snap but have a very high percentage idea of the ones with the capacity.
It’s a conversation that needs much more discussing.
I pulled the camera from the spot as I have some research to tend to at another location and I have to be honest I was glad to have them out of there.
That place gave me the creeps as much when I left as when I first found evidence of this lone, territorial boar.