Category Archives: Hogs

Black Bear Kills Feral Hog (Video & detailed Story On Bear Predation)

Black Bear Vs. Boar.

It sounds like a Bad SyFy Network movie that would sit perfectly with Boa Vs. Python and Sharknado but there’s a big difference.

It’s real.

This once-in-a-lifetime video filmed near Gatlinburg, TN by Phillip Talbot of Old Skull Outdoors shows a rare look at black bear predation on an unlikely prey-a feral hog close to its own size.

“As an avid hunter, it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever witnessed,” Talbot said.

Here’s the video courtesy Old Skull Outdoors.

A member Order carnivora, black bears are technically omnivores equally at home eating plant material and meat. Their abilities as actual predators however is highly overlooked.

The USDA’s information site lists numerous potential hog predators. Their take on bear predation was interesting.

The black bear is known to prey on feral hogs of all ages; however, the impact of predation by this bear on feral hog populations is not known.  Some researchers have speculated that black bears probably kill few if any feral hogs, especially given that an adult hog would represent a formidable adversary for a black bear.  In fact, in the 1920s a feral boar in the Okefenokee Swamp was reported to have killed a black bear in a fight between the two animals.  Similar accounts of feral boars killing bears during fights in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas were reported in the 1880s. 

They continued by noting that being opportunistic, black bears have been reported to raid nylon net live traps used for feral hog control at high elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to obtain any trapped hogs contained within these devices. 

This is an interesting notation because there is evidence in some studies that black bears can become specialists at preying on particular species such as research conducted related to black bear-caribou predation in Newfoundland.

Gatlinburg is the Smoky Mountains region where USDA officials have noted them raiding hog traps. Since this area was one of the first to have large hog populations of feral hogs, have hogs there adapted them as a regular part of their diet?

Other animals are certainly on the black bear’s menu.

A study by researchers Quitana and Tatman probing bear predation on elk showed serious impact on young in certain areas.

The primary cause of death for calves across all years was black bear predation (57 of 140 non-anthropogenic mortalities). Predation was the primary cause of death for juveniles during their first 3 weeks of life, resulting in 84 of 92 non-anthropogenic mortalities. During this time, black bears were the primary predator but coyotes and mountain lions were also predators.

The Billings Gazette reported on an interagency study of elk-calf mortality in the Garnet Mountains of Montana.

Over the five years of the study, 221 calves were captured for monitoring. In that group, 41 deaths were documented. Bears accounted for almost 27 percent of elk calf deaths. Malnutrition and disease were the second-largest threat while mountain lions ranked third, blamed for about 17 percent of elk calf deaths.

The average black bear weighs 300 pounds and that’s bigger than the average feral hog. But there are hogs that grow much bigger than the average black bear. Watching a 500-pound boar and a 500-pound slug it out would be interesting.

We’re glad Talbot was in the right place at the right time and was happy to share his video with the world.

I don’t know what side you’re on in this battle but I say, “Go bear!”

With feral hog populations exploding and causing damage to native wildlife and habitat, it’s good to see something take a bite out of them.

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Chester Moore

Did I Find A Killer Hog?

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.

In fact, I began advocating for this practice in an award-winning article I wrote for Hunter’s Horn, the magazine of the Houston Safari Club Foundation called “Hunting American Man-Killers”.

The author with the kind of hog described in the story taken on the outskirts of a populated area. The author’s friend Gerald Burleigh who shot this photo has trapped more than 500 hogs in five years from the same location. Whether you hunt or not you should be for hunting hogs as they do an incredible amount of damage to native wildlife. All wild hog meat taken by the author is eaten by his family or given to those in need.

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.

Chester Moore

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