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Going Hog Wild in Brevard County

Imagine taking your kid outside to play only to be greeted by a torn-up backyard? Unfortunately, this is happening more and more often as wild hogs are coming into some of the exclusive gated areas in Melbourne from the woods close to I-95.  This is not the first time we’ve seen them in Brevard and it’s not going to be the last time.

Where do they come from?

Wild pigs are not new to Florida.  In fact, Florida leads the nation in terms of feral pig population – second only to Texas.  It is estimated that the wild pig population is approximately 500,000 strong.  Every single county in Florida has some type of wild pig population and at times they can cause quite a bit of problem with the residents.

Wild pigs usually live in heavily wooded areas that also provide plenty of drinking water and lush green vegetation for food.  As we continue to build more and more homes close to the woods or in place of the woods, we will see these creatures more often as they venture forth in search of something to eat.

What do they do?

They eat.  They come out of the wooded areas in search of food and water.  They will root around in the dirt searching for acorns, grubs and just about anything else that’s edible.  They are always searching for fresh drinking water and cool walling spots.  They will even eat tree seedlings and young animals, such as squirrels or turtles.

One of the first signs that you have wild hogs invading your space is simply that they root in the ground.  They take their long nose and start digging up the top surface of your yard looking for food.  Other signs include hog manure, hoof tracks and even damaged property from where the hogs rub, scratch and scrape.

Action plan in Brevard

At least one community has hired a wildlife trapper.  Many hogs have already been trapped; however there is one that is reported to be approximately 350 pounds and it is still on the loose.  Once the animal is trapped, it is killed and the meat is donated to needy families.   However, wild hogs do have a tendency to reproduce like, well – rabbits – so plenty more wild hogs are expected year after year.

In Florida, it is also permissible to hunt wild hogs.  Depending upon whether the hog is located on private or public land, you may or may not need a hunting license.

What to do if you see one!

Hogs are usually only aggressive if they feel cornered or trapped, so make sure you don’t corner it.  Instead, call for help.  Bring in your animals and children and give the hog plenty of space.  They fear you and will get away from you as soon as possible.

13 Nov
2014

2 responses to “Going Hog Wild in Brevard County”

  1. I winter in Cocoa Beach and am interested in a hog hunt. Do I need bring my own shotgun or rifle or is a decent one supplied? I deer hunt with a .300 Weatherby Magnum As well as occasionally use a .257 mag and for the bottom of Michigan (shotguns only) an H&R 12 Gauge scoped (singe shot) . I also have numerous shotguns as I shoot sporting and used to bird hunt until I couldn’t walk far ( disabled vet-bad back).l for Duck, wood cock and grouse.

    Let me know what is available and the cost. I don’t mind being with another group if that reduces the cost. I will be in CB until April 16th arriving January 2, 2019.

    Thanks, Dick Amberg

    • Pest Management says:

      Hi Mr Amberg,
      I’m not a hunter but from what I hear people use powerful handguns to hunt hog, especially down in Grant (a little South of here). The idea is that on the hog-trails, they are so windy that it is a disadvantage to wield a long gun. So, I have heard people use large caliber handguns, .44 and .45’s etc.
      Again, I am not an expert, that is what I have heard. You may want to contact Florida Wildlife at https://myfwc.com/
      Hope this helps!

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