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Big pigs in the Adirondacks

Pictured here is one of the big, wild hogs that was recently taken in Peru. The hogs feed primarily at night. The cinderblock provides some perspective on the size of the animal.  
Brian Thew, one of the hog hunters explained, “The meat is unbelievable, it is really lean.  DEC tested it for disease, and it was deemed safe, so we had a big, pig roast!”

Pictured here is one of the big, wild hogs that was recently taken in Peru. The hogs feed primarily at night. The cinderblock provides some perspective on the size of the animal. Brian Thew, one of the hog hunters explained, “The meat is unbelievable, it is really lean. DEC tested it for disease, and it was deemed safe, so we had a big, pig roast!”

Ten years ago, the loss and damage to agriculture from feral swine was estimated to be greater than $800 million in the US. In addition, feral swine have been known to prey on lambs, goat kids, and calves in Texas and Australia. In other states feral swine have been known to spread disease to livestock.

Feral Hogs can now be found in every state in the country, and populations are at epidemic proportions in Texas, Florida, California and Hawaii. Recently, in efforts to control the invasives, the state of Texas took the extraordinary measure of allowing hunters to shoot feral hogs from helicopters.

And this little piggy goes…..

Despite introduction into the southern tier, there were few concerns that wild swine would invade the Adirondacks. It had been attempted before, in 1902, when Russian boar were introduced to a large hunting preserve near Tupper Lake, along with elk, Sitka deer and other exotic species.

Although the initial stock was contained within a 1,000 acre game fence, wild boar has never been able to establish a permanent population in the North Country.

However, it appears they are trying to, according to Bob Rulf, the owner of Rulf’s Orchards on the Bear Swamp Road in Peru.

“We first noticed them about three years ago,” Mr. Rulf recently explained. “I’m very upset, they cause a lot of damage! They eat the seed corn, pumpkins, apples, and they root up everything. We’ve lost over $20,000, and it’s not covered by our insurance.”

DEC wildlife biologists estimate there are about 30 wild pigs in a territory of about two to three square miles near Bear Swamp Road in Peru.

“Fortunately, we got nuisance permits from the DEC, so that hunters can help us get rid of them.” Mr. Rulf continued, “DEC has already trapped three, and three have been shot. A couple have also been hit by cars.”

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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