When does a sow abandon her litter and separate?

Within a few days of giving birth, a pregnant sow will leave the herd group in order to farrow. They may remain apart for 2 to 4 weeks then rejoin the old herd group. Piglets have been observed actively feeding on solid food (e.g., shelled corn) at only 2 weeks of age! The sows really don’t “abandon” their litter over time. A “sounder” is a family group of pigs made up of sows (typically related via about 3 generations) and their piglets. Pigs are completely weaned by about 3 months of age, although they have been observed eating solid food (e.g., corn) at as young as 2 weeks of age. About 80% of the yearling females remain with the sounder and the rest disperse. Young males disperse from the sounder at about 16 to 18 months of age. There is some research that supports the idea that sounders can become territorial– but not the individual pigs.

What damage do wild hogs do to trees specifically?

The most sensitive environmental areas wild pigs damage are wetland areas and they can alter the vegetative community present. They compete with native wildlife for hard mast (e.g., acorns from oak trees). Their rooting can accelerate leaf litter decomposition causing the loss of nutrients which can impact seedling survival of trees. Their rooting behavior can damage seedling tree growth and survival. Longleaf pine seedlings seem to be especially vulnerable to wild pigs. Research suggests that the pigs may actually root up seedlings of various tree species and chew the root system to obtain nutrients. They rub against individual trees (pines) that are capable of producing a lot of rosin presumably as they rub to remove ectoparasites on their skin and the rubbing of selected pine trees has resulted in girdling of some mature trees which can eventually kill the tree.

Do wild hogs and boars use the same trails to get from pace to place?

Wild pigs are creatures of habit and will use the same bedding and resting areas and feeding and watering areas as long as the food sources remain available. However, they are capable of moving great distances to find food. Human disturbance and hunting pressure will make them alter their patterns. They do have some affinity to their “home range” which can vary from a few hundred acres to several thousand acres based on food availability and pressure. A 2011-12 telemetry study of adult female wild feral pigs with sounders done in east Texas resulted in home range estimates of approximately 2 square miles, or 1,100 acres.

What is the average cost of property damage wild hogs do?

A 2004 survey conducted by Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension Service placed annual damage to agriculture in Texas alone at $ 52 million with an additional $7 million spent by landowners to attempt to control the wild pigs and/or correct the damage. This is indeed a very conservative estimate. Other researchers suggest that damage per wild hog per year averages $200, but the problem there is that the assumption is made that a 40 pound pig causes as much damage as a 300 pound wild pig - which is unlikely. The total pig population in Texas has been estimated recently ( in 2011) at 2.6 million. However, estimates for the United States population as a whole are non-existent but “guesstimates” place that number between 4 million and 8 million wild animals. Some reports estimate total damage in the U.S. may be $1.5 billion annually. However, these damage estimates are in part based on population estimates, but again, a figure we don’t have a good handle on nationwide.

We've heard the stories - How hard are wild hogs to kill?

The real Question? -  How hard are they to kill with what?

Most archery and bow hunting enthusiats will attempt to shoot wild hogs / pigs in the heart or lung region immediately behind the shoulder from broadside or at a slightly quartering away angle. Hunters using firearms are advised to shoot the pigs in the neck or in the vitals - heart, lung region and the preferred rifles for pigs are 25 to 30 caliber. Regardless of the caliber or weapon, shot placement is essential for a clean and ethical kill. Archers typically limit their shots to 25-30 yards to help ensure a clean kill. - REMEMBER - the only good hog is on the BBQ Pit! 

How and where do wild hogs sleep?

Wild Hogs, Ferel Pigs and Russian Boars and Wild Pigs can simply lie down and sleep, usually on their sides. They will actually construct  bedding nests that they use for sleeping as well as farrowing. Some are very simple depressions and others can be quite elaborate. Oftentimes, they simply seek out thick underbrush for security or root into a brush pile or downed tree top for security. In the hot months, they will often lie in mud near a water pond or stock tank and  seek deep shade as much as possible because they lack swet glands.