As compared to the domestic pig, American wild boar has a beautiful dark black color, which enhances the beauty and vigilance of this athletic and robust animal. In the U.S., the most popular game hunting is the hunting of wild boar. They are also known by the names of feral, razorbacks, and piney wood rooters. The weight of the boar usually ranges between 150-250 pounds. When thick bristles present along the back are raised, it indicates that the hog has been disturbed and now is showing aggressive nature. The legs of American boars are usually longer than the domestic one; it has a long snout, broad shoulder, and small ears.
Wild boars are not native animals of the United States; rather, they were introduced by man either accidentally or intentionally. Eurasian wild boar and domestic swine are the two types of species of wild boars that were introduced in the state. The third type of species now a day is the result of interbreeding above the two mentioned species and is called “hybrid. Polynesian immigrants were the first who introduced them in U.S.
Many of us know that the wolf is called an “ancestor” of many breeds of dog, and the same way “Eurasian wild boar” is considered to be the ancestor of feral and domestic dogs. The world contains 23 subspecies of wild boars, and the U.S. includes only one species. Hog’s ancestors belong to the ice age, the freezing temperature, snow, and the glaciers did not allow the entry of hogs in North America. In the mid-1500s, hogs were imported by Cortez.
The appearance of American wild boar:
- They have strong musculature and are athletic; this feature distinguishes them from domestic pig because of their sedentary lifestyle.
- They are heavier than domestic pigs, have long snout and legs, and the body is covered with dark black fur.
- Their shoulders are broad, and heads are long and narrow.
- One of the attractive physical features is long and sharp tusks.
- Wild boars have more massive tusks as compared to sows having smaller tusks.
- Upper jaws are known as “Whetters” and lower jaws as “cutters” because upper jaws are used to make lower jaws sharp and precise.
- Lower jaws are so sharp that they can easily injure other animals or opponent hunter.
- Wild boars use their tusks for trampling the soil to find underground food like seeds, nuts, and berries.
- Shoulder shields provide them protection against the attacks of other animals; shields can cover them till ribs and chest
- Shields are so durable that they can stop penetration of .45 magnums; however, large-caliber guns can be used to hunt them.
What is the diet of American wild boars?
Wild boars are omnivores, which mean they can eat any meat and vegetables. They can even prey on the placenta and newborns. Their diet usually includes grass, leaves, vegetables, berries, seeds, nuts, insects, worms, animals, snakes, and reptiles.
There has been an increased competition of food between deer and wild boars from the past few decades. Large owls, dogs, lions, and wolves are famous predators of wild boars.
How American wild boars breed?
The breeding season of wild boars is usually in spring and fall; sows have pregnancy for 144 days and can give birth to dozen of piglets at the one time. There is a competition of mating between different wild boars, and they can mate with any sow during the mating season.
Sows are perfect mothers; they know well how to protect their piglets from the attacks of other animals. When they sense some danger, they will encircle their piglets by forming cooperative groups. Just like wild boar, it is easy to provoke sow by going near or threatening her. Maternal groups support each other in times of need and are called as “drifts”.
How do American wild boars fight and behave?
If a boar is grunting, he is already charged up and ready to fight the opponent. Raised bristles and stiff bodies indicate that he will pound upon participants, and the match will start.
- Wild boars fight with each other through their sharp tusks and jaw, puncturing each other’s bodies and trying their best to win the battleship, when one participant feels like losing, he will leave the ground.
- The fight could either result in life or death; the injured boar will leave the field to either die or recover from the injuries. The winner boar also goes to enjoy the win and to recover from the wounds made by the opponent boar.
Attacks on hunters:
Hunters have always been on the hit list of wild boars because they provoke them by making noise or throwing something at them. Sometimes, when hunters catch the hog using a snare, it draws the attention of surrounding boars, and it encourages them to form the cooperative groups to fight, not because they want to help, but because they are fond of fighting. The merciless species will never leave a single opportunity of quarrel.
Therefore the hunters should wear protective clothing and be equipped with proper weapons like guns and rifles to fight back. In case everything fails, hunters may have the option to climb to the highest place like a tree where they can be safe for many hours until the help arrives.
What is a hog sign?
There are different indications through which you can have a clue about their presence in an area. Some of them are as follows:
- Wallowing is a distinguishing feature of hogs which they use to keep themselves fresh and also lice and tics free. After urinating in muddy water, wild boars rub their bodies against trees. These trees bases are known as “hog rubs.”
- Hogs are also known for trampling the soil and destroying acres of land for the search of food beneath the ground. Therefore hog rubs and rooting are the most common hog signs which can indicate their presence in the surrounding area.
- Wild boars cut and chop branches of trees with their sharp tusks; they chew the wood to eat insects, small birds, worms, and other mammals stuck in the forest.
- If you see a large number of holes in the ground, it is also a clue for their presence. Because hogs hide in the holes to keep themselves safe from excruciating heat of summer. So any de arranged and flat surface usually gives hog sign.
- Hogs use trails, which can also show the presence of wild boars. You can see trails used by many animals and can quickly identify them, in the same manner.
What are hog tracks?
By seeing the marks left on the ground with hooves of wild boars, we can quickly tell about distinguishing features of hog tracks like whether he was in a hurry or not. If there is no sign of spreading toes on the ground, it means he was not running or not in a rush. Deer and hog tracks can sometimes mimic each other by appearance, but deer hooves are overall triangular and sharply pointed while hog hooves are not indicated, they can sometimes spread due to running.
Distribution in the United States:
Wild boars are found mainly in Hawaii, Texas, Florida, and California. Almost half of the U.S. states contain their population, and they are spreading even to the Northern area of America, including Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Colorado, and Kansas.
What are the regulations regarding hunting in Florida?
Each state has its own regulations and rules regarding hunting, to maintain its secrecy and privilege, whether you are hunting privately or in public, you must follow some of the standards established by their national wildlife departments. In the same way, you need a hunting license to practice wild boar hunting publically or privately. These regulations vary with season, locations, and conditions.