I know what you’re thinking. What can a story-telling engineer know about hogs? A story ran on the front page (“Feral hog hell,” The Daily News, Oct. 11) about League City’s problem and their plan to pay a consultant $20,000; for half that I’ll solve your problem. Seriously, the hog problem isn’t easy to solve, but I, with some help, did solve the problem we had.
Once upon a time we had a nice radio control model airplane flying field northwest of Texas City. Then one night, the hogs came and destroyed over half of our golf course smooth runways. So we met, discussed, failed, and tried again. We consulted a game warden; he said: It’s against the law to snare, poison, or transport them alive. He recommended we post a night watch and kill about one per month; didn’t say what we were to do the other 29 nights. Instead, we set up a flood light and loud radio playing country music to come on at night. It worked; the hogs stayed outside of the lighted area and I suppose learned to line dance. Not exactly a permanent solution — so back to meetings.
Then we tried a small animal trap with a guillotine dropping door; never caught a hog. Then one day, some lovely individual stole our useless trap. Then on another day, I saw on the internet how to build a real trap and it worked. So here’s the step-by-step $10,000 solution:
1. Build a 30-foot diameter by 4-foot high pen out of 4-foot wide 6x6x No. 6 steel wire mesh like that used for driveway steel. The pen will need a spring loaded swinging door that opens into the pen (about 2-foot wide). Build the pen in a remote area because you’re going to have to kill the hogs you catch without transporting them live.
2. Consult a few deer hunters, ideally those that use bow and arrows. You will need about five, so that you can call one at 7:30 a.m. to come kill a hog and take it home before the neighbors know what’s going on. The pork is good for mixing with venison for deer sausage. These are the same hogs that farmers raise; just a little tougher and leaner.
3. Bait the trap, in and out, with hard corn for about two weeks with the door held open, so the hogs can come and go without fear of the trap. Don’t use table scraps; you don’t want to trap a pet inside the pen with a mean hog.
4. Then prop the door open with a small stick so that when the hog comes in the stick will fall and the door closes behind the hog.
5. Next morning harvest a hog with a deer rifle (if allowed) or a deer killing arrow.
We found out later that the nine hogs we caught had been transplanted by a hunter for his dog hunting pleasure close to home. Do not deduct taxes from my $10,000.