One thing that happens when you get a group of country people hanging around without a lot going on involves a mysterious sorting and filtering process. Small groups of strangers with similar interests are drawn into intense exchanges of arcane esoterica.
Saturday a few old guys including me got talking about chickens, coons, skunks and feral hogs none of us would have ever learned if we hadn’t been to the auction.
The wild hogs seem to be concentrated, we found, in some locations and absent in others. A guy from a few miles east of town seems to have the worst problem of any in the group, and despite the fact he’s killed a hundred hogs this year he says it hasn’t made a dent in the population.
He’s devised an ingenious trap with several interior rooms the hogs can get into but can’t get out, allowing him to capture a dozen at a time. He kills them in the traps and drags them down to a remote corner of the property with the previous hauls.
That guy knew some hog catching tricks I’ll probably use here next time they come in here or up and Gale’s tearing things up. He uses boxes of Jello as bait. Says they can’t resist it and they’ll choose going into a trap after Jello over breaking into a feed bin or tearing the walls off a storage shed for chicken feed.
But everyone agreed the hog population in Central Texas is out of control something awful.
Then, this morning, my old bud Rich sent me a link to this Yahoo News story:
Mexico to cull 50,000 wild boars from US invasion
Mexican officials have unveiled plans to slaughter some 50,000 wild boars that have crossed the border from the United States and now threaten agriculture in Mexico.
The Ministry of Environment in Chihauha state said some 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of farmland in the border town of Ojinaga have been affected by the large number of feral pigs that have come from Presidio County, Texas.
“We must get rid of these European wild boars because they sleep overnight on US soil during the day and cross over to the Mexican side to feed,” Ignacio Legarreta, a state official, told local media.
The boars of European origin, which were imported to Texas as pets and then replicated in the wild, have caused serious damage to the flora and fauna of the area, officials said.
“They have reproduced to reach more than 50,000 animals that threaten the area,” said Legarreta.
The authorities intend to use cages with food inside to trap the animals.
But back at the auction. I asked whether any of them had ever tried bringing the hogs in and selling them at auction. None had, and at first everyone’s reaction was a guffaw. Nobody likes getting close to a critter capable of ripping you in two and eating you. Probably the auction folks wouldn’t take them despite the fact they handle a lot of dangerous animals.
But then someone mentioned there’s a place in Ingram always advertising they want to buy swine on the hoof. Sausage place, one thought. Which got us thinking how a person might build a trap on a trailer so’s to not have to deal with them more than dragging the trailer to Ingram, letting them inspect them and kill them in the trap, drag them out, weigh them, and pay up.
I allowed if I’d considered that and thought of it earlier this year I’d be a lot better off financially today than I am. There was a lot of muttering and thinking going on among all of us before the conversation changed to coons.