Bet You Didn’t Know These 8 Wild Hog Facts
Bob McNally 09.15.15
- Wild hogs have roamed America since Hernando de Soto introduced them to Florida in 1539.
- Male and female wild hogs have tusks. They have extremely sharp edges because the upper and lower tusks overlap. The constant gnashing of teeth sharpens the tusks, which make formidable weapons.
- Wild hogs are just that, domestic pigs gone wild for several generations. Javelinas or collared peccaries are an entirely different animal, native to the Southwest U.S. Contrary to much popular opinion, almost no pure-strain so-called Russian or Prussian wild boar roam America’s forests.
- Pigs don’t sweat, so they can’t take much hot, bright, sunny weather. They must seek cool, moist areas to maintain normal body temperatures in hot weather. This is why boggy, muddy swamp and creek bottoms are such prime spots for wild hogs.
- Wild hogs are gregarious animals, commonly found in family groups. However, large males or boars become solitary and can be extremely difficult for hunters to bag.
- Huntable wild hog populations are found in the following 19 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
- Wild hogs grow fast, attaining 80 to 100 pounds in one year. However, stories about 300 and 400 pound “wild” hogs are fantasy. Most old, mature feral pigs peak at about 150 pounds (live weight), and a 250-pounder is a monster.
- A mature wild hog has a tough, gristle-like plate behind each shoulder called a “shield.” On a large boar, such a shield can be nearly an inch thick and can deflect an arrow like a plate of steel. For this reason, quartering-away shots should be taken on big boars by bowmen, which allows an arrow to slip behind the “shield” and into the hog’s chest cavity.