Live trapping and euthanizing feral hogs is an effective method for removing large numbers of hogs. Trapping requires developing a strategy and persistence to be successful. The steps for effective feral hog trapping are:
- pre-baiting at multiple sites to locate feral hogs on trail cameras,
- baiting and drawing them into a location suitable for trap placement,
- building/setting up a trap suitable for capturing the number and size of feral hogs seen on camera, and finally
- triggering the trap.
Arguably the most important part of the trapping strategy is pre-baiting and conditioning (training) hogs to appear at a specific location, which can require days or weeks. Multiple sites may be pre-baited on a property until feral hogs are seen on camera consistently at one or more pre-bait sites. Trail (game) camera surveillance is critical for locating hogs, counting the number and sizes (ages) of hogs, and number of sounders or groups; and later to observe efforts at conditioning hogs to enter the trap. The trap needs to be taken to the hogs, not vice versa. Feral hogs which are pre-baited in a thicket will need to be moved to an open location for trapping, which could require days or weeks of slowing moving bait and conditioning hogs to the new location for trap placement.
Once feral hogs are visiting a site routinely, a trap is brought to or constructed at the bait location. Sometimes a trap can be set up and hogs enter the trap in a matter of hours. For trap-shy hogs, the trap may need to be set up in stages, and baiting continue for weeks until all hogs enter the trap. Trail cameras should be set on video recording to observe behaviors and adjust the trapping strategy accordingly. The trigger is set only when ALL feral hogs in the sounder or group are entering the trap in a quick fashion. Capturing and removing all hogs is important to reduce the risk of training single uncaught individuals to avoid traps and humans.
Snares can be set around traps to capture hogs which accidentally get left outside. Often these stragglers will circle the trap once triggered. Those who refuse to enter the trap despite weeks of persistent efforts of the trapper can be removed by snares, shooting, or dog hunting.
Individual boars or single hogs can be removed by shooting or dog hunting instead of trapping.
Cellular Trapping Systems
Trapping technology is constantly improving. Some systems use cellular or wireless signals for a user to view real time images or video of feral hogs in the trap, before activating the trigger.
Using cellular trapping systems has many advantages, including:
- less visitation to trapping locations,
- avoid trapping deer and other non-target species, and
- setting the trigger only when the whole sounder is observed inside the trap (i.e., “whole sounder approach”), rather than relying on a less reliable hog-activated trigger system.
Examples of these technology traps include Jager Pro™ , Game Changer™ Traps, and Boarbuster™. Conduct an internet search of feral hog traps to see more examples. Though effective, these systems can be expensive; and their technology ineffective in remote locations where cell service is limited.
Additional Trap & Snare Information
Following is a list of options for enterprising individuals who desire to build their own system; or for trapping in remote locations where non-cellular systems are required.
Use of Box Traps to Capture Feral Hogs (in the majority of cases, AVOID THEM! Typically, box traps only capture a few hogs, thereby educating other hogs to avoid traps.)