Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Parker Heinlein
Outdoors Columnist 

When wild pigs arrive...

 

January 29, 2020



Invaders are massing at our border and a bombastic reality TV star promises to save our bacon.

Sound familiar?

No, it’s not him. It’s Pigman.

Brian Quaca, the host of “Pigman: The Series,” on the Sportsman Channel claims he’s the answer to the nation’s feral pig problem.

“Want Pigman to come in and save your state?” the Texan bellows. “I’m here to save your state from pigs.”

Quaca pulls out all the stops in his efforts to eradicate feral swine. One notable episode has him running down a swarm of baby pigs with an airboat, then opening up on the survivors with a semiautomatic shotgun. What fun.

But while the wholesale slaughter of wild pigs might make for swell television viewing, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks says hunting is not the answer to the looming feral pig invasion. In fact it is illegal to hunt pigs in Montana. Baiting and trapping are much more effective.

It’s only a matter of time before Saskatchewan’s wild pigs filter down into Montana and that’s not a good thing. Pigs are bad news, They destroy crops, eat fawns and gamebirds, carry disease, and wreak havoc on habitat.

They also scatter at the first shot and become nocturnal. Hunting them only makes them harder to catch.

But there are always a few guys -- Pigman among them -- who think so highly of their hunting skills that they will tell you they can remedy the problem.

That’s fake news.

Hunting has never effectively controlled wild pigs. Every state that has a population of feral swine, including Texas and Florida, where hunting is allowed, has more now than before. Only trapping has been effective in removing large numbers of pigs.

Unfortunately, folks aren’t united in the coming war on wild swine. Too many Montana hunters think it would be great to have wild pork on the menu. That’s how the problem started in Canada. Russian boars on game farms there either escaped or were released. Now they’re headed south to become our problem.

In response, FWP has developed a “Squeal on Pigs” program, and is asking anyone who spots a wild pig to please call (406) 444-2976.

Pigman’s claim of “a lot of stuff’s gonna die,” when he shows up is probably true. Let’s just hope he never gets a chance to kill a lot of stuff in Montana, including pigs.

Parker Heinlein is at pman@mtintouch.net.

 

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