Trap Wild Pigs for the Table

Wrangle wild pork onto your menu with a well-placed trap.

| December 2020/January 2021

 feral-hog
Wild pigs can provide you with port that’s fresh, flavorful, and all natural.
Photo by R.D. Copeland

Industrial pork producers have profited from a catchphrase that for years predicated every piece of their advertising, from print to television: “Pork. The other white meat.” And, for once, the advertising bared the truth. The food industry’s pork tastes exactly like the original white meat — chicken. Well, factory-farmed chicken, anyway. How did that happen?

Factory farms produce pigs of the same size and weight, bred for a short, unhealthy life inside a metal barn, with little or no chance at being a regular ol’ pig — rolling in the mud, grazing on grass and flowers, and digging up grubs and roots. These factory-raised pigs taste more and more like the processed feed they eat. In addition, they’re subjected to antibiotic regimens, are raised in cages with no fresh air or fresh grass, and their processed meat is injected with sodium and water. Eating animals raised in those conditions can’t be good for us, and it’s definitely not good for the animals. Given the option, wouldn’t you rather eat something raised wild, grazing on grass, acorns, roots, and grubs? Fortunately, you don’t have to eat that lackluster pork, not when millions of healthy pigs are running wild all over America. It’s time we take a closer look at eating wild game instead of factory-farmed meats.

 feedferal-hogs
Fermented corn makes great bait for wild pigs. After you’ve trapped a pig, take the proper precautions, and stay on high alert to avoid injury.
Photos by R.D. Copeland
 



Setting the Trap

If you live in the United States, chances are there’s a wild pig lurking nearby. They can be found in the woods on the edge of towns, and people have been reporting more sightings of wild pigs within city limits: near jogging trails, on golf courses, and digging up backyards. If you own property, or have been granted access somewhere outside of town, your odds of catching a few wild pigs is probably better than you think. The U.S. feral pig population is estimated to be about 6 million, and growing rapidly. These wild animals are nonnative, and can cause extensive damage to property, ecosystems, agriculture, and native species. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts there’s a pack of wild pigs within 5 miles of where you’re sitting. You just need to lure them into a trap.

In Texas, wild pigs are so numerous that it seems everyone traps and hunts them. Around here, you can buy a small steel trap for $500 or less. Most of these traps are made from thick-gauge-wire hog panels, bent and tied together with wire or other fasteners. These smaller wire-style traps are typically 4 feet wide and high by 8 feet long. They’re spacious enough to catch big pigs, several yearlings, or a few sows and their piglets, but light enough for one person to move around empty and load in the back of a pickup or onto a trailer. These traps often have a spring-loaded door on one end, set off when a pig bumps a string inside the trap connected to a latch on the door. Some traps are made with guillotine-style doors that drop down, or doors that swing into place.





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