Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

November 22, 2013

Feral hogs can be property nightmare

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — The problems caused by feral hogs in Oklahoma is far from a new concept as information about them has become more available in the last several years.

However, it still comes with a shock factor due to the amount of damage that can be caused as was recently the case when Garvin County resident Gerald Pyle discovered mass devastation to parts of his own property.

His best guess was that the hogs came in and rooted ground on his property sometime around midnight one Sunday and at first glance looks similar to a plow being applied.

“When I got up I couldn’t believe what they had done, it was unbelievable,” said Pyle. “This is the worst they’ve done to my yard. They’re definitely a nuisance.”

It’s also not a new experience for Pyle who has seen hogs cause damage where he lives between Wynnewood and Elmore City before, but in the 15 years he’s lived in the house; it was the worst he’s ever seen. Several of the larger patches of rooted ground came up right next to his house and were done within a few hours of time.

The damage in Pyle’s yard was where he had Bermuda grass planted, apparently something the hogs enjoy eating, and the rest of the damage happened out in a meadow where he stores hay for cattle he also raises.

He added how it adds insult to injury when one considers a how much Bermuda grass struggled during the couple of years of drought before rains returned this year and happened in a time when it may be too late to replant something to keep the soil stable.

Pyle also has concerns for his cattle due to parasites and diseases the hogs can carry as well as how aggressive they can be if confronted.

“I bet they tore up half an acre when you put it all together. Maybe an acre with the rest of the property added up,” said Pyle, noting how in the past 10 years the populations of wild hogs have grown the most.

“I think they wandered in this yard, found out how easy it was and stayed about three hours. It’s good soft dirt and they love to root.”

Pyle had a trapper cull the population before a few years ago, but in that time they have since multiplied enough to recover their numbers.

He has seen some of the hogs during the day far off in the distance and believes the group could include as many as 30.

In the end, it means extra work no matter what and Pyle is considering options like helping set up spots for the hogs to be trapped as well as a more secure fence to block the yard around his house. He only hopes by sharing what has happened to him, it will help others in the area later on.