“If you eat, you’re involved with agriculture” –bumper sticker
This week Sally and I were “riding circle” checking the pastures, and “the girls”, our corriente cows. Our dogs were trailing along with us, Wolf the big white Akbash, Carl, the Heinz 57, who is our singing, talking dog who looks for all the world like a mini Rottweiler, Tia, the professional cow dog (leopard/black mouth Cur), and the pups Lucy and Buckshot. We had pretty much finished when I heard the “pack” bay up something. When they finally worked out of the woods, they had a young black feral boar hog on the run. Pandemonium reigned. We watched in awe as four dogs stopped the pig, which I guess at around two hundred pounds or a little less. He spun and fought as they jumped out of the way, then they went back to work on his hide. Finally after about 10 minutes he got away, but not before he tusked little Carl pretty badly on one leg.Animal rights folks may have a problem with hunting feral hogs, but let me share a few facts with you. This is an animal that does an excess of fifty million dollars of agricultural damage a year in Texas alone. The sow is sexually mature at age six months, and can produce two to three litters of from four to eight pigs per year (or as my friend says, “litter of eight and all 10 of them live!!”) Estimates by wildlife specialists are that it would require harvesting over sixty percent per year to maintain a stable population (every county in Texas has them,) and we are only succeeding in taking out twenty eight percent!