Stories –  Drone Pilots vs Feral Hogs

Stories – Drone Pilots vs Feral Hogs


– You know shooting is only effective if it’s really high pressure, trapping is only effective
on the stupid ones, and dogging is effective
on a very small percentage because the dogs can’t get on 10, 15, 20, 30 hogs in a day,
they’re just out numbered. Last weekend we had a
trio of drone pilots, licensed drone pilots come
down and bring their birds with thermal optics and we
were able to locate pigs and get the stalk and the
kill all on film and then also find pigs in swamps and in bushy tree areas where we didn’t think a thermal would penetrate, it
was pretty ground breaking. Our problem with what we do is tall corn. Wheat, sorghum, cotton,
once the pigs get in there, you can’t do anything
with it on the ground. You can just hope you
wait for them to come out and hope they come out, you know, but if it’s a cotton field
that they planted peanuts in last year there’s a ton
of peanuts all on the ground. And so they’re in the cotton protected and a lot of times there’s pivot tracks so there’s water, there’s protection, and there’s food from last year there and they’re just eating and
you can’t, you’re waiting. I don’t wanna wait, I impatient,
I wanna kill them now. And so I wanna fly over and scare him out and shoot him in the face. So we were on a property
that has a whole bunch of elevational differences
with little bulls over here, and ridges over there and
you couldn’t see everything. A drone went up and we
were looking for pigs, we didn’t find any pigs but it was able, I wanna say from 300
feet to spot a bob cat stalking a rabbit, and
we could clearly see that it was a bob cat stalking a rabbit, not a house cat, it was a bob cat. And to me that kinda detail was just right on par with what we need. You’re talking about a large breed animal that really is the only one that actually breeds on par with say a rabbit or a rat. And that means that they’ll
have in a fourteen month period three sets of babies and by
the time they’re dropping their third set of babies
they’re first set of babies is sexually mature enough
to get pregnant and does so and once they have a litter
they go right back into heat. And the boars, all they
care about is breeding, fighting, and eating, and they’re gonna breed ’em, really quick. And so they go right
back into being pregnant and that’s just a never
ending cycle and when you add in the fact that they’re
so smart and they make such great mothers, a huge
quantity of their babies live and then they teach them
the survival skills they need to live, IE escaping
traps, or being educated by night hunters who don’t
use the proper tactics, it make them really hard to kill. So what I was thinking was all the things we could do with this, even though what we were doing was super cool, and it was the first time it
had been done to my knowledge, the drones are gonna really
help with hog control. If I had a nugget of wisdom to share it would be trust your guts. I spend more time
regretting decisions that I’ve made that I talked myself
out of what my gut told me. This bastard know what’s
he’s talking about, I gotta start listening to
him, I suggest you do too. A bear can’t smell a
brand new dropped fawn, he can’t smell a fresh clutch of eggs. But a pig smells it like
you and I smell popcorn and they walk up wind and they eat it all. You just can’t, how do
you compete with that? They’re not supposed to be
there and they’re doing stuff that shouldn’t be done so I do
everything I can to kill ’em. Who knows, you know
technology and the future helping farmers, right now with what we do we’re using technology to kill pigs, you know to find pigs and kill pigs so hopefully that’s where
the technology takes us.

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