Posted by: morrowsl | January 24, 2021

Please Fence Me In

The first indication that something might be amiss was coming “home” to our new house in the country to find a good bit of the front yard plowed up. The ground literally ripped open and the grass tossed this way and that. Huge gullies and furrows, wading pool-sized holes, divots and pocks and pockets dotting the lawn.

We stood in the driveway, shaking our heads, disbelief giving way to reality, but without explanation.

What the hell just happened?

We found out later, thanks to my sister’s quick Google search, that we’d been “hit” by feral hogs.

Amazingly, I kept no photos from that first discovery. Suffice to say it doesn’t matter; every event results in the same destruction. The most recent photos look much the same as I recall seeing the first time. Sometimes it is just a spot or two. Other times it is huge swaths of upturned earth. Always, it sinks the heart and brings an anger normally reserved for two-legged boars.

For a while, there was a guy staked out in the trees on the property, high-powered rifle in hand. He managed to shoot a couple of bobcats, but his luck with hogs was less than impressive. For a longer while, we stopped filling the deer feeders, but that only served to bring them closer to the house again.
I walked out one morning to find a half dozen still working on the front yard. I shrieked. They snorted. We all ran. One evening last fall, I stood at one of the kitchen windows and watched a group of three gleefully digging a trough alongside our back walkway. Mike was inching his way around the porch, rifle in hand, but must have made just enough noise to alert them. My language at the time sent both cats running for cover.

Mike bought a lawn roller to pull behind the Wheelhorse for flattening the tilled up spots. He seeded the lawn and rolled it, the sprinklers watered in the seed. And the hogs came back every single time, once or twice it seemed they almost followed directly behind him. We would go to bed with a nice, flat lawn and wake to a plowed field.

Until, finally, we had enough.

Recently, we’ve hired a company to construct a perimeter fence. While we are fully aware that hogs can take down fences, we also understand that we serve as a sort of “vacation” area for the hogs that pass through here. They are not permanent residents and spend the bulk of their time elsewhere. The hope is that, when next they decide that Remote dining sounds good for supper, they’ll encounter the fence and just move on down the road to some of the open spaces available in the area.
While keeping the hogs out was the main goal, allowing the deer in was equally important. We left it to the “fence guy” to make the determination which fence would give us both.

The solar panel and call box are yet to be installed. But the fence and gates are up. And Captain Neighbor Boy assures us he has witnessed the deer leaping over it. Of course, we aren’t likely to have any babies on the property until they are tall enough to clear a four foot fence. Or unless the mamas make use of our woods as a maternity ward. We have feeders, we do fill them, and we don’t allow hunting for deer on our property.

I’ll let you know how this goes.


Responses

  1. Darn feral hogs! Wish there were predators that took THEM out!

    • Me too, Peach. Me too!


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