May 7, 2015 at 8:22 am #1328686
I just got back from an overnighter in Kisatchie NF of Louisina and had a bit of a wakeup call. Bears are rare around here, they are confined to small areas but boars are common.
I was hiking and about 100 feet (30m) to my right I hear a snort, when I looked over it was giant boar. Seriously, she was at least 4 feet head to ground. Big enough I thought it might have been a Luisiana Blackbear which are a small bear. She stopped, turned to me, postured to charge and after what felt like an eternity of being stared down, turned around and walked away. When I continued on she and her sow bolted across the river. Of course, she went in the same direction I did and we met up again, this time at half the distance. Same routine.
I decided to do nothing. I stood perfectly still. It seems to have worked.May 7, 2015 at 9:08 am #2197543Owen McMurreySpectator
@owenmLocale: SE US
Never see them, just some tracks and places they've torn the ground up.
From their sign, I could probably kick a field goal with most of the wild pigs around here, so they're hard to get excited about.
I'll probably get trampled by a herd of them next week for saying that…May 7, 2015 at 9:11 am #2197545Andrew USpectator
@anarkhosLocale: Colorado, Wyoming
Because very few people here hike in Louisiana. Most people head to the mountains; not too many boars up there. Now mountain lions and pissed off bighorn sheep…
That said, I hope I never come face to face with a boar. Sounds scary. I would think bear spray would be equally effective against boars?May 7, 2015 at 10:14 am #2197566idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
I just ignore their posts and threads, fortunately there aren't many of them here.
Oh, boars. Never mind….May 7, 2015 at 11:10 am #2197582
4 feet from head to ground…as in 4 feet tall? I think the eyes deceive you. Massive hogs will get to 3 feet tall and 7 feet from snout to tail.
Unless you have them cornered with dogs or walk between a sow and her young, you are pretty safe.May 7, 2015 at 11:15 am #2197585Bob ShaverBPL Member
If it had a piglet, it wasn't a boar, it was a sow. Hence the phrase "useless as t*ts on a boar." I don't think we have wild pigs in Idaho.May 7, 2015 at 11:17 am #2197586AnonymousInactive
I've heard the sounds of boars in south florida tearing apart deer. They sound pretty violent.
Out of curiosity following your post I found this article which seems like a fairly good academic article on boar attacks
The summary was that Boars are nocturnal, avoid humans, rarely cause fatalities. Due to the boars height, most attacks generally result in lacerations or punctures to the shins and thighs, which are typically non-lethal.
In florida, there are lots of animals though besides bears to be aware of.May 7, 2015 at 11:25 am #2197588Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Boars are probably better to eat, but they need to be well cooked.
–B.G.–May 7, 2015 at 12:32 pm #2197606John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I had wild Boar for lunch last week in Denver, with a grape sauce…..quite tasty. I have run into them in AZ and many feral pigs in the mountains around the NorCal Bay Area but no real problems. They can sound very alarming in the night, particularly when in a bit of a feeding frenzy, making it hard to go back to sleep. I wouldn't want to take a big one on, but getting 5 or 6 feet off the ground should get you out of harms way – not something that would necessarily work with a bear.May 7, 2015 at 1:03 pm #2197620
You should hear the racket they make when a little one is caught by a coyote.May 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm #2197703
"Boars are probably better to eat, but they need to be well cooked."
Boars are supposed to be to tasty, but never had the opportunity. A guy told me bear meat is "black" this weekend on a trip. Apparently he grew up with hunting parents and knew first hand. He said you had to cook it in a special way, and even then it was pretty terrible. Guess to quote crocodile Dundee, "You can live on it, but it tastes like s**t".
To the OP, for what it is worth, don't listen to the naysayers – I think any place where you might get bored by a boar is a worthy and legitimate place to backpack, even if there are no mountains nearby. I've seen loads of peccary backpacking, but they are probably too cute to fear.May 7, 2015 at 5:46 pm #2197718
That's why this is such a cool place — and not boaring. Thanks for the links!
>> … 3 feet tall and 7 feet from snout to tail
I got home and compared my "memory" to my son. This seems about right.
But a few details keep nagging at me. Here are the facts as I remember them:
– all black, no markings
– about 3 feet tall (as compared to my son)
– around noon
– only one offspring, it was reddish brown
– the offspring was about a foot tall
– first sighting at about 100 feet, second at 50 feet
– they were in the deep shade of trees so features were not distinct, I didn't get a good read on snout, ears or eye position.
So, from the links above I may have actually seen a bear. Pigs are nocturnal, sows travel in groups unless they've just given birth then they leave for a few weeks. Males travel alone and this definitely had an offspring. If this was a sow she'd have 10 – 15 piglets and the offspring I saw was too big for a couple weeks or the number in a litter.
I did first think it was a bear but changed my mind when I saw all the dug up ground and remembered that bears are rare in Louisiana. Bears populations are growing.May 7, 2015 at 8:03 pm #2197750
Wikipeadia say wild boar can be up to 3.6 feet high! That's like a foot taller than any Hobbit! I was curious because one time a small herd of Bison whizzed past my tent early in the morning, and from inside in my sleeping bag I would have sworn the bulls' heads were 10 feet off the ground.May 7, 2015 at 9:28 pm #2197779Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Marko, think of it as bacon on the hoof.
–B.G.–May 7, 2015 at 9:45 pm #2197781
Just might have been be the legendary pgymy chupacabra of the bayou.
This video also explains the "mystery" of why so many UFOs are cited in this general area.
But seriously, doesn't sound like it completely rules out wild boar. I think either would have been a cool sighting in your locale.May 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm #2197796
You aren't going to see a 3.6 ft boar. They appear deceptively large. Trust me. You get em on the scale they are much smaller than you'd think.
Perfectly possible for a sow to have one piglet. Small litter and deaths. It happens. I have seen it before.May 8, 2015 at 5:58 am #2197817idesterBPL Member
@doug-iLocale: The Cascades
Javelinas in southern Arizona, same thing I guess. I used to encounter them at times when running in the more remote areas of Fort Huachuca. We were always told to be wary as they could be quite aggressive, but I never had any issues with them. Seeing as how slow and labored my running was, they may have been taking pity on me.May 8, 2015 at 6:13 am #2197820Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
There are wild pigs in the mountains behind Santa Barbara. I've only ever seen one once. It's pretty scary. They don't seem to have the same fear that the bears do around here.May 8, 2015 at 6:30 am #2197827
Whichever it was it's a pretty cool sighting. I was completely outside any areas that have bear populations. All of those are in the east and south, this was central-west. So wild pig is most likely. Whatever, I'm stoked.
Apparently though, confusing the two isn't unusual. Wildlife and Fisheries even printed this story back in 2010.
"Black bears and feral hogs share similar body styles and appearance, so hunters must be especially careful when hog hunting in areas where bears may be found."
This is also Bigfoot country… so maybe, just maybe …May 8, 2015 at 6:38 am #2197829IanBPL Member
There were boars/sows a' plenty in Hohenfels, Germany and they've ruined my day more than once. On one occasion, I had to climb a tree to get away from them as they ripped our patrol's rucks apart. The boobytraps we were carrying came wrapped in a plasticy foil wrapper. I guess they must of thought they were pop tarts or something because we found a few of them not too far away from out patrol base where they opened it and decided it wasn't worth eating.
This was a training mission so all we had were blanks. Fired a few off without success. Finally threw a smoke grenade which has a pop then hiss noise. That worked. Maybe carry some black cat fire cracker and then hiss really loud as a solution?
One of the largest inconveniences is that when they open up the MRE peanut butter packet, it gets all over their snout and then you end up with peanut butter on all of your gear as they root through it.
My roommate, Gilbert, had a piglet trip over him when he was sleeping in a old-school canvas Army sleeping bag. Momma wasn't too pleased that her child was grievously assaulted by this large green earthworm. Gilbert started to wake up when the piglet tripped over him but really woke up when he was getting lifted off of the ground when she put her snout under him and let him have it. He just rode it out, screaming the whole time, but survived the ordeal uninjured. I suspect there was some bowel evacuation though.
We had one attack a M113 armored personnel carrier.
This will probably start a flame war, and I really don't care or pander to those who come emotionally unhinged over stupid $#!+, so here it goes. I don't worry about carrying a pistol in black bear country (bear spray sometimes). I might carry a pistol in mountain lion country when I'm backpacking with small children. I absolutely will carry a pistol in wild boar/sow country. I've had enough experience with them to know how unpredictable and dangerous they can be. If that tusk rips your femoral open miles away from a trailhead, well your chances aren't good, even with a CAT tourniquet.May 8, 2015 at 6:53 am #2197838Tipi WalterBPL Member
Wild pigs are very common here in the Southeast mountains of TN and NC where I backpack and I've seen and interacted with dozens in the last 15 years. It's funny to see all the replies here on BPL about pigs and yet few to none of them have been about their personal backpacking experiences with the beasts.
And of course, as soon as the subject of wild pigs comes up there's always the individual who mentions bacon, as if these creatures are all meant to be killed. On the other hand, maybe humans have overpopulated their habitat and need to be culled. Different subject and on a tangent.
I've scared up many wild pigs while hiking and was only mock charged once on top of a mountain bald as I came out of the treeline in a cold fog and surprised a small group. The alpha pig circled me and then charged but stopped 10 feet in front of me and ran off.
One time a "herd" of them got spooked and ran right at me to get off the ridge so I stood behind a tree to let them pass.
Another time I was climbing a tough trail in NC and saw a mother pig and her 3 little tiny piglets—very cute. No Bacon Required as I've been a vegetarian since 1973.
Saw this family near Beech Gap on the BMT.
When the local boys interact with wild pigs, this is the usual result.May 8, 2015 at 7:48 am #2197856
"On the other hand, maybe humans have overpopulated their habitat and need to be culled. "
Considering they are an invasive species introduced to this continent by humans if say that isn't a bad stance. That's like accusing humans of encroaching on wild horses, fire ants, or kudzu.May 8, 2015 at 8:30 am #2197872
The above mentioned Javalina/Peccary are native to North America – the only pigs that are. I see those all the time bacpacking. I know there are lots of feral domestic pigs – we have some around here. The wild boar are a European transplant, and in most places considered a pest. The rip up the ground and are almost as bad a goats in denuding the local flora – not to mention their penchant for harassing soldiers and smearing peanut butter on their gear. In places I know there have been bounties on them.
If an actual boar and not a native peccary they can get pretty big.May 8, 2015 at 8:31 am #2197873owareusa.comBPL Member
@bivysack-com-2-2Locale: East Washington
The male ones anyway.
Both can carry trichinosis.
In California, bears run away from you and pigs may run at you.
Walking through head high tule reeds along their tunnels is pretty exciting.
They are out at all times of the day, I have seen drifts of 30.
Been told by friends of having been treed by them.
There is a reason for the old saying "not since gramma got eaten by the pigs"May 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm #2197955Alexander SBPL Member
Are talking about a feral pig or an actual wild boar as commonly found in Europe and recently reported in Texas?
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