May 8, 2015 at 3:13 pm #2197957Alexander SBPL Member
Same here. I had to climb a tree in Halbe, Germany to get away from a sow whose piglets we came to near to.
They can be quite ill tempered.May 8, 2015 at 3:36 pm #2197959Geoffrey LehmannBPL Member
@yipperLocale: deep south
Which Ranger District or trail were you on? I work on the Kisatchie Ranger District, and backpack as well as hunt there and on the Evangeline unit of the Calcasieu District.
We have lots of feral pigs, though no "boars". I've encountered them at various distances often enough, but have never been charged or even felt threatened. They are quite difficult to hunt, and most people that take them do so on chance encounters while hunting something else. Some of the best local hunters prefer to trap them if that's what they want to take.
As with any species, coming between a mother and her offspring can be a risky proposition, and there are always belligerent individuals either by nature or circumstance, but I wouldn't think twice about them as a threat.
geoffMay 8, 2015 at 4:03 pm #2197964owareusa.comBPL Member
@bivysack-com-2-2Locale: East Washington
"Are talking about a feral pig or an actual wild boar as commonly found in Europe and recently reported in Texas?"
The California pigs are both feral and imported (for hunting years ago) wild pigs. In one sounder you can see black razorbacks with 3 inch tusks as well as pink and piebald round ones the looks like Porky.May 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm #2197998IanBPL Member
I make no claim to be a porcine expert. The only location where I ever ran into them was in Germany. Since we were a training unit, and spent roughly 250 days per year in the field training Blufor, we saw them on a fairly regular basis.
I know of no one ever getting seriously injured by one but the stories I shared earlier are just the tip of the iceberg. So yeah, in their territory, probably fine without a pistol but those animals are really damn intimidating, fearless, and highly unpredictable.
Are they the same here in the US? Dunno. From what I've seen in pictures of the boar in Texas, they look pretty close in terms of size. Not quite as hairy though as the ones in Germany looked almost prehistoric.
Also stands to reason that there behavior may differ from region to region. Reports seem to indicate that this is true bears at least where they tend to be more skittish in some areas and more aggressive in others. Again, no PhD in pigology so can't say.
Standard precautions always apply for me with wildlife. I'm in their territory and I do my best to give them a wide berth. I don't think any of us lose sleep over Mountain Goats yet a hiker was killed by one in Olympic National Park.May 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm #2198001Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
There are lots of wild pigs on Kauaii. We say a whole bunch of piglets go running down the trail. They were so cute. In the information center they had some pictures of pigs people had hunted. Jeez those things are HUGE.May 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm #2198031Owen McMurreySpectator
@owenmLocale: SE US
"Which Ranger District or trail were you on? I work on the Kisatchie Ranger District, and backpack as well as hunt there and on the Evangeline unit of the Calcasieu District."
Aha! So you know that those were bighorn sheep!
I have proof, as the government is always interfering with my bighorn sheep sightings. First there was the total lack of them where they should have been in Utah last fall, then the Blackhawk helicopter that swooped in and circled the one that was approaching at Valley of Fire, and then the latest intervention while in Kisatchie NF hiking the Wild Azalea trail the first week of April. This time they dispatched fighter planes, so they're getting more aggressive about it.
This only strengthens my resolve to discover what secrets those sheep are trying to divulge, though, and when I do…everything will change.
Not kidding about the Blackhawk, btw, but I wondered where those planes were training out of. As a former paratrooper, "discovering" Camp Claiborne while staging vehicles was a nice bonus.May 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm #2198035David MorenoBPL Member
@nerrek2000Locale: North East Ohio
I figured Ian B. would chime in on this one. I have similar stories from Oahu and the Big Island in Hawaii.
One night at about 3 A.M. on Oahu, a mid-sized boar went rummaging through camp and tore a few rucks open for the MREs. When troops woke up and yelled at it, it ran off, but repeatedly came back for more. All told, 4 ruck sacks were destroyed.
One day at a live-fire (M16 rifle) range we had to go into a check fire because the vegetation had caught fire. They sent us down range with fire beaters. (They look like semi truck mud flaps mounted to mop handles.) As I was beating out the brush fire, I heard a strange noise to my left rear. As I spun around to see what it was, a boar skimmed past me badly scraping my right hand with its tusk. I still have a light scar 26 years later. It then stopped and stood there unafraid, looking at us. There had to have been 25 soldiers in close proximity to it and it was not intimidated.
One night on the island of Hawaii, I was on guard duty. I was sitting perfectly still as I heard rustling in the brush just over the embankment, across the road, in front of me. It was new moon, and as it crested the embankment I could just make out its silhouette. It was huge, every bit the size of a full grown black bear here in the east. It walked right up to me, face to face and snorted at me. Luckily there was a large piece of lava rock (about 15 pounds) just behind my rear end. I heaved it straight onto it's nose at point blank range. The boar was so close that the rock didn't even leave my hand before it made contact. The boar jumped back about 5 feet in the air, landed with a thud, skidded across the gravel road, and with a leap was gone over the embankment. Not continental U.S. but definitely America.
As Piper S. stated above, there are feral domesticated pigs there too. We never had any issues with them though.
Mainly it was civilians in Hawaii that would get attacked and mauled. It was rare that anyone would die though. The news didn't usually report about incidents because it would be bad for the tourist business. Running into a boar was nothing though compared to being surrounded by hammerhead sharks. lol That'll get your heart pumping.
Anyone backpacking on any of the Hawaiian Islands should take precautions and either hang a bear bag or use a bear canister depending on terrain. Your chances of an encounter aren't great, but they are there.May 9, 2015 at 6:25 am #2198067Richard MayBPL Member
@richardmLocale: Nature Deficit Disorder
Hey Geoff, I was on the Caroline Dormon Trail, north bound. It was just at the point where the trail turns up to go north. Here, I put it on the map:
Really pretty woods I must say. The landscape is new to me and very different from the tropical forests I'm used to. I will be going back.
I was kind of surprised she didn't bolt immediately. But it got a little tense when she thrust forward as if saying "stay back buddy." I know pigs are smart. Maybe she picked up a trick or two for survival.May 9, 2015 at 7:10 am #2198075Geoffrey LehmannBPL Member
@yipperLocale: deep south
The loop you show is a good route, though I spend two nights to do it. The bottomlands where you sighted the pig is interesting, with the convergence of Bayou L'Ivrogne (pronounced liv-roy locally), Little Kisatchie Bayou and Kisatchie Bayou. Most of the district is upland where we are actively restoring the Longleaf Pine ecosystem (decimated by industrial logging back in the first quarter of the 20th century).
Feral pigs can get quite large, though most don't. I've seen them singly and in herds of 40-50. They do move about in daytime, though are most active at night. Some of them are all black with long hair on the spine, like European boar, but most are brindled, Heinz 57 variations. They tend to hold up in yaupon thickets during the day.
Encounters like you describe could be dangerous, but are not something I'd worry about; a cautious response like yours should suffice. I'm not aware of any incidents where humans have been harmed by feral pigs on our district, and we get a lot visitation during hunting season, as well a year-round use of our trail systems.
The Kisatchie Ranger District is unusual for Louisiana in its hilly character, including rock outcrops from the Catahoula formation, and most state residents are not aware of it.
geoffMay 9, 2015 at 9:05 am #2198097Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
I have never seen a wild pig or boar in the wild. I have seen and been close to Javelinas while hiking in Arizona. They are not pigs, although look and act similarly, and are much smaller. Males have nasty tusks. They hunt in groups. It is the group that can be scary and especially those animals that have been "humanized," that is, frequent contact with humans has removed their natural fear of us. I suppose the same is true with wild pigs.
At times they make me more nervous than seeing a black bear.May 9, 2015 at 2:46 pm #2198173IanBPL Member
I think I've made it abundently clear in my previous two posts in this thread that of the animals I've encountered in the wild, including several black bear, the only ones that ever scared the crap out of me was a single chance encounter with the Chupa Cabara on a midnight patrol in Panama which resulted in me screaming like a 12 y/o at a Justin Bieber concert followed by me knocking my team leader on the ground hauling bootie out of the AO (which is not germane to this conversation), and the Wild Boar in Germany. Again, I'm unfamiliar with the non native boar in the US but from what I've seen from afar, they are equally aggressive.
While not a recommended or good practice, I've slept with my food hundreds of times in black bear country and have never had a problem from bear. YMMV. As previously mentioned, our battalion was conservatively ransacked by the boar/sows on a weekly basis. Probably more than that.
The issue isn't necessarily loss of life, although that could happen in exigent circumstances. My largest concern is two fold, a) non life threatening injury, and b) loss of food.
If you receive a laceration from a wild boar, you're an absolute fool not to immediately cancel your trip, make your way back to your vehicle, and drive to the hospital for infection control purposes. Yes, infection mitigation should start in the field but this requires immediate follow up with a physician.
Loss of food may, for many of us weekend warrior/sub one week travelers, end the trip.
I have no data to back up the following claim, but anecdotally, it seemed that >75% of our encounters with them were at night and were a result of the pigs looking for food. Stands to reason that if you follow text book protocol for cooking and storing food as you should do in bear country (eg cook and hang food away from camp), that will eliminate most of the issues.
But again, the other 25% of the encounters were completely random. The boar who attacked one of our M113s, did so during daylight hours.May 17, 2015 at 5:49 pm #2200323Mark ParrySpectator
@markparryLocale: Hawaiian Islands
I'm surprised to hear the recommendation to hang a food bag or bear cans in Hawaii. I could imagine some boars getting into a backpack but would imagine it's rare. I'm more afraid of them knocking me off a cliff on a narrow trail in a freak accident and there's not a lot I can do about that other than not hike in Hawaii (okay, hiking in larger groups would help).
It sounds like maybe I need to consider hanging a food bag though.
As far as encountering Boars on the trail, I have heard them run away from me plenty of times and seen it a couple. I've been warned that they might charge at some point and that you can be injured.
I'm not sure if hunting plays a part in this, Oahu is pretty well populated and the hunting seems to be pretty unregulated and a common team job for local families and their dogs. There are a lot of places serving kalua pig and pork laulau that could easily be wild meat. I've had the same dishes when I knew I was eating the hunted wild boar and it tasted the same. The other islands couldn't possibly have the same level of local hunting activity keeping the pig numbers down and possibly behaviors altered though.
Right now I'm doing Kalalau "practice trips" on Oahu and sleeping the same places pig is hunted. So far they haven't torn my pack up but I promise to report back as soon as they decide to (if I survive the experience). Kalalau (Kauai) is a popular trail but still more remote than many areas of Oahu where I hike now, so it may be different there.
EDIT: Specifically, I've been using Maunawili Trail to practice for Kalalau. I think it has a little less overall vertical change though. Also, some other stealth camping closer to home, Kahaluu. Pigs in both areas. Also wanted to point out that the pork laulau is excellent, comes wrapped in cooked taro leaves–make sure to try that while you're in Hawaii if you like to eat pig.May 17, 2015 at 6:06 pm #2200326Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If not a Hawaiian Pig, then what about the dreaded Hawaiian Mongoose?
–B.G.–May 18, 2015 at 6:55 pm #2200593Mark ParrySpectator
@markparryLocale: Hawaiian Islands
The Mongoose kill baby chickens and raid trash cans… They seem to keep their distance, with the town ones much bolder. I could see them raiding a temporarily deserted empty camp, the backcountry version of "trash cans". Not sure how driven they are to compromise storage.
They don't look like more than a squirrel and I keep assuming it must be a different kind of mongoose that can kill the snakes… Apparently it's just their speed that makes the difference against a snake, and these mongoose are very fast to react and cover ground. Hard to imagine them killing much.May 18, 2015 at 11:52 pm #2200643David MorenoBPL Member
@nerrek2000Locale: North East Ohio
The boars, in my experience, are very brazen on Oahu. They'd even run across the live fire ranges while we were firing. They didn't appear to be afraid of anything.
As for the mongoose, I never heard of anyone having a problem with them damaging rucks to get to food. Granted, others may have had different experiences with them. They were a welcome form of entertainment while I was out on LPOP (listening post / observing post) for 3 days alone though. Very playful and curious.May 19, 2015 at 4:34 am #2200654Tipi WalterBPL Member
Neat stories about Panama. I spent 2 years in Panama and spent enough time in the jungle to scream like a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert on several occasions.
One was leaning up against a black palm tree and getting needles in my arm and shoulder. Another time when a wild parrot bit me on the elbow and scared the crap out of me. And another time nearly stepping on a bushmaster snake while following a jungle creek. By then the leeches were something to laugh about.
And the wonderful stories our local Panamanian barracks boy told of guys sleeping in the jungle and getting blood sucked out by vampire bats. No thanks.Jun 7, 2015 at 8:48 am #2205215KarenBPL Member
This is an old thread now, but I'm feeling old, so why not? I have to respond to the post that said bears aren't good to eat, not true! Black bear is absolutely delicious, like the most tender pulled pork you've ever had. Black bear lard is commonly used for pies. I haven't tried brown bears, but reliable sources tell me that interior brown bears, otherwise known as Grizzlies, are good, but coastal bears that eat mostly fish aren't so nice. Bears aren't related to pigs but they do also carry trichinosis, so well cooked is the recommendation.
Just had to set that record straight!Jun 7, 2015 at 6:56 pm #2205352David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I'll be picking up some some black bear pastrami next week. I expect it to be quite good – like the last batch. The first bits of this particular guy were tasty as stew in camp 16 days ago.
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