Interesting Facts About Wild Hogs

Over the last 15 years, we have gotten pretty much every question imaginable in regards to wild hog hunting at Dos Plumas Ranch so I thought I’d take some time to answer some of the most popular questions while giving you some interesting facts. 

Did you know that wild pigs are relatives of the domesticated pig and warthogs of Africa?  They live across the United States, Europe, and Asia.  They are especially prevalent in Texas and provide the state with hundreds of millions of dollars of annual income.  Hog hunting in Texas is a hugely popular and a huge business due to their ability to procreate up to 3 times is the year if the conditions are right.  However, most wild hogs reproduce twice a year with an average of 8 piglets per litter.  Texas and other states will never be able to completely eradicate the wild hog which is great news for hunters and those who are partial to the delicacy of wild hog meat! 

Wild hogs are mean and tough, however, they almost never attack humans EXCEPT when they are hunted and cornered which makes for some exciting hunting at the ranch!   But you might want to ask Allen/owner about his experience with being chased by a wild hog….lol.  You can’t get too comfortable around wild hogs and he almost learned this the hard way with a wild boar tusk in his leg!  In fact, Brice/ranch manager lost a tire last month to an angry sow with large tusks.  She grunted and lunged for him…he jumped on the trailer and she caught the tire leaving a huge puncture wound.  $125 dollars later he had a new tire. 

How do wild hogs differ from domesticated or farm raised hogs?

Texas wild hogs are very smart!  Most wild hogs are covered in gray, brown or black coarse bristles.  A lot of wild hogs at the ranch have large colored spots similar to that of a paint horse.  They have tusks, straight tails, erect ears and long snouts.  Domesticated or farm raised pigs have very little body hair and cute floppy ears with a curly tail.  They have no tusks.  Wild pigs also have a strong sense of smell but they can’t see very well.  They can often smell the presence of a hunter or danger but will rarely see the hunter or know his location.  This makes hunting in the tall grass and brush challenging and exciting at the same time.  When wild hogs are threatened they can run up to 35 miles per hour…even the piglets are very fast! 

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What are some characteristics of wild hogs?

As previously mentioned wild hogs are smart animals who have a high reproductive rate.   Adult wild hogs live to the age of 8-10 years old and weigh up to approximately 400 pounds.  They stand about 2.5 feet to 3 feet tall at the shoulder and can reach lengths of 4-5 feet with a straight tail.  Older boars are generally the largest of the wild hogs. 

Wild boars have large muscles on their chest and the backside of their necks.  This is due to the way the wild boar eats by digging up food from and in the ground with their snouts.  They are extremely sensitive to smell and their long snout helps them located food when they root.  They are incredibly adaptable and the wild hogs in the northern regions have developed thick coats of fur and eat a tremendous amount of food to develop layers of fat so they can survive the cold winters.  They have extremely short legs which make it difficult to move around in the snow, therefore they are rarely found in areas with deep snow.  This is great news for Texas!  We rarely have snow but have lots of food sources to keep the wild hogs fat and happy! 

Did you know that sows and boars both have not one but two sets of tusks? 

Their tusks grow as long as the hog is alive. 

The most intimidating set of tusks is on the upper jawline and is primarily used to push through bushes and grasses.  They are called the whetters.  The smaller tusks which grow upwards and at an angle are immediately below the lower jaw and are extremely sharp.  They are kept very sharp and extremely dangerous but continually grinding against the upper tusks that grow sideways.  These tusks are the ones you need to be wary of!  They are used for defense against attackers and when they fight other wild hogs. 

Wild hogs eat mostly grass, roots, nuts, cactus, crops, rodents, snakes and each other!

They prefer tender shoots of grass and nuts and will travel long distances for food which makes hunting them so challenging.  The population size is often determined by the availability of food.  In Texas and especially on the ranch the wild hogs are immune to rattlesnake bites and even eat the snakes.  They are fierce predators to the snakes.   In fact, we have personally experienced rattlesnakes not rattling when wild hogs are in the area as a natural defense.  Some places in Texas are said to have brought in wild hogs to control the snake population….with success!