Feral Hogs - Jan 30th 2009 @ 09:32AM
by Matt Stone
Feral hogs are viewed by some people as nuisance animals that roam the land.  Other people admire them.   But all people respect their pugnacious attitude they exhibit when they are challenged, for they are very territorial.  Hogs seem to have a knack for defending their home turf or walking in and taking possession of someone else’s.

Whether you meet them in a food plot, a cool hardwood river bottom or small open field, you have to give them the right-of-way when they walk on by, for if you don’t, get ready because it turns into a matter of root hog or die. They are a tenacious lot and will fight to the end.

I have personally seen hogs in a food plot, and their mentality is, “We are first at the trough."  The other animals don't really care for this, but there is very little they can do about it.  Hogs, when challenged at the trough, are more than happy to step back and explain to the challenger the pecking order when it comes to food.

In the summer, hogs tend to head to the shade of the river bottoms to stay cool for the summer and raise their young.  It’s not that hogs are hard to get along with; it’s their opinion that no substandard species of animal is going to come into their backyard and push them around.     Every once in a while some domesticated hogs will venture into the bottoms for a summer vacation.  At first they think their cousins are a little rough around the edges, but they are soon assimilated into the herd.

Feral hogs are, as the name implies, wild.  But there is one species of hogs that is feared the most.  Over the years, it has been known to leave the bottoms every fall and range into other animals' territory.  Of course, other animals tend to resist this annual pilgrimage but resign themselves its trip and eventually succumb to the hogs.

This species of hogs is unique for several reasons.  First, it tends to travel in a herd that numbers a hundred or more, each one a warrior by itself, but together stands like the Spartan Army.  Second, this species has tusks that are longer and have more girth than a normal tusk and knows how to use them.  Finally, the color of these feral hogs is probably their most unique feature; they're red.   These red hogs are also restricted to a particular geographic region; the state of Arkansas.

These hogs are known as the Arkansas Razorbacks. Every year, they meet other animals in a couple of small fields and defend their land.  They also free range and lay claim to other state’s small fields. It’s a natural way of life for them:  expanding their territory and subjugating other animals in the process.

So if you're visiting Arkansas in the summer and see a Razorback, just tip your hat and they’ll respond in kind.  And if you see a herd of them free ranging, be careful how you call them because those hogs have been known to come see what you want when someone hollers woooooo…Pig, Sowieeee…Razorbacks!

Naturally Yours,
Matt Stone
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