Hog hype crosses the line

Wild hogs are potentially dangerous creatures.

They are unpredictable, large and yes they injure people every year.

However, the hype from a recent group of television programs focusing on feral hogs is way overdone.

One program recently featured a lady who had hogs coming up to her yard and the narrator said something like, “This woman has been held captive in her own home because of hogs.”

Really? Captive? Seriously?

If someone having hogs that come into their yard means they can never leave the house that would make hundreds of thousands of people in Texas captives.

wild boar

I have been on numerous television programs dealing with wildlife and fisheries and know the producers usually have no clue about the subject so they assume anything in the woods is dangerous. In addition, they believe the more hype they can produce the better the ratings.

And while there may be some truth to that, it would be nice if they approached the subject with a little more reality.

It is not as if feral hogs are bloodthirsty man-eaters waiting to pounce on every human they see. If that were true there would not be a deer hunter left in the state. We have all encountered hogs at one time or the other.

The recent hog television craze has people from other states focusing on Texas in a big way. That is good if they want to book hunts and contribute to our economy but some are misguided.

I have received e-mails from two Midwesterners that wanted to know where to go to “help trim the hog population in Texas.” They wanted to know if they had to pay to hunt or if they can just show up and start shooting hogs.

It was almost as if they think the animals are so commonly seen you can just walk into any set of woods and open fire. Reality of course is far different.

And so is the reality of the people who pursue hogs. Some of these programs try to portray everyone who hog hunts as a cross between Deliverance and Mad Max worst rejects.

It reminds me of when I did a program with a very prestigious organization for their television network. The producers came to my house for some interviews before we hit the field and saw a guitar in my office.

They also saw that I live next to a train track and wanted me to play the guitar on the porch with the track in the background.

I flatly told them, “No.”

They asked why which allowed me to articulate my point better.

“Because you will probably go back, computer in a confederate flag put in some hokey music and make a mockery. I don’t play my guitar on the porch and if I did I wouldn’t let you film it.”

The case was closed. I told that story to show how a lot of these things go down. I have had some wonderful television experiences but some were just goofy.

The things said on supposed reality television are sometimes scripted and very often edited way out of context. This way they can make ladies seem like they are “captives” in their home because of hogs hanging around and make hunters look like Elmer Fudd.

Wild hogs cause huge damage to wildlife habitat, agriculture, golf courses and just about anything else they touch there noses to but they are not the most aggressive creature on the planet.

Trust me, I know they are dangerous. I have had to flee up a tree after being charged by hogs on two occasions but at other times I have walked right by them in the woods and never got as much as a dirty look.

Enjoy the newfound hog reality craze if you so choose but do not believe everything you see, even if it is on television.

Chester Moore, Jr.

 

2 thoughts on “Hog hype crosses the line

  1. Patrick

    Great article Chester !

    Most of my in-laws live in Michigan and can’t believe I hunt in the swamps and thickets where the “man-eating” hogs live ! The skewed perception they get from the television shows really does show how editing and camera angle can be misleading.
    The sad truth of it is most folks watching those so called “reality” shows want to see the drama and stupidity portrayed by the “actors” .
    You and I live in a part of the country where feral hogs are common to the grounds we hunt. We also know the truth about how “vicious” they are. it is our responsibility to educate people about the truth 🙂

  2. Sheryl Quave

    Thank you for this post I find that TV hype does more harm than good in getting the word out about the damage that non native flora and fauna can pose , I cant help but admire the wild hog in some ways they are incredibly smart ! I wish that some one could come up with a form of birth control for them, my biggest fear is that some states will resort to poison and I don’t believe that is the answer , I believe that the feral hog is here to stay but possibly could be managed better if we break the breeding cycle , and for the record I was bitten by a wild sow one day when I was on my property I didn’t see the piglets until it was to late, the sow knocked me down and grabbed my thigh and shook me as soon as she saw the piglets run off she turned me loose and off she went ! I was hurt but she could have killed me , she was just doing what a mother does in her mind I was the aggressor! Believe me I am much more careful in the woods know and I also carry bear spray which will work on a wild hog!

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