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·         Think 30-50 feral hogs is a joke? Millions more are rampaging across the U.S.

… There are now 6 million of them in at least 39 states, and they are “rapidly expanding,” according to the Agriculture Department. They move in large groups called sounders. One instance in Ohio met McNabb’s threshold — 30 caught in a single trap…

 

·         30 to 50 feral hogs, explained

Feral hogs, 30-50 or otherwise, are a serious problem for agriculture and human morality.

 

 

Think 30-50 feral hogs is a joke? Millions more are rampaging across the U.S.

 

By Alex Horton, The Washington Post

August 6, 2019

 

Feral hogs — resilient in the face of helicopter assaults, threats of mass poisoning and elaborate traps — have stumbled into the national debate over the availability of assault-style rifles.

 

The pigs will win, of course. They always have. But more on that in a second.

 

How, exactly, did we get to a nationwide discussion and meme explosion about feral hogs and the oddly specific range of 30 to 50 of them?

 

On Sunday, in the wake of two mass shootings, musician Jason Isbell questioned the necessity of ordinary Americans to own an “assault weapon,” touching on the pedantic and intricate ways gun-rights advocates define their wares.

 

“Legit question for rural Americans,” responded William McNabb, a Twitter user whose bio says he lives in southern Arkansas. “How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?”

 

McNabb’s response, and his back-and-forth with Isbell, paralyzed social media with countless memes that poked fun at the idea of semiautomatic rifles as a vital tool in wild pig home defense. An 8-bit game was quickly developed. Even “Simpsons” writer Bill Oakley created a mock episode script title “Bart Gets 30-50 Feral Hogs.”

 

Yet, millions of marauding wild pigs have invaded large swaths of the southern United States, eviscerating crops, gobbling up endangered sea turtles and trampling archaeological sites in a rampage showing no signs of letting up.

 

There are now 6 million of them in at least 39 states, and they are “rapidly expanding,” according to the Agriculture Department. They move in large groups called sounders. One instance in Ohio met McNabb’s threshold — 30 caught in a single trap.

 

Feral hogs are invasive species that were brought to North America from Europe by Spanish conquistadors, and ever since, they have multiplied across the country. Hogs use their snouts to dig through soil, leaving fields scarred and crops flattened. But they also kill livestock and reptiles.

 

The cost: $1.5 billion a year in damage and control spending, the USDA said in 2014.

 

That has led to cottage industries of groups that exterminate the animals in all kinds of ways — including with firearms, though the hogs’ thick hides can help shield them from rounds fired from many AR-15-style rifles.

 

So is McNabb so off the mark? It is tough to know. He could not be reached for comment, but in tweets defending his original message, he said hogs have been a persistent issue at home in Arkansas.

 

They’re a “threat” to the state, says Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, leaving a trail of diseases and parasites. Feral hogs are considered a public nuisance in the state, not regulated wildlife, so private landowners can hunt or trap them at will.

 

A state task force assembled to combat the problem agreed trapping them is the most effective strategy, he said, although pigs are clever and known to evade traps. And for the record, the state is seeing sounders of 20 or less, but “there’s not a typical group size,” Stephens said.

 

Another problem: Hogs are built to last. They produce large litters that replace pigs killed en masse and use their stout tusks to defend themselves against cougars. “Hogs are tough, fierce, and hardy beasts,” Duke University professor Gabriel Rosenberg wrote, and are helped by a general lack of natural predators and the ability to withstand different climates.

 

That leaves game officials, farmers and private industry to contend with the expanding pig crisis. Texas produced a uniquely Texan solution: Shoot them from low-flying helicopters. Sport hunters there can legally rent a helicopter jump seat and shoot fleeing hogs...

 

more, including links

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2019/08/06/think-feral-hogs-is-joke-millions-more-are-rampaging-across-us/

 

 

30 to 50 feral hogs, explained

Feral hogs, 30-50 or otherwise, are a serious problem for agriculture and human morality.

 

By Dylan Matthews, VOX

Aug 6, 2019

 

It all began with a simple question to alt-country singer-songwriter Jason Isbell from William McNabb, an Arkansas resident who describes himself on his Twitter page as “Husband / Father / Christian / Libertarian / WCU [West Carolina University] Alum / & Fan of Pearl Jam & Red Sox”:

 

    Jason Isbell

    @JasonIsbell

    Aug 4, 2019

 

    If you’re on here arguing the definition of “assault weapon” today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one.

 

    William McNabb

    @WillieMcNabb

   

Legit question for rural Americans - How do I kill the 30-50 feral hogs that run into my yard within 3-5 mins while my small kids play?

    Aug 4, 2019

 

Isbell had, like many celebrities, expressed support for gun control (specifically a ban on assault weapons) in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings.

 

So McNabb attempted to rebut him by naming a legitimate reason to own AR-15s and other advanced semiautomatic rifles: mowing down the feral hogs that menace him and his young children.

 

Unfortunately for McNabb, the mental image of a violent army of pigs facing off against one AR-15-wielding hero quickly got the better of Twitter...

 

more

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/8/6/20756162/30-to-50-feral-hogs-meme-assault-weapons-guns-kids