Exclusion Fencing for Feral Hogs Around Wildlife Feeders

Exclusion Fencing for Feral Hogs Around Wildlife Feeders

You know in Texas, we supplement our white
tailed deer with some 300 million pounds of shelled corn annually. Now most of that corn is run through feeders
as a form of bait during hunting season, but it can also serve as an energy source during
the winter months. But unfortunately, a good bit of that 300
million pounds of shelled corn is going to non-target species such as raccoons and wild
pigs. The problem with wild pigs having access to
that bait is that we're probably making our wild pig problem worse due to the supplementation
of corn. Sows become in better physiological condition,
which means they produce more eggs, have larger litters, and more of those pigs in those litters
survive as a result of access to supplementation. Additionally, white tailed deer don't want
to be around wild pigs, and if you have a deer herd that's around a feeder feeding or
around a food plot feeding, and you have wild pigs show up, the deer leave because behaviorally
they just don't want to associate with wild pigs. So we have the issue of producing more pigs,
we have the issue of wild pigs consuming a foodstuff that's meant for another species
so we have the economic loss associated with that, and then we have the behavioral issue
of deer not wanting to associate with wild pigs, and the white tailed deer hunting industry
in the state of Texas is a two billion dollar plus industry so there's a number of reasons
on a number of fronts of why we would like to exclude pig access to supplementation meant
for white tailed deer. In 2009 on the Welder Wildlife Foundation,
we conducted a study to determine if we could successfully limit wild pig access to supplemental
feeders feeding shelled corn, but at the same time not significantly reduce deer access
to those same feeders. So in July and October of 2009, we put up
feeders, we filmed with remote-sensing cameras all species visits and calculated a visitation
rate by all species, and then following a period of time, we then erected the excluders
around each feeder. Now each excluder consisted of 6 panels, 16
feet long, with 12 T-posts. This gives you a circular excluder of about
29 or 30 feet in diameter. This is about the minimum size I'd erect because
you want to have the opportunity for multiple deer to enter the excluder and feed at the
same time. So if you wanted to make it 8 or 10 panels
in perimeter that would be better, 6 panels, this would be about the minimum size. Plus on most spin feeders, it will capture
about 95% of the shelled corn given at any feeding. We put our excluders up at three different
heights; this happens to be 34 inch, this is the height of a standard swine panel with
a small graduated mesh at the bottom coming up. We also split some 60 inch panels and made
28 inch high panels so we had 34, 28, and then we had 20 inch high panels. So among those three heights we wanted to
determine if we could successfully exclude pigs from those feeding areas. What we found is that large pigs could actually
breach the 20 inch high panels. They could climb over the panels and access
the feed. However, we had no breaches occur at either
a 28 inch height or a 34 inch height, the height of the standard swine panel. And more importantly, we did not significantly
reduce deer access to those feeders. With the cost being about equal to erect a
34 inch or a 28 inch high excluder, what we now recommend is the use of 34 inch swine
panels and 12 T-posts as a minimum. It'll cost about $175 per feeder location
to erect this if you go with the minimum of 6 panels. However, just in feed consumption alone, where
you have intense interaction between deer and wild pigs in competition for that food
source, they could easily pay for themselves in 1-2 hunting seasons. Now some subsequent research from Texas A&M-Kingsville
that was conducted indicated that if you have excluder heights above 33 inches, it can limit
fawn access. So what we've done is we've removed this top
mesh down, dropped it from 34 inches down to 28 inches, and cut about a 4-foot wide
notch, and if you'll place several of these around the perimeter of your feeder excluder,
what we've done is we've enhanced fawn access and dropped the height to 28 inches. We still had no wild pig breaches occur at
the 28 inch height, so if you're concerned about fawn access, you can cut several of
these notches around the perimeter, continue to exclude wild pigs from having access to
that supplement, but enhance the fawn access and not impact your adult deer access at all. So this is a really good way to limit wild
pig access to your supplement for all those reasons I mentioned, and as a result we're
on a campaign to have hunters across the state of Texas to fence their feeders, if they have
habitat that wild pigs and wild tailed deer share.

10 Replies to “Exclusion Fencing for Feral Hogs Around Wildlife Feeders”

  1. We at THE FEED SAVER company have erected hog panels for several years now, and I have designed a inner liner that you put into your 55gal. Drum so all your feeds even proteins controlled with a timer are completely dry. (Molds, mildew, or any contamination never occurred) NO MORE CLOGGING. Check out the videos. The protein in the video is five months old the battery failed, the protein is still wonderful and ready to go. That is great for animals and the hunter. We are growing some beautiful deer coats and antlers, y's drops' and kickers with great weight size too.

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