Commonwealth Journal

Features

January 5, 2012

Hog Wild

Feral pigs increasing in number in western Pulaski County

Nancy — Numbers of wild hogs are increasing in Kentucky and the untamed porkers have been aggravating farmers in the western part of Pulaski County for the past four or five years.

“I saw six last Sunday morning,” said Eugene Harness, speaking from Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital where he was recovering from surgery resulting from a fall at his barn on New Year’s Eve.

Harness, a cattle farmer who lives on Carter Ridge Road, has been dealing with wild hogs for a considerable time. He trapped four wild hogs last spring, and, under supervision of a conservation officer, killed and cleaned the animals.

“You’re not allowed to turn them loose,” said Harness. “You have to kill them ... Kentucky Fish and Wildlife doesn’t want them. We don’t want them. They are very destructive.”

“I’ve still got the trap, but it doesn’t work anymore,” said Harness, who was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon. “Wild hogs get smart pretty quickly,” he remarked. Corn was used as bait to trap the four wild hogs last spring and two of the hogs caught weighed about 150 pounds each.

“Wild hogs mostly stay out at night,” said Harness whose farm is off Ky. 837 near the Casey County line. He said a motion activated Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources camera, attached to a tree about 100 yards from his house, photographed on the night of November 8 a wild hog estimated to weigh about 450 pounds.

Frankie Jasper, also a resident of Carter Ridge Road, knows firsthand how much damage wild hogs can do. “Year before last I got 18 loads of corn off a 28-acre patch. This past year I got some boys with “bay dogs” to run the hogs off and I got 37 loads from the same field,” Jasper noted.

“If dogs chase ‘em out, they will stay away for awhile,” Jasper noted. “If you could see the hogs, you could shoot ’em, but they roam at night. I never saw one after 9 o’clock in the morning.”

“Hogs don’t sweat ... they move at night because it’s cooler,” added Harness.

The season on wild hogs is always open. The pigs can be killed year-round, except shooting is prohibited at night because of dangers of gun-related accidents, among other reasons, including poaching.

Jasper said five wild hogs have been killed on his dad’s farm “ ... and Joby Gossett killed five at Cains Store near the old Caintown Post Office.

“They are all over these ridges ... Green River Knob, Turkey Creek and House Fork Creek,” said Jasper.

Dave Baker, editor of Kentucky Afield, a Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources magazine, and Chad Soard, wildlife biologist for the department, said during an interview last year that wild hogs are a problem in many counties in Kentucky, particularly in the western part of the state.

“It’s open season on them,” said Baker. “We want to get rid of them. They mess up habitat for both deer and turkeys.

Soard, during a conversation Wednesday, suggested wild hogs often are transported illegally into an area for hunting. He said an open or year-round season on the animals gives hunters something to hunt when other seasons are closed.

“Pig hunting as a sport has really taken off,” Soard said. “In Kentucky, we’re not going to promote it as a recreational opportunity.”

“Some wild hogs look differently from a domestic hog, and some look the same,” Soard said. “They come in any color or body shape. Once a pig is out of a pen it becomes a wild hog.”

Originally, there are three different kinds –– a true domestic pig; a feral pig which is a domestic pig gone wild; and the Eurasian boar, imported from Europe and Asia, is a true wild boar, Soard said. Now, the different breeds  have interbred into a hybrid.

Are wild hogs dangerous? “They can be. They deserve respect,” cautioned Soard.

Wild pigs have been in this part of Kentucky for a long time. Soard said an early survey done in 1991 found wild boars in Wayne and McCreary counties.

“It’s a local problem ... if wild hogs are present, it’s a problem for farmers,” Soard said. “The wild hogs also compete with more desirable animals for food. “They are like a vacuum cleaner in the forest, eating mast in the fall that would be food for squirrels, deer and turkeys.

 

1
Text Only
Features
  • Cory Paints.jpg Autistic man expresses himself through art

    Take a walk down the main hallway of the Stoner Building on the campus of Somerset Community College starting in April, and you might think you’re surrounded by a gorgeous array of storyboards for Disney Pixar films: Brightly colored animals romping about in lavish jungle scenes, the kind of thing likely to bring a smile to any child’s face.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOWNTOWN FOTO.jpg Memories of how things used to be in 1960s Somerset

    An old photograph of shoppers in downtown Somerset revived sweet memories of how things used to be. Best we can tell by car models, the photograph was made about 1962.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Briston and mom Becca.jpg American Idol hopeful has local connection

    If you’ve been following the journey of this year’s crop of “American Idol” contestants, you’re probably familiar with the name Briston Maroney.
    But did you know that the talented young vocalist has a local connection?
    A resident of Knoxville, Tenn., Maroney was featured in the Salt Lake City, Utah, auditions, which aired on January 29.

    February 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lucas 3.jpg Northern Middle student gets to perform with country star Brad Paisley

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski seniors remember blistering cold temperatures in 60s

    Senior citizens around here don’t get as excited about the current cold snap as do youthful meteorologists who give forecasts on television.
    The temperature dropped to 4 below zero early Tuesday morning but this is really small potatoes compared to the 28 below on January 24, 1963, or 32 below on January 19, 1994.
    Charlene Cundiff well remembers that cold January morning in 1963.

    January 7, 2014

  • 1481856_676865655666965_1727818411_n.jpg Beach Buckets to host Platters singer Friday

    December 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • transplant.ht.jpg Local woman donates kidney to member of her church

    This Christmas has a very special meaning to one local woman who received the gift of life itself from the most unlikely of places.

    December 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • Peppermint Pole Suspension.jpg Center’s ‘Spirit of Giving’ event on Dec

    November 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • KENNEDY NEWSPAPER foto .tif JFK assassination remembered

    Pulaski countians are joining millions today as they pause to remember one of the blackest moments in this nation’s history. This is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States.

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • Northern Middle Reality Tour 1.jpg Northern Middle students get a reality check on life

    It’s hard enough for adults to learn the ins and outs of car payments, mortgages, bills, health care costs, and child care expenses.
    So imagine how difficult juggling the necessities of everyday life looks to 12- and 13-year-olds.
    “I won’t be able to do a whole lot that I wanted to do,” said student Rachel Blevins, 12, during Northern Middle School’s popular “Reality Town” program. “I learned I will have to spend my money wisely.”
    Blevins and the rest of Northern Middle School’s 7th grade population on Wednesday underwent a reality check of sorts, thanks to a program that has been offered to the students for 15 years now.
    “We’re just giving them a dose of reality,” said Kathy Sampson, youth services center coordinator with Northern Middle.
    When the students step foot into the school gym, they leave middle school and enter a very adult-looking world of banks, car payments, child care, health care costs, unexpected expenses, mortgages, groceries and utility bills, and even “Uncle Sam” himself — think taxes, taxes, and more taxes.
     

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

News Live
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks