Feral Hog Trapping in Suburban Setting

        Trapping feral hogs in a suburban setting requires some adjustments from normal feral hog trapping in rural areas.  Principal differences in suburban areas are small properties, restricted accessibility, and cost aspects.  Most residents think it should be the responsibility of the governing body to take care of the problem and resist spending money for what may be a once in a (great) while experience, but a costly one when it occurs.  Professional trappers need to be compensated for time, effort and equipment.  This can be expensive on a per hog basis since most suburban hog issues usually occur in small numbers, but the time and effort is considerable.  Purchasing a trap and then operating it is costly, as well.  If municipalities or homeowners’ associations do not want to engage in or contract for trapping services, they can acquire the traps and lease them to residents at a nominal rate.  When the residents lease the trap, they would sign a wavier of liability for the provider.  In addition to showing the residents how to set the trap, the provider would also provide a list of people willing to pick up the hogs and any special requirements and fees associated with the process.

        One can gain much from the Guide to Trapping - Improved Traps, Techniques, and Environment, with some of the following considerations.  Traps normally should be the smaller box traps (either 4’ x 8’ or 6’ x 8’), but the entry doors need to remain large and most importantly include the exit or load out door unless the traps have a solid bottom.  They should be lightweight so they can be transported easier and may include bottoms for safety and security reasons.  Using 1¼ inch 14 gauge square tubing can do much to reduce weight while maintaining strength.  Many residents would not feel it is a hog trap unless it has a bottom, but panel wire used should be 6” x 6” or larger, which is not as difficult to cover, if necessary.  Bottoms may even include solid wooden (plywood) floors with some leaves and soil thrown on the bottom, since some residents do not want rooting in the yards.  These traps can be winched onto a trailer frame.  Users should understand that traps with floors might not be as effective as those without floors.  Remember Rule No. 3:  It is not always about the hogs trapped but sometimes about those that you could have and should have trapped.  In most cases the traps would need to be staked or tied down to prevent the hogs from turning over the traps, but that should not pose a great issue.

        The provider may also have small trailers to move the traps to the place and even onto the trapping site.  Many residents are capable of moving and setting the traps and monitoring activity, but the issue arises what to do with the hogs when trapped.  From a cost perspective the most expensive part of urban trapping is getting, setting and monitoring.  Professional trappers need to be paid for this part, but in suburban areas, many residents can do these very well.  While some may know how to proceed with the hogs, most would rather have someone just come take them.  The provider would compile the list by advertising.

        People extracting the hogs should follow suit with small, sturdy trailers that can be wheeled into backyards and other restricted space.  Trailers with floors that drop to the ground are best and easiest in which to load the hogs, but small ramps can be used.  Traps with solid bottoms can be winched onto trailers.  Both the trailers that transport the traps and pick up the hogs might resemble small circus carts that are sturdy in design.  City hogs are just as strong and mean as rural hogs.  People picking up the hogs can deal with them, as appropriate.  There may be a fee associated with this task, especially for smaller hogs, but the cost should be nominal compared to the full price.