Hog Wild above Elkmont
I fished Saturday afternoon/evening above Elkmont. I was going to fish just a little ways up the trail, but there were a lot of other folks out after the rain, so I wound up hiking up to Cucumber Gap before getting into the stream. Past the first bridge and before the trail intersection I had an encounter that I was not really prepared for. As I was hiking, about 50 yards in front of me a large black Boar galloped out of the brush, across the trail and up the embankment toward Cucumber Gap. I had thought that they were nocturnal and fairly rare, so I never expected to see one in broad daylight scampering across a trail.
On average they grow to about 125lbs, but can reach 300 pounds. The sound that this one made and the size of him made me think he was over 200 pounds. I was too dumbfounded to snap a picture, plus he was motoring pretty quickly. I'm not sure what he was doing there, and I didn't want to stick around and find out.
After hiking a bit more (I wanted to make sure I didn't run into his cousin...), I finally started fishing. I only managed to bring two rainbows to hand, but they were both fat and colorful, and over 8". One came on a Yellow EHC w/ CDC and the other came on the "skunk buster" SMBBSH. The three times that I went to Elkmont this week, I managed to avoid getting skunked each time with the SMBBSH (Thanks Hugh!!)
There is some nice water that probably doesn't see all that many anglers, if you are willing to hike to it up there. There were lots of folks on the trail and in the stream down lower, but once I made up about 2 miles, I didn't see anyone else fishing. I had a few rises to a Yellow EHC and Yellow PA, but not any other hookups. I hope others did better. The evening hatches didn't seem as prolific as Thursday evening, either.
But it was an eventful afternoon and a great day to be on the water (I guess that's a pointless statement...any day out on a stream is a great day...)
Pretty fish...and now I have a hankering for cochon de lait...
Pigs on the Pigeon?
Last fall on the Pigeon I saw a patch of ground that looked like it had been turned, almost plowed. Reminded me of the hog lot when I was a kid. Wonder if wild hogs did that? Just in case I hiked a little faster everytime I fished that spot!
They can smell bacon on you, you know, and it triggers an attack! :biggrin:
just in the mountains. It's funny that you mentioned this. I live in Florida and have seen wild hogs on 2 different occasions in the past month here in Florida. The first sighting was a nice size boar that was in the median of I-75 rooting in broad daylight. He may have gone almost 200 lbs by his size. More recently yet I saw two pigs in the median of I-95 near Daytona as I was driving south.
I'm not sure, but wonder if this means there is a bumper "crop" of wild hogs of late...it certainly seems to be so.
Close...it means, roughly, "suckling pig" - hence the "lait" reference...cajun dish.
Originally Posted by ccmmcc
Hogs are everywhere; my dad always told me, down here on the gulf coast, that the farmers would turn their hogs loose in the woods in the fall, to let them graze on acorns and what not. Every year, they would miss one or two, and they would turn wild. They contributed to some of the damage of Katrina - they were uprooting the grass on levees in some areas, weakening them.
Barbara, that was probably the work of a boar. That's one of the many problems associated with the wild hog population in the park. The NPS has had a policy of total eradication for the hogs. I met a young Park Ranger from over on the TwentyMile side of the Park earlier this year, and he has been hired to hunt and kill as many hogs as he can find in the Park.
Originally Posted by Barbara
Here's some interesting info from the site "Wild Hogs of the Smoky Mtns":
The hog behavior of rooting while searching for food causes the most damage to the park. Many plant species, including ones that are rare or that take several years to flower, are eaten, trampled, or uprooted by the rototiller action of a foraging hog. Native animals are also victim to the wild hog through direct consumption, destruction of habitat, and competition. For example, red-cheeked salamanders, which are endemic to the park, are commonly found in hog stomachs.
Both wallowing and rooting contaminate streams, causing potential problems for the native brook trout. Hog occupied drainages have been found to have a higher concentration of coliform bacteria than unoccupied drainages. These bacteria contaminate water sources, which is a health consideration in heavily used recreational areas such as the park.
Sounds like they need to hire a bunch of professional hunters and trappers, and put a bounty on them, like they've done with nutria down here.
I walked up on one here in SwVa fishing on the Cedar Creek. I Popped over a little hill and there it was. My buddies thought I was smoking the good stuff. I took one of then down there in that same are to fish about a month later. I heard him squeal like a girl and there he was heading out in the creek and the hog on the bank. I just laughed, it didn't seem too mean. But didn't get too close.
If your ever out hunting any time of the year in TN, they are legal to shoot. The Pigs can grow and reproduce so fast, that they become such a problem.
TWRA will let you take as many as you want anytime of the year. Maybe some boars hare would make some good flies... Hmm.