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  #11  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:53 PM
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NDuncan NDuncan is offline
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Originally Posted by duckypaddler View Post
What would you suggest as a solution for pigs in the park? They hunt them, and while I agree with many of your points I don't see any easy solutions. I'm sure the park service would be thrilled if there were no pigs in the park
Release the swine flu?
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2013, 08:29 PM
Don Kirk Don Kirk is offline
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Default porker problems...

I got involve with the NPS on pigs back in the early 1970s when Dr. Susan Braxton was compiling early data on these exotics. She told me then at you could never find a more perfect habitat for Eurasian wild pigs that the Southern Appalachian Mountains, and particularly the GSMNP. She’s been gone from park since the mid-1980s, but it was her research that determined that best way to curb pig numbers in the GSMNP was to understand on what, and where these animals fed at various times of the year.
It did not get a lot of publicity, but the NPS hired a bunch of professional hunter who were allowed roam throughout the park at night shooting the droppings out of as many porkers as they could find. Using Braxton’s meticulous research they coordinated annual hard and soft mast production to go right in a night and shoot them up. Insofar as I see a lot lest rooting damage these days as during the 1980s, I tend to think the shooting may still be going on.
Wild hogs are extremely difficult to manage. When food is plentiful the pigs will raise large liters as often as two to three times a year. When hardwood mast failures occur, pig numbers naturally drop. The bear hunters I talked to this fall were upset that that the hardwood mast crop in the GSMNP was so terrific that the usual number of bears in the park that venture out to pillage did not do that this year as they normally do. I would suspect the pigs are currently in a prolific mode.
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  #13  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:08 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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duckypaddler,

I'm not saying I have the perfect solution to the "hog" problem in the park, but simply stated, if the pigs, wild boars, and otters were treated like the wolves were out west back decades ago, up until the sixties, they wouldn't even exist in our vocabulary..

As for the damage the hogs do, not all of it can be seen with human eyes. A lot of the streams in the park are very polluted and the water unsafe to drink or use, without taking measures to purify and filter it. That's okay for humans, but what about the fish and other inhabitants of the streams. I don't know how it affects them, maybe nothing at all. I am not a biologist and I don't play one on TV.

Sure, there are professional hunters who go after them, but how many "hogs" are there and how many hunters are there and how many areas are there for the pigs to go to. They are invasives that can and will kill you if they have the opportunity. They do no good in the park ecosystem and everything they do, is destructive to it. They don't belong there.
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  #14  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:27 PM
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Don KIrk,

Your fact based post makes a lot of sense and is encouraging. I saw a report a while back that stated the park service for GSMNP has a cull quota (number) for the hogs which seemed small to me but I can't remember the actual number so I won't misstate it. Have you heard of anything like that?

If the park wanted to raise some funds for improvements, they could sponsor and hold the first bi-annual GSMNP Hog Roast and Barbecue weekend, charge a profit making fee for participation and solve a major problem at the same time. Just kidding!
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  #15  
Old 02-12-2013, 09:53 PM
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That's just what the park needs... More fees
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2013, 12:39 AM
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That's just what the park needs... More fees
I only suggested fees to eat so as to cover the expense of the hog roast, not fees for a normal function such as back country campsites, etc. If you went anywhere else to such an event, you'd pay to get in to eat and either you would or you wouldn't. Same here. Besides, I said I was only kidding. No way NPS could even do this without hiring a very large outside contractor and I doubt if it would even be remotely interested.
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2013, 01:17 AM
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Any program to extirpate the hogs from the park would automatically require the same program for the entirety of the states that have a hog problem and common borders with NC and TN. You might as well say, everywhere east of the Mississippi and it won't happen because the people of this country don't solve problems anymore, they just gripe about them till they get tired of griping and learn to live with them or ignore them as much as possible.
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