Did you know that Down Home Ranch has a “Feral Hog Task Force?” This hog-trapping unit of 11 Ranchers was formed two years ago, under the direction of DHR President, Craig Russell. The group was established after a Rancher proposed the idea to Craig after being inspired by a feature story on the local news. There was an existing trap on the property, so Craig turned this Rancher’s dream into a reality.
The Feral Hog Task Force hits the DHR trails on their fleet of Rangers for weekly trap maintenance. The group’s responsibilities include testing the battery of the feeder, checking the cameras, filling the feeder with corn and trimming the grass in and around the trap. Not only is the class teaching the Ranchers about hog behavior, tracking and identification, they are also learning useful life skills.
Once trap maintenance is complete, the Task Force visits Craig’s office to review camera footage for signs of wildlife. The Ranchers study the footage and print still images of the wildlife seen investigating the trap. Recently, trapping has been a challenge and very unpredictable. Footage has shown hogs in the trap. Unfortunately, the rainy Spring season has prevented the team from setting the trap many days. In addition, pesky raccoons and hungry deer have been spotted snacking on the feed. In the past, two hogs have been trapped and were removed from the property by a neighbor. The DHR Feral Hog Task Force will not give up and is confident that they will trap again soon!
This weekly activity is highly anticipated by the DHR Feral Hog Task Force members. When asked what he enjoys most about leading the group, Craig expresses, “I see the passion from the Ranchers and that’s what is fulfilling to me. I’m happy to take an hour out of my week to help the Ranchers do something they love.”