Canadian wild hogs near American border

by | Jun 3, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Feral hogs are not just a problem in our Southern states. We have been monitoring an increasing problem with feral hogs in Canada as well. These pose a threat to our northern states as well.

Canada has been using a monitoring their feral pigs with a tag and track system to keep track of their wild hog population in the prairie provinces. These hogs, called “super pigs” are within 50 miles of our borders, and officials in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Montana are taking heed. While they have not seen any problems thus far, they would prefer to keep it that way.

Dr. Ryan Brook is a professor in the agriculture and bio-resources department at the University of Saskatchewan and is heading up the tracking project. They have been receiving a lot of assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA is invested in keeping these problems off of our northern borders. He talks about the monitoring system and what they have discovered so far.

Many parts of the southern U.S. had a wild boar infestation for many years. However, these typically smaller animals originated from Spanish pigs and tend to prefer a warmer, moderated climate. The Canadian hybrid originated from domestic stock mixed with much larger Eurasian wild boar, which can often reach mature weights of 4-to-500 pounds. Just recently, a pregnant sow was captured that weighed nearly 650 pounds. These animals have adapted well to very cold temperatures due to their size, and they can have more litter, like domestic pigs.

Dr. Brook says his team has been using helicopters and net cannons to capture and collar the wild hogs so their herds can be tracked. Dr. Brook believes the best way to eradicate the roaming herds is with large, portable panel traps so that groups of hogs can be caught during the night using food bait.

The Canadians have implemented an open-hunting season on the wild hogs, just like we are seeing in southern states. Dr. Brook says their traps have been more effective, though, because hunting is causing the hogs to disperse and become harder to find.