SLO is quick to kill wild pigs

April 5, 2010

Residents and tourists alike are enjoying Johnson Ranch, the one-year-old open space park tucked away at the intersection of S. Higuera and Ontario Road in San Luis Obispo. However, city officials are stymied by what to do about the wild pigs who apparently threaten both hikers and steelhead trout. [Tribune]

Dozens of wild pigs are roaming the property–mostly at night–and are tearing up the hillsides and muddying the creek where federally-protected steelhead trout struggle to thrive.

One woman hiker recently had a far-too-close encounter with a wild pig on the trail, but her dogs chased the animal away.

Park rangers have a permit from the state allowing them to trap and kill the animals–a single bullet to the head after the pig (or piglets) is captured in a steel cage is standard protocol.

The city then either buries the carcasses on the property, or donates them to a local charity.

“We don’t really see any alternative,” said Neil Havlik, the city’s natural resources manager.


14 Comments

  1. cheseburger says:

    Even Cindy, says” It’s been made clear that wild bore can be extremely dangerous,”
    Just a note of caution to all the want to be wild bore hunters, this is no joke, know your weapon and your back up well and trust them both, (side arm and partner), or don’t go. Maybe you didn’t hear about the novice pig hunter getting shot by his partner in the leg while being chewed on by an 800lb bore,(north of Paso), this is not varmint shooting on grandpa’s porch, this is dangerous and falls right up there with bear hunting. Now go blast em but, be thankful they don’t have guns to shoot back with, (would kinda take the thrill out of it, huh?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. bluemule says:

    Those interested in the history of California’s feral pigs might enjoy the article behind this link:

    http://www.ventanawild.org/news/se02/pigs.html

    Tough and fecund critters, those pigs, and I think they’re here to stay. Still, it might be nice to see weekly pig roasts to feed the needy there at the group picnic area at Laguna Lake Park.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. Spectator says:

    Kill em and grill em. Let a bow hunt and barbecue result, with an entry fee and profits to fish and game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    • willie says:

      ANYONE Interested in a Bow Hunting Course / Bow Licensing Class, should contact Ron McCutcheon (SLO Sportsman Association) at 234-7873.

      I took it last year for $10, its an all day class and field course located at the pistol range on highway 1.
      I learned a lot, the instructors are very experienced/ experts.

      I heard they are having a class this month. Its worth it!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • willie says:

      Regarding the SLOSA Bow Hunting/ License Course.
      If you are interested, bring your whole family and your kids and their friends
      It is worth it!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  4. Paperboys says:

    This was on Congalton Monday and every one of the callers said there is no way to trap and kill the pigs to control their populations. They have to be hunted down and shot in a massive strike or they will just repopulate within a few months and grow exponentially. And they need to be hunted repeatedly to keep the populations down.
    Wild pigs are a true danger, more so than coyotes, black bears OR pumas. You can scare a puma off but a wild pig has no fear and will attack, sometimes with no provocation at all.
    Even wild pigs in Africa can scare off a lion when they turn tables and defend themselves. THAT is toughness defined.
    Poor San Luis, there is just no winning this one. If they agree to hunt down the pigs, some people will complain. If they close the ranch even more people will complain, and with a $1-million-plus deficit, they can’t keep spending thousands of dollars to try and do the impossible, control the wild pig populations by trapping them one at a time.
    I say let the hunters have at ‘em and then throw luaus in Mission Plaza to benefit charity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  5. Vagabond says:

    There is no such thing as a “wild” pig.
    They are all feral pigs, and they are incredibly destructive, large ones can be dangerous.
    Hunt them down and eat them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  6. zaphod says:

    MMMMM…BACON ! alder smoked wild pork, the other white meat..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  7. racket says:

    Cindy —

    I hear what you are saying, and kind of agree.

    Or else I think that “the ranch” has a long history of controlling pigs, like the hopefully do for yellow starthistle, ground squirrels, coyotes, and whatever else. The controls have only become an issue now that the public is on site and concerned about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  8. Cindy says:

    This is about getting rid of the pigs so the hikers don’t have to avoid them. I’ve run across wild pigs here and also on Catalina Island. They ran away with their little piglets trailing behind. I seriously doubt they are the problem that Havlik claims they are. They have been here over a 100 years and suddenly within a year of the ranch becoming a public venue the pigs are a threat to the steelhead trout. What a crock IMO. Leave the pigs alone.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 23

    • asthecrowphlies says:

      cindy you are my all time hands down favorite poster to these threads but this time i have to disagree with you . at the Catalina island Conservancy site they stated that wild pigs were no longer found on
      Catalina island . i read the official eradication report and talked to someone at the visitors center , the wild pigs were a danger to people and were destroying the native flora and fauna in very major ways .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • Cindy says:

        Thanks asthecrowphlies, I guess you prefer to check on the latest stories here and read all our blog rants rather than share your opinions, as I rarely see you weigh in here. Yes apparently the pigs were eradicated from Catalina Island and after reading the very interesting site that bluemule recommended, I surmise that the endeavor was only successful because of the confining characteristics that the island afforded the conservancy. I received several private e-mails today remarking on my inaccurate ASSumptions and misinformation about wild bore, sows with piglets and the danger of arousing their aggressions. . It’s been made clear that wild bore can be extremely dangerous. I have to wonder if they have become accustomed to human’s occupying space in close vicinity to them? I have encountered wild pigs in the past and never felt threatened. They either ran away or showed no interest. I’m aware that they root and cause damage however again I have to wonder just how great of an environmental hazard they really are. Certainly when confined to an island the damage could be considerable but I’m not convinced that they are more destructive in an unrestricted environment than that of black bears or deer that tear significant bark from trees for needed sustenance and consume young seedlings of various sorts. Apart from the fact that they have a reputation for aggression I’m not so sure that we are giving them a fair evaluation. I know that stanch environmentalist make the argument that wild pigs are not native and therefore they are a “bad thing”. They have been here 100 years already, where is all the damage? I’m prone to live and let live when ever possible, I’m also willing to make room and give them some space they seem to keep to themselves, unlike the rude native deer that plunder my gardens. ;)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

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