pigs in sandiego county

I live up at the north end of Mesa Grande above lake Henshaw, one of my neighbors saw two standing in my driveway last summer, I personally have not seen one or any sign of them but more than one of my neighbors have seen them. The Union tribune ran a story a few months back that said the feds are looking into putting together an eradication program as they are concerned about habitat destruction and species displacement.
Definitely growing in the county. My dogs had a nice one on Monday but could not stop it at all. It must have been fairly large. A few more years and we should have a good population.
Good is a relative term, pretty sure that we as stewards of the land we mutually own as citizens don't want them in our backyards. yes I like shoot and eat them (sausage of many sorts) but I've also seen how they can change a habitat, If you like to hunt deer you don't want pigs.
Aflip side to that though is they do a great job on helping the soil take in and retain water from the rain. Most of the rain water that we get doesn't alway get absorbed into the soil so some of the major rooting I have seen shows great potential for new growth which can benefit other wildlife. IMHO I think the hogs will help with oak production but I have seen what they can do to turkey meats and fawns so some of our native animals have been impacted by the hogs.
I think because San Diego County has become a non agriculture county, the hog population will not flourish like we have all seen in other counties and states. The food source is limited by our rainfall (one of the reasons the population has taken so long to get where it is today).

Fred speaks the truth, but I am not sure folks will see housing, casinos and pavement before pigs start hanging out in driveways.
I have to disagree, we have many orchards and vineyards where the hogs have almost taken over. Even with our low rainfall we have many major water sources. If you got to places in New Mexico and west Texas where it's pretty much barren desert, there are many hogs thriving in those areas. Looking at what San Diego has to offer these hogs, they will thrive well. Our local hogs seem to congregate more towards cattle operations, avocado and citrus orchards, and river system.
I agree with you but you are talking about a very minute scale of food source when you compare to let's say Monterey County. We also house the largest population of cougars which will wreak havoc on areas densely populated with pigs. I am not saying that the population isn't growing or wont continue to grow. I am saying that the habitat is limited regarding a pig explosion. If our economy ever changes, you will see less orchards etc. and more land sell-off's.

We have had pigs in this county for some time now - and we are still not encountering population challenges.

(good debate Matagi - when are you gonna' take me hunting ;))

Time will tell...
Yes the predation from the lions and coyotes are prevalent. As a matter of fact many cougars will choose to hunt down piglets over deer in many places up north. We have had hogs here as early as the mid 90's but the two releases really helped with spreading the herd across the county. I think the one thing the hogs got going is they are hardy and will continue to thrive weather we have wet months or dry months. As a example this year has been some what dry and so the last few months I have seen hogs eat quite a bit of tule roots and water grass. Last year during some of our down pours I saw most of the hogs foraging on wild oat and mast. Same months just different weather years. I guess time will only tell how they do but I think they are well established now.

I'm out twice a week now so I should be good for any weekend you have available!
IMHO the cover in the D16 is killer habitat for pigs. A lot of the chaparral is a bit too dry, but when you are above 3,500' its ample.

We have them here in Descanso now. I took these pictures in my neighbor's yard about 3 weeks ago. The pigs tore up a 1/2 acre patch in 5 days (or should I say nights). That's the problem with hunting them, they are totally nocturnal and the DFG won't allow you to hunt them at night. ???


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Neat pictures in Descanso. I'm in the d16/a22 area a lot. I havent seen any pigs or sign since August, but I haven't been out looking too hard either. My focus is deer. I have noticed a sharp increase in hunters and trucks in the usual spots. I spoke with my road crew buddy last week and he says just about ever truck stops and asks them where the pigs are. My experience is the pigs move around all the time with pressure. I guess the more hunters try and find them the more the population spreads.
Matagi said:
Aflip side to that though is they do a great job on helping the soil take in and retain water from the rain. Most of the rain water that we get doesn't alway get absorbed into the soil so some of the major rooting I have seen shows great potential for new growth which can benefit other wildlife. IMHO I think the hogs will help with oak production but I have seen what they can do to turkey meats and fawns so some of our native animals have been impacted by the hogs.

Alright, I'm jumping in. Matagi, you seem well versed in the area of feral hogs but from my perspective they will do anything BUT help out new growth and benefit our native wildlife. I lived in central and northern California for several years and in that time I hunted wild hogs and spent A LOT of time on friends ranches that had wild pigs on them...and the pigs did absolutely nothing for the local flora or fauna.

I have also raised pigs for several years. While domestic pigs are not nearly as voracious as their wild cousins they have one thing in common; they love fresh sprouts and acorns. Feral hogs will root in and around oak groves (view the pictures above for evidence) and will eat any young oak tree sprout before it even has a chance to cast a shadow. They love sprouts because they're soft and palatable. Hence why they root around; to get to the good stuff!

Deer, elk, turkey, bears (for the most part) tend to eat things above the soil, not below it, and therefor are able to sustain themselves effectively. If given the chance, pigs will eat themselves out of house and home. They are fast breeders (3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days for gestation) and will devastate an area until there's nothing left, and move on.

Now, with that being said, I LOVE killing hogs. They're fun to hunt, tasty, and good practice for deer or other game. And while I like the idea of having pigs in my own backyard, I'm afraid they'll be a bigger detriment, not benefit, to our local game. Just my opinion.
No argument over the affects the hogs will have on native animals. Forgive me but I'm going off of memory and conversations with friends at the DFG so I don't have actual written proof to cite my experiences and opinions but not too long ago a study was conducted in central cal where a number of biologists studied the affects of oak tree production in feral hog country. From my memory the study showed increase number in tree growth from pig rooting in areas where acorn production was high. The study cited the reason was because of increase in fertil acorns due to the hogs burying the mast deeper into the ground.

I agree that hogs will eat and eat until there is nothing left but they are sloppy as much as they are good at rooting out food. I also have raised hogs and two years ago I had a pair of Eurasian hogs that I raised for food and training. When I fed the hogs whole corn, I found out that following spring that not only did they root out most of the corn, they also planted corn from turning over the soil so what happened was that I ended up with over a dozen corn stalks that matured and grew.

I come from a country where wild boar is the native animal and even with the exploding population there, I have yet to see other wildlife impacted from the hogs. Now that's comparing apples to oranges but I have spent most of my life hunting hogs and following my father who has over 40 years experience as a government wildlife biologist. Seeing that California has had some sort of wild swine since the mid 1800's, I think they have meshed with the natural surroundings. I think we hear the negative impact mostly from the damage the hogs do on agricultural land and it automatically shows the hogs as destroying every thing. Regardless of our individual beliefes, we will see what impact they will have on D16.

I will say this though, the hogs have really pushed the turkeys and deer out of the more populated areas. I think once the hogs start to move out the turkey and deer out of private holdings, we may have more animals on public areas.
I drove by the property shown above today, what a mess. Matagi and I wrote about oak seedling destruction several months ago. My observations were that the areas under the oaks in 2009 were bare dirt and in 2011 there were numerous 4 to 6 inch oak trees. The wild card in that area was the pigs were run out for several years so the area could recover. I think the pigs have a greater long term impact on grasslands. If you look at the cover photo of the pig impact report, it shows a grassy meadow completely turned over by pigs in 2009. That meadow is a bulldozer scrape from 50+ years ago and a longterm conversion to grass had taken place. A year later the grass had been converted to mustard and other disturbed soil plants.
Feral hogs are a great source of income for the state. Hence why they went from a five tag booklet for $15 to a single tag for nearly $20. They are a money making species for sure but I worry about the long term impact.

Texas nearly has a bounty on wild hogs because they're devastating the landscape. Agriculture areas or not, the American south is struggling to gain a foothold on rapidly growing populations. I read an article from Florida a while back and while the whitetail populations are healthy, they're slowly declining in numbers because feral hogs are pushing (and eating) them out of their habitat.

Let's just hope as concerned, resposible stewards of the land that we live in that our wild hog population doesn't destroy what we love and learned how to hunt!

Matagi, any time you want to go out and do some population control, let me know. I'll be your wing man.
Hello All,

I have to say this topic has been my obsession here recently. :eek: I grew up hunting Whitetail in Georgia, but never hogs. We just took care of the ones we raised. I haven't been hunting for over ten years and I'm now getting back into it. ;D My brother-n-law and I are going spotting for deer and turkey here soon, and I'm taking a hog tag with me. Hey you never know when you will see the one. I have heard this are the ghost hogs of socal and that people see them all the time. lol Does anyone have pics of them. I'm not trying to learn your honey holes I'll do the work myself. I just want to see how these guys are sizing up.
Welcome to the site YvettesSherpa,

We hope you find the site informative and fun. And yes, we have members here that have had their way with the local hogs. Hard work and perseverance pays off in the game of hunting.

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