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Larger traps represent a better opportunity to catch the most hogs at one time as compared to the smaller box traps that can only hold a few hogs or may be avoided altogether by some “trap-wise” hogs. Do not re-release hogs that are trapped as this just causes problems for other landowners. In fact, it is illegal to capture and re-release hogs without having them screened by a veterinarian for brucellosis and pseudorabies. Contact your local Texas Animal Health Commission for more info on that regulation.

1. Trap design: Using sheep and goat panels (4" x 4" squares 5' high) or similar materials, setup the trap in the area where damage is occurring. The trap should be supported at regular intervals (every 4 feet) by t-posts are other similar material and should not have gaps along the bottom where hogs might escape. This design is still portable as the entire trap can be dis-assembled and moved to another area on a flatbed trailer if no hog activity is detected. Set the trap in a “tear drop” shape where the gate is located in the narrow or funnel area (See pictures). This will help funnel the hogs towards a trailer backed up to the gate for loading. Avoid having “hard” corners in the trap design as hogs will tend to pile into that corner and may go over the top. The area inside the trap does not have to be all short grass. It’s okay to have some brush or grass inside the trap and may help camouflage the trap itself and make the hogs less wary. It is important that the hogs have enough room to move away from you as you approach the trap to prevent them from panicking.

2. Trap doors: Doors can either be saloon doors as pictured or hinged at the top. With either design, the door must be wide enough (32" to 36" total opening width) for hogs to pass through without tripping and closing the door when they first enter the trap. In the doors shown, a hinged wooden prop with an eyebolt on the side facing the trigger) is placed between the doors that is attached to the gate frame with springs. They open into the trap but will slam shut due to the springs. It is important to brace the doors at the top and bottom so they cannot be forced open from the inside. A wire is run from the prop to an area of the trap furthest from the door opening. Bait is placed in a hole and the wire is stretched over that hole at ground level. Note the series of t-posts running away from the gate toward the back of the trap. Baling wire is wrapped around each post to form an eye (like on a fishhook) and the guy wire is threaded through each eye as the wire descends away from the gate back to the hole where it reaches ground level. As the hogs root in the hole filled with bait, the wire is stretched and the prop is pulled out from between the gate doors and remains closed due to the springs on each door. Additional hogs can push in, but none can exit.

A single door works the same way, but is hinged along the top and propped open by an “L” placed into the end of a pipe that has been driven into the ground at a distance inside the trap that allows the door to be opened and propped up parallel to the ground. The trip wire is attached to the leg of the “L” that is not placed in the end of the pipe. When it is moved by hogs rooting at the bait hole, it no longer supports the weight of the door and gravity causes the hinged door to swing down and close. Again, more hogs can push in, but the door should completely close behind them. Anything that a hog can get its snout under, through or between represents an opportunity for escape.

3. Baiting: Pre-baiting is important to get the hogs used to going into the trap. Start by feeding outside and through the gate opening. Pre-bait at least for a week after hogs have been entering the trap. Once you are ready to set the trap, bait all the way back to the trigger but do not scatter bait directly along the trip wire as this may cause the hogs to trigger the gate before they reach the bait hole and all hogs present may not be captured. Spread the bait back toward the bait hole but not right along the t-posts/guy wire. If hogs will come to shelled corn, that is probably the easiest bait to use. However, if acorns are abundant, trapping success may be limited. Fermented corn and old grease both appeal to the hog’s sense of smell and may be better baits if shelled corn is not productive

4. Strategy: The key to success is having the hogs be able to enter without feeling the presence of the trap around them. In other words, bigger is better! A minimum size is probably 20' by 30' in the tear drop shape described. If there is a large group of hogs present, this size should be increased accordingly. The larger the trap area, the further hogs can move away from humans and the less likely they will be to panic and force through, over or under the trap sides. The trap should be checked daily unless both water and shade are available inside the enclosure. The longer the hogs stay in the trap, the more likely they will figure out an escape route! Have several traps setup in the general area where the hogs are working and pre-bait with the gates on all traps locked open. Once sign indicating hog presence is located at one trap, then full baiting can begin to capture the hogs. These traps are portable enough that they can be moved fairly quickly if the hogs shift their movements to another location.

5. Removing hogs from the trap: If hogs are going to be sold to a processor, simply back a trailer up to the trap door, place a cross tie across the gate opening to prevent them from going underneath the trailer and circle wide around to the backside of the trap. The hogs will move away from you and funnel toward the trailer.

6. Other trap designs: Many other trap designs will successfully catch hogs. However, any trap without a top should not have 90° corners since hogs tend to "pile up" in those areas and go out over the top. Maximizing the distance between the gare and the trigger that trips the gate is important in any trap design.

7. Trapping tips:

Set up multiple traps in multiple locations
Pre-bait (with gate locked open) until hogs are regularly entering the trap, then set
Place the trap where several trees/shrubs are enclosed to provide screening cover for hogs
Share one gate among multiple traps. Install the gate only after hogs respond to pre-baiting
Vary your bait selection among your traps and with your neighbor's traps
Use small enough mesh to catch all hogs, even juveniles
Do not release trapped hogs
Don't give up! Persistence pays
As I said in my other discussion, I will be showing pics of the trap as it goes up. I will problably modify a few things here and there. This trap is recomended by Texas Game and Fish. And is known for removing whole sounds at once. A sound is a pack of hogs that usually range in numbers up to 50.
Talk at you folks latter,
Cowboy Rick

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Replies to This Discussion

Hey Rick,

What do you do with all the Hogs once you catch them? Do you sell them? If so, to who?

I was thinking about trying this trap on some ladies and then I can pick the best from the sound :)
LOL, I think I will try that out. I will bait it with a hundred dollar bill, this should bring'em to the trap.
That is my biggest problem Vince, I have a few options though. I know that the V.A. shelters would take the meat. There is a brothers night at the church coming up on Jan. 17th. We are supposed to bring whatever game we want to cook. Of course mine would be smoked hog. I will also ask the guys at the church if any of them want a hog, then I will let them come to my lease and help them load it up. They can take it dead or alive, their choice. But I will fill my freezers first, I will problably take the piglets and keep them whole to put over a fire at a later date. You want one ? !!!
Who knew there was so much involved or even allowed to trap hogs? How do wild one's taste compared to regular pork? I suppose quite a bit different but I have a hard time thinking I wouldn't love any kind of bacon or ribs.
Hey Don,
I think that the wild ones taste way better. I do my own processing at the house and I know what goes into the sausage and what not. The pork in the stores seem to have a lot of preservatives, unless you go for the expensive so called "organic" stuff that always seems overpriced. There is quite a dfifference in the taste of wild vs. supplement fed hogs. I find that when cleaning and processing the wild fellas, you dont have to be picky about trimming all the fat off the meat as you do with deer. Leaving some fat on the pork adds a good flavor to the meat, especially when they are placed in your smoker or on the grill. Hogs as with all other game, taste better when they are fairly young. I dont really like to pop the big ones, but will not pass the shot up either. When I do harvest a big one, I will mark my meat packages saying "BIG ONE" which just means that the meat needs to be cooked a little slower so as to not eat shoe leather for supper. Its kinda like the old saying goes with tough meat. " Place the meat in the pot, then add a horse shoe. When the horse shoe is tender the meat is ready"
There is quite a bit involved with the hogs. They are smarter than most people think. I dont know if I had mentioned this, but they will get together and search for a doe with her fawn. Then they will circle them and the does being smart in their own right will run away. Leaving the fawn alone and unprotected. Then they will go after the fawn and chow down. The hogs are quite arrogant in sounds, but alone they will not be as cocky. That is why when there is a group of them under your feeder. You can shoot one, and sometimes they will come right back to the downed compadre. Giving you the opportunity for another kill. Hogs do have canabalistic tendancys. If the sows are hungry, they have absolutely no problems eating one of their own youngsters. The state of Texas does not consider the non-native hog a game animal. So the regs book does not apply to them. The same rule goes with the high fence exotics. If an exotic animal finds its way out of the fence area, it is a free for all as far as hunters and the state is concerned. No permit required, no season required either. Because the exotics dont fall under the regs either. Makes it kinda a bonus, if you get one. But I have never come across an exotic, that I could get a shot at anyway. Would be nice if I was deer or hog hunting to see a Cape Buffalo come into the field !!! Dont know if I would get a shot off though. I would be in shock and shiting myself.


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