Special Report: Hog Wild - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Special Report: Hog Wild

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Feral hogs continue to plague South Georgia farms and properties, doing millions of dollars in damages to crops.

A South Georgia man, who we showed you last year using thermal imaging to hunt and shoot hogs, now has a new weapon to battle what he has declared as his enemy.

And it is based on his military expertise.

This time of year Rod Pinkston is busy stalking and shooting feral hogs every night with heat vision equipment. But to help in the fight he has developed a smart weapon, called M.I.N.E.

"Instead of being in a tree stand over here, and pulling the trigger of your rifle and killing one hog. How about pushing a button and catch the entire group. That's a more effective way of doing it," Pinkston said.

Pinkston has been using cameras to study wild hog behavior since 2004.

"Basically what we're using right here is the same principle we used in the military," Pinkston said.

Hogs are smart, and once they have seen a trap they will not return. So they need to catch the entire group at one time.

"We are employing with Intel, eyes only, pushing the detonator remote," Pinkston said.

They fence in a cage, inside it a corn feeder machine set to go off at the same time everyday.

"We'll have a motion detector where if anything walks through this door, automatically sends us a text message," Pinkston said.

And use the camera to scout the enemy.

"Here's a group of 12 shoats and 4 adults, for a total of 16," Pinkston said.

Four or 5 days, until the hogs trust the cage.

"All the juveniles run inside immediately. Watch 3 of the 4 adults, they will make a trip all the way around outside of this trap. If this was set on a traditional tripwire, we would have missed 3 of the 5 breeders," Pinkston said.

 "The six hogs that are left outside we just got to be smarter than they are. We'll let them go back inside through the threshold," Pinkston said.

"Now we push the button on our remote, and less than 30 minutes we've had 100 percent success on that sounder group."

A tactical victory, using smart weapons to capture and kill the enemy. Pinkston says using night image hunting in the spring, and then M.I.N.E. trapping in the winter will be the way to solve many of South Georgia's hog problems. 

Rod Pinkston will be marketing his Jager Pro Trapping system at wildlife expos and farm shows this summer and fall. The basic equipment starts at around $500.

 

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