Invasive wild pigs are a big problem. They destroy crops, chase out native species, and are generally unpleasant to be around. Oregon passed a law last year requiring farmers to shoot or trap wild pigs on sight (or at least let someone else kill or trap them). But the state is thus far unsatisfied with the results. And being that the pigs have already migrated north from California, the ability of Oregon farmers to successfully slay the swine may make the difference whether or not they reach Washington.
Wendy Brown, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council, told The Capital Press there probably isn't a feral swine population in Washington. But the state is concerned about the possible arrival of the pigs from California, Idaho, and Oregon.
"The environmental impacts of feral swine are enormous," she told the publication. "The impacts to the agriculture industry are potentially really big as well."
A group of between 50 and 100 feral pigs in southwestern Idaho was culled to 20 through surveillance and tracking in the area, and Oregon hopes to duplicate that success.
Ideally, when shooting a pig, you should aim for the shoulder, which will send your bullet into vital organs and yield a quick kill. If you hit another part of the animal, such as the back, you must pursue the pig and try to bring it down as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, however, that if a wild boar is wounded, it will often turn and charge. Always approach a downed animal slowly, keeping a pistol or knife within easy reach. (Or, as state feral pig expert Waithman puts it: "This is where the fun comes in. They can be very aggressive. Those tusks are as sharp as can be." And he is not exaggerating; the Pragmatist has been gored by a wounded boar.)
Once your pig is dead, you should stand over the kill, assessing its age and weight (in this case, it's a young boar, 140 pounds) and determining the location of the fatal wound (the stomach, i.e., a "gut shot"). Then signal the rest of your party with a whistle. They will have heard the squeals, but won't know your precise location.