GETTING HOGS OUT OF A TRAP ALIVE by Cody Weiser
Well, you’ve finally begun to catch hogs in your traps, but what do you do with them now? A caged wild hog can definitely be worth something, but at the same time it can be extremely dangerous. If you are aiming on removing the animal alive, you best have a game plan in place to insure both your safety and the safety of the hog.
Probably the safest way to get hogs out of a trap is to load them into a trailer or “getter” by just running them from the trap into the trailer. Hog getters are custom built trailers designed to be lowered to the ground so a hog does not have to jump from the ground to the raised trailer floor. Getters are not available commercially and have to be homemade or custom built which can be a large investment for the average trapper. A much simpler design, that is also much easier on the wallet, is a loading ramp that allows hogs to walk up an incline and into a standard livestock trailer. This device is easily made and can be a great tool when loading hogs.
Now, to get the hogs to move from the trap and into the trailer or getter is a different matter. Wild hogs can be extremely stubborn. I’ve witnessed multiple techniques used to coax the critters from one to the other. Baiting the trailer with food or water, using a white feed sack to anger the hogs into charging inside the trailer, and even using a mirror to make the hogs think that there are already hogs inside have all been used.
The most common method is to just stand behind the trap and give the pigs a few good prods with a strong stick or piece of pipe. It’s funny how it works out. Sometimes they go right in, and other times it takes a great deal of patience before success is achieved.
For those who would rather tie the hogs and carry them out, you can drop a noose into the trap. Once a hog is caught securely, you can open the trap door, carefully enter, tie the hog’s legs, and then remove it. If you are not comfortable with handling live hogs, then DO NOT attempt this and definitely do not try it with more than one hog. This can be a deadly venture if you happen to find yourself inside a hog trap dealing with one hog and another tied hog breaks loose. A caged wild animal is a dangerous thing and believe me, you don’t want to be in that cage with it! ALWAYS use quality rope, cable, or straps when tying live hogs.
Remember that safety is the most important thing when dealing with hogs. Be patient and cautious when trying to remove a live hog from a trap. If done right, you and the hogs will remain safe and in one piece.
(Taken from Wild Boar USA magazine, May/June 2007 Vol. 1 Issue 4)