Need information to help with wild pig trapping
I trap hogs. I have two corrals and one trap with gates that hang down at an angle. The pigs are supposed to push them out of the way to enter the traps. I've had very little luck even though I've put plenty of corn around and behind the gates, and even propped the gates open, to habituate the pigs. Very little luck. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.
Harris County Texas
A variety of factors can influence your trapping success. It sounds to me like the hogs are showing aversion to your trap or trap gate. One of the primary steps in trapping is to train the hogs to bait and condition them to the trap enclosure. A great article on how to do this can be found at http://feralhogs.tamu.edu/files/2010/04/Training-Wild-Pigs-to-Bait.pdf. Another key factor in trapping is monitoring the hog’s response to the trap. This can be done with game cameras (the more the better), the photos may show you what is going wrong and you can work from there to fix the problem. A blog article (My trap isn’t working!) by Dan Gaskins relates to your question http://wild-wonderings.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-trap-isnt-working.html.
From my understanding you are using rooter gates (continuous catch) on your traps. You have a few options: 1. You can modify your rooter gate to work off a trip wire, 2. You can try using a guillotine style gate. This publication will show you how to modify your rooter gate http://feralhogs.tamu.edu/files/2010/04/L-5527-Door-Modifications-for-Feral-Hog-Traps.pdf. Having your current gate work off of a trip wire may be all you need to get the hogs coming into your trap, since it will allow for the door to be elevated. A variety of trip wire types exist, this article gives a good explanation of some of the options available http://feralhogs.tamu.edu/files/2010/04/Selecting-a-Manual-Pig-Trap-Trigger.pdf I really like the tire trigger on pg. 7.
The thought behind the continuous catch gate is that it will allow additional hogs to enter the trap once the gate has been triggered. However a paper (Effectiveness of Continuous Catch Doors for Trapping Wild Pigs) published by Smith et al. in the International Wild Pig Conference Proceedings (2012) suggested that continuous catch doors were ineffective in capturing a substantial number of additional hogs after the door was triggered. Continuous catch doors also offer the potential for hogs to escape.
The guillotine gate can be built for under $150, you can find plans for this gate at http://overton.tamu.edu/files/2013/02/GUILLITONE-STYLE-WILD-PIG-TRAP-GATES-Banta-Model.pdf also Alabama Cooperative Extension has a video on how to build one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSJ6yoIABA.The guillotine gate does not offer any physical or visual barrier for the hogs to encounter when entering the trap. Once the guillotine door is triggered you keep every hog you catch, eliminating the chance of escape.
Several styles of remotely triggered gates are also available from multiple companies on the Internet. This type of system allows the user to decide when to drop the trap gate and incorporates photo and video technology.
Takeaway Points: 1. Setup a game camera or two and this may help you to see what is going wrong, 2. Go through the pre-baiting and conditioning process as suggested in the Training Wild Pigs to Bait article, 3. Modify your existing gate to work off of a trip wire or construct and use the guillotine style gate. Thank you for submitting your question and feel free to contact me at (979) 845-4698 if you have any questions or need any additional resources.