The ranch foreman drove me around the thousand acres of Texas that he was thrilled to manage. We were bouncing around in a crew buggy touted to work hard and ride smooth. But, the rough ride was not because of the stiff suspension but because of another problem.
Wild hogs have invaded this pristine Texas ranch. At night or early in the morning they began to forage. As a herd of hungry wild animals they go in search of food.
Rooting is a natural behavior of pigs. It is believed that their ability to pick up iron in the dirt keeps them from suffering from anemia. If they discover insects or worms or anything else that is edible they will continue to dig up large areas of land.
This normal but destructive behavior makes wild hogs unwelcome by ranchers. The land that they root up transforms a smooth meadow into a bumpy upturned ground where the grass for grazing cattle is destroyed and ATVs now have a rough go of it. They steal cattle feed, deer feed and make the land difficult for cattle to graze.
The next morning professional pig hunters were brought on to the property. There were four tough looking, seriously equipped and rough talking men who showed up. Each was armed and equipped with the latest in tracking equipment.
Besides the souped up ATV’s these hunters brought seven highly specialized and trained dogs. They had noses ready to track down the pigs and teeth raring to grab some live pork. It was going to be an experience watching these men work.
The motorized machines slid to a halt at the corner of the ranch. Each of the hunters unleashed their dogs. Our convoy of ATV’s followed while the dogs ran and sniffed the air.
It was over an hour of slowly moving through the woods. Suddenly, the still morning air erupted with the baying of dogs. Clearly, they were excited and the sound of their alarm moved quickly in a singular direction.
A pig, one of those destructive creatures was trying to elude capture. This adaptable four-footed animal was using every trick to escape the jaws of the dog pack. It ran out of tricks.
The one who was created in His image and his best friends prevailed. Tenacity, technology and teamwork overcame the base instincts of the beast. One down many more to find and eliminate.
photo credit: brucefong photography