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THE HISTORY OF WILD HOGS & BOARS
    Boar Hunting-
    History of the Beast of Kings
           
    The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the wild ancestor of the domestic
    pig.  Currently wild boars are hunted both for their meat and to
    mitigate the damage they cause to crops and forests. A charging boar
    is considered exceptionally dangerous quarry, due to its thick hide
    and dense bones, thus making anything less than a "kill shot" a
    potentially deadly mistake. Hunters have reported being butted
    up into trees by boars that have already taken a glancing shot.

       Wild boar hunting has been around for thousands of years, from the Persians’ first attempt to slay these
    creatures, but it has really become known in the medieval times when royalty and rich people used to hunt boars as a
    way of entertaining themselves and their guests. Over the years wild boar hunting hasn’t lost any of its appeal and is
    now just as popular as it was in Elizabethan England, almost five hundred years ago.

      Wild boar hunting is neither for the faint of heart nor for solo hunters, because the boar can prove to be a vicious
    fighter that never surrenders without a fight. Despite its aggressive nature, this omnivore is tranquil if not
    threatened, and almost never deliberately attacks humans. The sole situation in which you are advised to stay as far
    as possible from a boar is when it has cubs (piglets) and they are beside their mother. She will do anything to protect
    her young from any danger they may be facing.

     Wild boar hunting seems to stay with us throughout the ages and it would seem to continue to be a part of our
    hunting sphere for years and years to come. Although hunting for boars has radically changed its ways in comparison
    to the way it used to be done centuries ago, it still keeps its essence, whether we comprehend it or not. After all, the
    beauty of something lies in what the naked eye cannot see and in what the mind can.

    Reference:  Wikipedia and Razvan Marian Jr.

    Florida Hog Hunting
    Florida's wild hogs ( Figure 1 ) are often referred to as feral hogs or swine and are of three general types. These include free-ranging swine
    that come from domesticated stock, Eurasian wild boar, and hybrids of the two. Although technically, feral refers to free-ranging animals
    from domesticated stock, all wild hogs are typically referred to as feral in Florida and all are considered the same species, Sus scrofa. Wild
    hogs are in the family Suidae (true wild pigs), none of which are native to the Americas. Although not found in Florida, the only native pig-
    like mammal found in the United States is the collared peccary or javelina (Tayassu tajacu; Figure 2 ). These are not true pigs, in the
    family Tayassuidae, and about half the size of typical wild hogs.











           CREDITS: Photo by M.S. Smith.                                  Photo by Walker Media Company                                Photo by Walker Media Company
    It is believed that hogs were first brought to Florida, and possibly the U.S., in 1539, when Hernando de Soto brought swine to provision a
    settlement he established at Charlotte Harbor in Lee County. However, it is possible that hogs had been brought to the same site in 1521
    by Ponce de Leon during a brief visit. During the next 4 centuries, explorers and settlers brought pigs with them throughout Florida. Many
    of these animals were given to or stolen by Native Americans who expanded pig numbers and distribution in the State. Europeans and
    Native Americans alike often raised their swine in semi-wild conditions (at least until the mid-1900s when open range ended and it became
    illegal) where hogs were allowed to roam freely and only rounded up when needed. Many of these animals and those escaping from
    captivity established feral populations throughout Florida. These feral populations have been further supplemented through deliberate
    releases of hogs in many areas by private individuals and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to improve hunting
    opportunities (although the State no longer does this).

    Eurasian wild boar were first released in the U.S. in New Hampshire in 1886. Boar were then released in New York (1900), North
    Carolina/Tennessee (1912), Texas (1919), Washington State (1981), and possibly other locations to provide a new, huntable big game
    species, and increase the sporting and trophy value of feral hogs through hybridization. Although most were released in enclosed areas,
    many escaped and readily hybridized with local feral hogs. A few Eurasian wild boar and many hybrids naturally dispersed to areas around
    release sites, including neighboring states. Hybrids have been trapped and moved to many parts of Florida by private individuals. In
    addition, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has trapped and released feral hogs and hybrids in many areas to control
    hog-related problems in some areas and improve hunting opportunities in others. There are not believed to be any free-ranging, pure
    Eurasian wild boar in Florida, only feral hogs and hybrids.

    Wild hogs are now found in every county in Florida and in at least 35 states and Canadian provinces, including most of the Southeast.
    Florida, second only to Texas, is estimated to have 500,000+ wild hogs in a relatively stable population, with 1 to 2 million in the
    Southeastern U.S. Some of the highest densities of hogs in Florida can be found north and west of Lake Okeechobee in areas with large
    forested tracts, dense understory vegetation, and limited public access. Hog numbers tend to be lower in areas with intensive agriculture
    and urbanization, and little water.

    William M. Giuliano and George W. Tanner
    University of Florida
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