For Hometown News
FORT PIERCE - The UF/IFAS St. Lucie County Cooperative Extension's 4-H Southern Swines 2013 Feral Hog Challenge wrapped up Oct. 4-5 with dozens of feral hogs being captured.
The winners from the 2013 Feral Hog Challenge were:
o First place: Adrian Morales' team with a combined weight of 422 lbs.; winning $2,500 and custom Moore Maker knives. The team graciously donated its prize money back to the St. Lucie County 4-H club.
o Second place: Big John's team with a combined weight of 396 pounds; winning $1,500
o Third place: Affordable Auto team with a combined weight of 376 pounds; winning $750
o The Largest Cutter - First place was the Affordable Auto team with a 3.5" cutter; winning $150.
o Second Largest Cutter - 2" cutter entered by Mike Neill's team: Mike and Skyler Pfeister and Kyle Parish.
o Heaviest hog - weighed 276 pounds entered by the 3-D Ice team: David Altman, Arturo Salas and Austin Parker.
Feral hogs are now found in every county in Florida and in at least 35 states and Canadian provinces. Southeast Florida's feral hog population is second only to Texas and is estimated to have 500,000 plus wild hogs in a relatively stable population, with 1 to 2 million in the Southeastern U.S. Feral hogs can cause damage by rubbing or tusking small trees and by rooting up native vegetation.
Unfortunately, feral hogs are difficult to manage. Females can become reproductive within a year of birth and produce two litters of piglets per year averaging 5-7 piglets per litter. This rapid reproduction, along with a lack of predators, adaptability, and intelligence makes these feral hogs difficult to manage. This program will encourage feral hog hunters to compete for top prizes while removing invasive feral hogs from the environment.