by Michael G. Maness
Seven wild hogs were trapped on Sandy Hargrove's property inside the Woodville city limits by Bill Massey and safely extracted, Monday morning, June 30.
"They are just tearing my yard to heck," Hargrove said. Swaths seven-by-ten feet here, and twenty-by-forty feet there – the hogs had rooted up areas like a plowed field, only this was her front and backyard.
As Massey approached the cages, the hogs went wild, scrambling violently over each other, screeching, trying to get out, and slamming their snouts and bodies against cage. The largest weighed about 120 pounds. They are wild and dangerous, and now inside the city limits just off Barclay Terrace, a fine neighborhood and near the Eagle Stadium ball field.
Massey loaded seven, including two large Piney Wood Rooters, two shoats (weaned or "teenagers" as Massey said) and three babies. Two of the babies had brown stripes, and that meant they had come from a Russian boar.
A few days later a large pregnant sow was trapped, and toward the end of the week four more were trapped, making that 12 wild hogs caught at Hargrove's place.
It is against the law to shoot them inside the city limits, so this is another problem. Hargrove said with a smile, "I was told I could shoot them with a bow and arrow." Kind of funny, but serious too.
Even though there are self-protection laws, allowing one to shoot in self-defense, part of Hargrove's property is within 1,000 feet of the school, where additional laws prevent shooting near a school. Be sure to check with law enforcement before shooting any firearm inside the city limit.
Father Michael Strother of Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church reported damage, and Massey set a trap there as well.
Massey has helped people with their wild hogs for several years. He warned to approach them with caution, for they can be fierce. After transferring the hogs from his large trap to his travelling cage, via a system of sliding doors, Massey wenches the travelling cage up upon his trailer for transport. He left two traps baited with deer corn on Hargrove's property. He will fatten the babies for meat at his place in Colmesneil and dispose of the larger ones to certified businesses.
Massey is also pastor of the Tejas Road Baptist Church. Helping with the hog problem is a labor of love and ministry, and he makes the meat available to the needy. He does not charge for his services, just takes the hogs, but added if someone wants to donate corn, that would help.
Woodville Mayor Ben Bythewood is aware of the problem, and according to Massey, has offered to help.
"I have found that if I am calm when approaching the cages, it calms the hogs, too," Massey said. When he gently put his hand on the cage, whispering something, the hogs settled.
Massey is our local Hog Whisperer, only these hogs are bound for bacon, not pets. If you have a problem with wild hogs, feel free to call Massey at (409) 837-2160.