Plan the Mission
The I.C.E.™ Cam photo shows the month is July and the overnight temperature is 82°F. We have established an automatic feeder as a food source. Sounder Intel verifies two adults and eleven juveniles for a total of thirteen. We have determined one trained and certified Hog Control Operator™ will employ the trapping process using one M.I.N.E.™ Trapping System. Our performance standard is 100% success which means we must remove all thirteen pigs expending the least amount of fuel, time, labor and money.
Flint River Flooding
During the overnight hours of August 6th, after heavy rains occur north of the property, the Flint River rises over eighteen inches. This can easily be seen in the before, during and peak pictures shown below.
Before: 6 AUG 2018 06:34 Hrs
During: 6 AUG 2018 15:27 Hrs
Peak: 8 AUG 2018 12:43 Hrs
Water recedes: 11 AUG 2018 17:47 Hrs
Pigs return: 11 AUG 2018 17:39 Hrs
Gate Closed: 11 AUG 2018 17:48 Hrs
Harvest Efficiency Report
Report column totals for Episode 26 verify one adult and eleven juveniles were removed from this property in one trapping event, expending 2.00 hours of labor, which equated to ten minutes of labor per pig.
Official Capture Time: 11 AUG 2018
Solar Lunar Calendar
Let’s look at the August solar lunar calendar with the new moon scheduled for tonight the 11th.
This capture took place on the 11 August MINOR TIME peak at 19:39 with a 96% Excellent day rating.
We removed 12 of 13 targeted pigs for a 92% removal success rate. Therefore, we accomplished our performance goals, using a trained and certified Hog Control Operator™, by trapping using our M.I.N.E.™ Trapping System. The total number of pigs impacted during this mission was 23.
Return on Labor
Our total trapping labor was 2.00 hours. Trapping labor per pig was 10.00 minutes. We arrive at this number by multiplying 2.00 hours times 60 minutes which equals 120 minutes. Divide this number by 12 pigs trapped to equal 10.00 minutes of labor per pig.
The annual damage prevented by trapping was $4,800. To calculate our annual return on labor per method, we must take our annual damage prevented and divide it by the labor hours. $4,800 divided by 2.00 hours gives us a return on labor of $2,400 per hour from trapping.
Final Project Totals
The Flint River Project starts on 14 January 2017 by erecting a tripod feeder at Turnip Field and ends on 15 August 2018 capturing this boar at South River bottom. Data is recorded on Harvest Efficiency Reports from every trapping and shooting event during the entire 19-month project. Let’s tabulate and chart our data to evaluate performance in these 12 areas and see if any solid conclusions can be formed from this research.
Atlanta experiences heavy rainfall on 24 MAY 2018 causing the Flint River flood gates to open north of this project area. This event floods the Flint River bottom, allowing feral pig migration onto our project high ground from surrounding properties. We were tracking less than 10 pigs on the property until this flooding event takes place. Project totals show 43 are trapped and 61 are shot for a total of 104 pigs during 2nd Quarter 2018. Only 59 pigs were removed during 2nd Quarter 2017 to understand how flooding causes a 76% increase to distort project data. For example, shooting had provided only 33% of the removal efforts by April 1st then climbed to 39% by August 15th after doubling our shooting operations to quickly target pigs escaping the flood.
I will highlight all second year, second quarter data in pink to distinguish skewed data affected by this event. Let’s start with the chart for most effective removal. 1st Quarter Trapping 2017 earns the top spot with 101 pigs removed and 1st Quarter Trapping 2018 is second with 74. The same two quarters are also the most efficient by delivering a 94% success rate during trapping operations.
The most effective quarter is determined by combining the success of both trapping and shooting events together. It is logical that 1st Quarter 2017 would be most effective since we start the project with the largest pig population on the ground. It is not logical that 2nd Quarter 2018 would produce the second highest removal numbers. The final quarter of every project should produce the lowest removal numbers with the greatest minutes of labor per pig.
The Average Pigs per Event chart shows 1st Quarter Trapping 2018 with 9.25 and 1st Quarter Trapping 2017 with 7.77. No other quarter comes close to these numbers.
The most efficient labor goes to 1st Quarter Trapping 2018 with 12.36 minutes of labor per pig and 3rd Quarter Trapping 2017 is close behind with 13.45 minutes of labor per pig. The most efficient quarter is determined by combining the labor of both trapping and shooting events together. 1st Quarter 2017 wins with 31.39 and 1st Quarter 2018 takes a close second with 31.98. No other quarter comes close.
The Most Productive removal for juveniles shows 1st Quarter Trapping 2018 the highest with 53 pigs removed and 1st Quarter Trapping 2017 second with 33. It is also important to note 61% of all juveniles were removed during 1st quarter winter months and an outstanding 85% of total project juveniles were removed using the trapping process.
The Most Productive removal for subadults shows 1st Quarter Trapping 2017 earns the top position with 53 pigs removed. 48% of all subadults were removed during 1st Quarter winter months and 70% of total project subadults were removed using the trapping process.
The Most Productive process for removing Adult Boars was 2nd Quarter Shooting 2017 with 27 and 26 more were shot during 2nd Quarter 2018. Only 34% of the boar population are trapped while 66% are removed using thermal shooting at night. This is a very logical conclusion for a whitetail management property planting food plots which mature during the 2nd Quarter. Adult solitary boars will feed for hours by stripping the heads off of wheat, oats or rye.
The Most Productive process for removing Adult Sows was 1st Quarter Trapping 2017 with 18. 27% of all sows were removed during 1st Quarter winter months while 54% were removed by trapping.
I was curious to see a chart with both adult boar and sow data combined. It was close, but 2nd Quarter Shooting 2017 gets the nod with 36 over 31 from 1st Quarter Trapping.
We include both pregnant sow numbers and fetus data on this chart. The Most Productive time was 1st Quarter Trapping 2017, removing seven sows carrying 41 fetuses. We removed a total of 30 pregnant sows with 144 fetuses averaging 4.8 pigs per sow. This is why I refer to pregnant sows as High Value Targets.
Adding 144 fetuses to our Project Total of 456 brings the total feral pigs removed to 600 which is a 31.57% increase in production without expending any additional labor. Targeting pregnant sows reduced our project labor by 14.66 minutes of labor per pig.
We start to see a pattern emerge after populating our Production Chart. 1st Quarter trapping efficiency stands out during both years. 2nd and 3rd Quarter shooting also stands out for removing both adult sows and boars in maturing food plots. The pattern is very logical as our efficiency either created or followed the food source. This chart also confirms falling acorns render hog control efforts least productive during the 4th Quarter.
This fact is worth repeating. Trapping removed 61% of the total pig population from the property while only expending 16% of the total labor hours. The M.I.N.E.™ Trapping System is highly efficient.
AR-10 rifles topped with thermal scopes are owned by the Hog Control Operators™ and are not the landowner’s expense. A full-time, trained and certified Hog Control Operator™ will cover down on 10,000-acres starting at $3,500 per month. This project was only $4,800-acres so labor was half at $1,750 times 19 months for $33,250. Total labor and expenses are $60,148. $182,400 of future annual damage was saved by investing $60,148.00 into equipment and trained labor. Return on Investment to the landowner is 303%; 399% when including 144 fetuses. The total cost per pig is $131.90. Basically, it cost the landowner less than $132 to stop a $400 problem.
Look at the reduction when five different landowners with 10,000 connected acres share the equipment and trained labor. Expenses drop to $18,679.60 per landowner. What if USDA NRCS provided a 50% cost share much like other conservation programs like WHIP or EQIP using the current Farm Bill funding earmarked for feral swine control? This option would make the final expense to each landowner only $9,339.80. When divided by 19 equals $491.57 per month. Total expenses divided by 456 pigs gives us a cost per pig of $20.48. It would cost each landowner less than $21 to stop a $400 problem.
The May flooding event skewed our final results by at least six basis points and extended the project an additional 45 days. But it also gave us a unique opportunity to document the number of pigs migrating from neighboring properties. Large-scale collaboration is the missing variable in almost every failed hog control effort. The Flint River Project is now complete with 25 carefully documented case studies. A better solution does not exist which is more effective, efficient and financially economical than the Integrated Wild Pig Control™ model demonstrated on RFD-TV this season.