December 26, 2011
By Robert W. Hunnicutt
Even if you are only a casual TV viewer, you can hardly have failed to notice the proliferation of hog hunting shows. These combine an alarmist tone about the exponential growth in the feral swine population first sounded by the Discovery Channel documentary Pig Bomb in 2009 and followed by the same network's Hogs Gone Wild in 2011.
Imitation is the sincerest form of cable TV, and so those shows have been followed by A&E's American Hoggers and Lady Hoggers. To those we can add our own Sportsman Channel favorite Pigman, though purists might sniff that host Brian "Pigman" Quaca hunts more other species than he does hogs.
Now, I am 100% in favor of anything that shows hunting in a positive light, but there is a central contradiction in most of these shows. They all start with doomsday warnings about the looming danger of uncontrolled hog growth, and there's no question that porkers are taking over certain areas, with tremendous crop damage and reduction of desirable native species.
They then show control methods that might most charitably be described as inefficient, namely using horses and dogs, snares, etc. There's never a question that the hogs are going to be turned into tasty pork products, but they always exit stage left alive and kicking. While this is picturesque, especially when performed by busty girls in tight, low-cut T-shirts, it's never going to make a dent in hog populations, which according to at least one expert, require a kill-off of 50-70% a year just to be stabilized.
A much more efficient form of swine control is shooting hogs at night with thermal imaging scopes mounted on AR-10 and AR-15 variants. Quite impressive totals can be racked up with this arrangement, though in fairness, even quite vigorous hunting pressure can only reduce hog numbers by about 20%. Something more like claymore mines or cluster bombs will be required to kill enough to turn around the population explosion.
SGN contributor Frank James is shopping a show based on shooting hogs with thermal sights, so far with no takers. A cynic might say he hasn't included the busty girl angle, but his concept certainly has more in the way of realism.
What about it? Would you be interested in watching a show about rifle hog hunting, with or without the curvaceous babes?
The Ladies and Gary