Capturing Hogs With Alpha-Chloralose

Since January 1965 approximately one hundred feral swine (Sus scrota) have been captured with alpha-chloralose on whole corn at bait Bites intended for wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). A series of experiments on penned feral and domestic hogs was conducted to determine minimum and maximum dosages of alpha-chloralo~e and preferred baits for the safe capture of free-ranging hogs. A method to capture feral hogs with alpha-chloralose applied to baits is described. During the past several years feral hogs have become increasingly more important as game animals in Florida, especially on public hunting areas. This has led to increased emphasis on trapping them from refuges and areas where they are not wanted, for rele~.~e in public hunting areas. Hogs are well known as pests in many situations and this problem has become more acute in agricultural areas and some national forests and parks recently. Although most hogs are not very wary of mechanical traps and can be captured in them in large numbers, there are circumstances in which such devices are not entirely satisfactory-such as with large and especially vicious or trap-wary animals, and in relatively inaccessible places. Even when captured in traps, large hogs can be difficult to handle without risk of injury to personnel or to the hogs themselves. It appears that other methods of capturing and handling wild hogs would be useful. Field trials with alpha-chloralose to capture wild turkeys during the winter of 1965 offered an opportunity to observe the effects of light dosages on the hogs which often visited the bait sites. At least 100 hogs were captured incidental to the research with turkeys at dosage levels between 2 and 20 grams of alpha-chloralose per cup of whole corn. Turkey trapping procedures were presented in a previous report (Williams, Austin, and Peoples 1966). Narcotized hogs were easy to handle and transport. Only two of those caught at turkey bait sites died of overdosage. This experience suggested that alpha-chloralose might represent an efficient way to capture feral hogs for relocation and similar purposes and an easy way to remove them from turkey bait sites where they created a considerable nuisance. Information about alpha-chloralose and its use to capture several species of wildlife can be found in other reports (Williams 1966; Williams, Austin, and Peoples 1966; and Crider and McDaniel 1967) and references listed by them. The field work was done in the Lykes Fisheating Creek Wildlife Refuge. We would like to thank Lykes Bros., Inc. for the use of their land and for their participating interest in Florida wildlife management. Lovett Williams, Wildlife Research Supervisor, has been very helpful with field work and suggestions on this paper. Acknowledgment is also extended to Game Managers Herchell Haywood and Gerry Youdall for their assistance with some of the field work.

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