Feral hogs are an exotic, invasive species that have many negative impacts to humans and the environment. Land managers have a variety of tools
available for managing feral hogs. Box traps are a tool that land managers
can use to reduce feral hog populations on their property. In this video, we will discuss structural
modifications that can be made to to improve the effectiveness of box traps. Box traps offer several
great features that make them useful in feral hog management. They are easily moved
and operated by one individual and could be placed virtually anywhere.
The traditional box trap is typically four feet wide by 8 feet long with the 24 to 36 inch entrance. The
dimensions of this traditional design limit its trapping potential since only a few
hogs can enter the trap before it is triggered. The enclosed nature of the trap also
presents a hazard to non-target species such as deer which can be injured while attempting to
escape. Research suggests that corral traps are more efficient in capturing
feral hogs the box traps. However, some situations and
environmental conditions preclude the use of corral traps, making box traps a viable alternative.
Several modifications can be made to box traps to improve their effectiveness and
safety. These include increasing the size of
the trap, using fencing panels with four inch by 4 inch squares, increasing the size of the entrance
door, removing the floor from the trap, removing a section of the roof, adding an inward opening rear-loading door, and adding a locking mechanism to the doors. Box traps are often built
using a variety of fencing panels. Using fence panels with four inch by 4
inch squares throughout will ensure that all hogs captured will
remain in the trap. A piglet that escapes today can be
reproductively capable at six to 10 months of age, so it’s
important to ensure that hogs are not able to escape through the trap’s
panels. Increasing the size of the trap allows
for more of an effective trapping area by increasing the distance between the
entrance and the trigger mechanism. A larger travel also allow for the
addition a further modifications that will increase its effectiveness.
Adult feral hogs can be reluctant to enter smaller or confined entry points. Expanding the entrance area of a box
trap from the traditional 24 to 36 inches to 48 or 60 inches will allow hogs of all sizes to easily enter the trap. Removing the floor from the trap gives
it a more natural look and feel to the hogs. The installation a rooter bars spaced six
inches from the side and running the link to the trap prevent
a heart from escaping by digging out from beneath the trap. Removing a section of the roof
from the center of the trap can allow non-target species such as
deer to escape. Panels that cover the corners and extend from each into the trap
prevent the hogs from jumping out. Adding an inward opening rear loading door allows you to safely
load the hogs onto a trailer for live-cell or to allow for non-target species to
safely escape The rear door opening should be slightly
elevated which will allow it to function in the
event of debris or mud build up along the edges at the trap. In Texas, both male and female feral hogs
can be sold to approved holding facilities. Additionally, males can be sold to
authorized hunting preserves. Both holding facilities and hunting
preserves are inspected and regulated by the Texas Animal Health Commission. Once inside the trap, feral hogs will
typically put the most pressure on the entrance. Continuous catch gates offer the
potential for trapped hogs to escape. Adding a locking mechanism to your trap’s doors will prevent unintentional escapes. In this video, we
have suggested some modifications to improve the effectiveness and safety a
box traps. Trapping hogs is a process, not an
event. It’s important to understand each step
in the trapping process. For more information on trapping feral
hogs, visit our website “Coping with Feral Hogs” at feralhogs.tamu.edu