Exclusion Fencing for Feral Hogs at White-Tailed Deer Feeders

Justin M. Rattan, Billy J. Higginbotham, David B. Long, Tyler A. Campbell

Abstract


Management programs aimed at white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) production often include the use of feeders, either to deliver supplemental feed or bait.  However, much of the feed placed into deer feeders is consumed by non-target species, such as feral hogs (Sus scrofa).  Our objectives were to compare three exclusion fence designs at deer feeders for their ability to restrict feral hog visitation and enable white-tailed deer visitation.  Our high fence design consisted of 86 cm high graduated paneling.  Our medium fence design consisted of 76 cm high, 10´10 cm paneling.  Our low height design consisted of 51 cm high, 10´10 cm paneling.  We placed deer feeders >1.5 km apart and monitored feeders with motion-sensing digital photography during the summer and winter.  We compared the percent change in visitation index by fence design and season.  We found feral hog percent change in visitation index varied by treatment, with our low fence design restricting feral hog visitation less than the medium and high fence designs.  Given the cost of materials and the effectiveness of the exclusion fences, we recommend using an 86 cm high exclusion fence for feral hogs around deer feeders.  However, we caution that our data and recommendations are from short-term seasonal trials.


Keywords


boar; exclusion fencing; feeder; feral hog; Sus scrofa; white-tailed deer

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