Seeing deer in your headlights while you are travelling at night can be down right scary.
According to some reports, the deer population is too high in many areas, so the Department of Environmental Conservation issues permits so hunters can harvest deer and keep their numbers in check. Right after shotgun season starts, it will be often stated that the deer seem to disappear, yet deer/car collisions will continue. Too many deer can be a problem.
New York State has a new problem with feral Swine and if left unchecked, it will become a real concern. Feral Swine are non-native and considered an invasive species. There are three sources for feral swine: Eurasian wild boar stock, which come from enclosed shooting facilities, pig sanctuaries and intentional releases, escaped domestic stock, which includes farms and pets, and hybrids of the two.
OBSERVER photos by Gene Pauszek
Deer are on the move this time of year.
A report done this year on feral swine shows that there are at least 13 counties in the state with captive wild boar, 36 counties with at least one feral swine report and at least six counties in the state with confirmed breeding in the wild.
Some of you are probably wondering, "So what!? We have another big game animal to hunt." The DEC, which takes a more realistic approach, states that the feral swine pose problems with ecological damage with rooting, water quality, soil erosion, native plants suffering damage and an increase in exotics. Economic losses would include crops, pastures, livestock, lawn, golf courses and forest products. Feral swine can impact native fish and wildlife, as they are a competitive predator and they pose a disease threat to livestock, wildlife, humans and pets.
There was a report of one Clinton County farmer who suffered $20,000 in sweet corn damage in 2011. It is a conservative estimate that wild pigs do about $1.5 billion dollars damage to agricultural crops and the environment in the United States annually. Maybe you have never seen a feral swine in the wild, but road kill animals and the damage that the live pigs do is evidence.
Feral swine are said to carry 30 diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to pets, livestock and humans. Pork producers are concerned about pseudorabies, which after years of effort was supposedly eradicated from the U.S. in 1994. In 2010, two feral swine tested positive for pseudorabies. One in Cortland and one in Delaware County.
Feral swine breed quickly and mature sexually at 6-8 months of age. They breed two times per year and average a litter of 6-8 piglets, but can have as many as 14. The population can double and even triple in one year. For example, the DEC and USDA removed 75 swine from Cortland, Onondaga and Tioga Counties from 2008-2011. If there were 31 males, 44 females, and they all bred once per year, with a six-piglet average per female and their offspring bred, there would be, in five years, 7,615 feral swine in Central N.Y.
The DEC report that I used for reference displayed a dressed boar shot in Schuyler County in 2009 that dressed out at 256 pounds. Zen Olow, our local representative for Region 9, reported that the DEC arrested a landowner for releasing wild swine in Allegheny State park. The hogs were brought in via horse trailers. However, the hogs were found and destroyed and the perpetrator was fined.
NYS is taking a hard line stance on the spread of feral swine as insight from the 2012 International Pig Conference suggests.
"Damage caused by wild pigs is one of the greatest concerns to wildlife biologists and managers today. Wild pigs have the potential to cause ecological and economical destruction far surpassing any other invasive exotic vertebrate."
Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lakeshore Longbeards, will hold a meeting Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20 in Sheridan. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and will focus on the upcoming membership dinner. Regional Director Marty Huber plans on attending. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and all are invited to attend.
The SAREP Youth Fly Fishing Program will begins its 14th season of FREE fly tying/fly fishing classes on Monday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Fredonia Middle School Cafeteria. Field trips will occur shortly afterwards. Classes are free and are open to children and community members. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The classes will continue to meet every Monday until early summer.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club also will host FREE fly tying instruction compliments of Willie Fedrick, Jeffrey Rasmus, Ken Hollander and Monte Kennedy on Monday evenings starting at 6 p.m. All are welcome.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will resume its annual Hunters Helping the Hungry program. On Tuesdays, Con Club members are urged to bring a non-perishable food item with them. All donations will be distributed to the needy in the community through the efforts of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Youth Organization during the Christmas season.
Fly tying classes have resumed on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., at the Sinclairville Free Library. Classes will continue until May. All tools and materials are provided free. For more information, call 962-3635 or 485-3919 or log on www.countrykidsonthefly.blogspot.com.
The Ellery Rod & Gun Club located on Pancake Hill Road, Bemus Point will host a turkey shoot on Nov. 11, from 9 until noon. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon. This event is open to the public.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.