This invasive animal acts similarly to a harmful virus in the human body. They enter an ecosystem, multiply rapidly, destroy valuable cropland and urban areas, endanger native wildlife, spread disease, and pollute waterways. With recordable populations now present in 48 states, feral hogs – also called wild hogs or wild pigs – have a financial impact exceeding more than $1.5 billion each year. With no viable control option, feral hogs are not only winning the war, they were uncontested. Until this week.
On Friday the 13th, the Noble Foundation signed a commercialization agreement to bring the BoarBuster™ trap system to consumers across the United States. W-W Livestock Systems (Thomas, Oklahoma) will unveil BoarBuster today at the 39th annual National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tennessee.
“The BoarBuster trap system demonstrates how the Noble Foundation and agriculture research provides tangible solutions to the real-world problems facing farmers, ranchers and consumers affected by this problem,” said Jeff Moen, director of business development at the Noble Foundation. “Feral hog populations have been expanding their zone of destruction for years. Our wildlife researchers identified and created a solution to the problem. With the help of two partners, today we will bring that vision into reality and forever change how land owners and managers control feral hogs as well as other animals.”
BoarBuster is revolutionary in its design. Unlike any other system available, BoarBuster uses a rigid trap enclosure that is operationally elevated above a trap site. This arrangement allows feral hogs to freely enter and exit the trapping area, which reduces trap shyness, an inherent condition where intelligent animals learn what a trap does and how to avoid it.
As a critical part of this system, BoarBuster relies upon a newly developed camera system created by Tactical Electronics (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma). Unlike other trail cameras, this camera system offers the ability to deliver real-time video of the trap site, providing the viewer a broad view of the trap and any animal activity around the site. The video is optimized for day or night viewing.
When the system detects motion around the trap site, it sends an activity alert to the user via a smartphone and Web-based app. Users can then log onto the BoarBuster system and view the activity occurring at the trap site. Watching the live video eliminates accidently trapping any unwanted animals.
Most importantly, users can remotely activate the trap while watching the video whenever a desired number of hogs have entered the trap. “The BoarBuster is the most advanced animal trapping system out there today,” said Harlan Starr, a private land manager, owner of Chattokee Lodge LLC and Chattokee Farms LLC in Alabama, and administrator of a BoarBuster test site. “The live streaming video cameras make BoarBuster so simple to use. I no longer have to sit out there late at night in the freezing cold trying to catch feral hogs. I receive an email, log on, watch what’s happening and spring the trap when I want. I have caught feral hogs while eating dinner, even at a ball game. It is a remarkable piece of technology.”
The scientific research conducted with the BoarBuster trap system shows its unmatched ability to provide feral hog population control. Feral hog populations must be reduced by 70 percent annually to achieve effective control. From years of testing and evaluation on both Noble Foundation properties as well as 10 locations around the United States, the Boarbuster trap system catches 88 percent of targeted hog populations. On average, conventional feral hog traps capture 49 percent or less of such hog populations.
The BoarBuster system, which is about 18 feet in diameter and capable of capturing more than 30 feral hogs per drop, will be available mid-summer 2015. The new trap will be exclusively manufactured and marketed by W-W Livestock Systems. “This trap is easy to transport and set up. Most people can start catching hogs within 24 hours of assembling it,” said Marc Popejoy, general manager for W-W Livestock Systems. “Its technology gives the user total control, and most importantly, it works. Feral hogs should be scared.”