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March 22nd, 2013
11:28 PM ET

AR-15s used to protect crops from hogs

CNN's Victor Blackwell interviews the owner of Hog Swat who demonstrates what some call a practical use for the AR-15 - protecting crops from wild hogs.

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Filed under: Guns
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Dave H

    It is very easy to tell those folks who have no concept of what it takes to put food on our tables and how small the profit margin to do so is. Those of you who are against the extermination of these pests are more than welcome to travel to Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, or any of the other states that are trying to get a handle on this problem and implement your solutions on your dime. AR-15 rifles are tools, nothing more. They are not evil, sometimes they are used by evil people. That does not change the fact that they are just tools. I know, I know, I am just one of those dumb hicks who clings to his guns. Go back to your triple-mocha latte and lament about the poor little piggies being assaulted.

    March 27, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  2. Bob

    Very well selected weapon, excellent choice !

    March 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  3. Brian

    Cool story! I hope some of that meat goes to feed some hungry folks as well. I have had wild boar and it was very tasty! Seems like some good bbq or pig roasts should be going on in southern Georgia! I hope the farmers can get a decent crop in this year and see some profit.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  4. JWall

    @CVWeigle "Heavy Artillery" for hogs? The standard 5.56×45mm (.223) used in the AR15 in most OK/TX hunters opions would be too light for hog hunting at distance. Most would say a .30 or .338 caliber would be more appropriate. Hogs are not the easiest of animals to bring down. The AR platform is an excellent choice do to size and ease of use and large capacity magazines are a must.

    @Crysmyra I am an animal lover and avid hunter and agree that all animals have their place, but consider this... If you go by the interview above and you have one sow that has 48 piglets in a year and lets just say that half (6) are female, so that first year one sow has 24 female pigs.... 24×48=1,152 then 576×48=27,648 then 13,824×48=663,552.... Your one sow unchecked can be the mother to a HUGE problem for farmers in about 2-3 years unchecked... The ones they have now are causing thousands and thousands of dollars in damages yearly... You can trap them but then what do you do with them? Release them? Nobody else wants them. You don't want to poison them because that is just bad for the ecology. Shooting them is the best, effective way of dealing with the growing problem and if money can be made in the process then all the better for everybody.

    @GSCOTT Have you seen the damage a feral hog can do? Fences are like paper to them. We aren't exactly talking about "Wilbur" here.

    This was a well done interview and the growing population of hogs across the country is becoming an issue. Not only do they destroy crops, they kill wild turkey and deer. They eat anything. They are are a very cunning animal and can be dangerous to people as well. Also, to say "nobody hunts with an AR15" is smooth lie.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Jeremiah

      Well, I'd call it not a hunt but a massacre :) And while I'm a huge proponent of wild animal population regulation this case shows that ar-15 if a very effective and an *extremely dangerous* weapon. I would say – make hog-exterminator a licensed profession and allow them to have these weapons.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  5. Adam

    Ok where do I start with all these people commenting on here. Doug claims that 10 rounds is plenty of rounds to do this job. Look at the video he uses 6 just in one shoot. What if it take more than on shot, what if the boar charges him it would be safer to have a 30 round magazine. GSCOTT claims that a fence is in order to keep the poor little hoggies safe. I am calling you out here. A hog has no problem running through a fence at all, and it can't be baiting. If the farmer did not intend to have hogs on his land than how is it baiting. To crysmyra the hogs are looking for food, but causing 9000 dollars worth of damage in two days is a very good reason to rid these vermin from the farm. If shooting them wasn't the easiest and best way you would hear about it. Hogs are like rats in your house. They destroy alot and you would probably terminate them. Finally to C.V Weigle. Sure it doesn't take an AR-15 to kill a hog, but it is the most efficient form of killing one for this mans purposes. Think about it. It doesn't take an f-350 to work in construction. You could drive a prius and tow with one, but would it be the most efficient tool for the job...NO. He uses this tool for protecting the crops that you eat, and this man is not the only one. Take a step back and look at what he uses the AR-15 for. A legitimate save and valuable service to his community. As a law abiding citizen he has every right to use this platform to do what he does.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  6. tom

    Good point! ..........PETA will be complaining about this, I am sure.

    March 25, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
  7. Pete

    Very well put and awesome reporting Victor! We have a similar problem in the Midwest with Coyotes and the AR-15 platform makes a huge difference.

    March 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  8. OregonTom

    I here the OTMRP Mk13 round is great on feral pigs. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject?

    March 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Mike

      The MK-19 would be much better for the pigs in large groups. One trip would get rid of the problem. With coyotes, they tend to travel by themselves so good .223 should be excellent. Should use a good bolt action w/a scope.

      March 26, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • jim

      I would recommend that gun to anyone who hog hunts.

      March 26, 2013 at 9:43 am |
  9. Tom Hurley

    I loved the video. I thought Hal did great expressing his rights, his desire and his needs for the AR15. I also thought CNN remained neutral on that front...Good Job! I cant stand when the media twists stories for their own political agenda or beliefs. I wonder does the media believe the audience is stupid and will consider what is reported as fact when the truth of the matter is reporter biases spewed out invoke further separation and controversy. So thanks for not making this story about those bad guns. We sell Military Thermal Imaging systems that would work perfect for this need and with the DOD not buying these days we hope we can keep our business running from alternative angles such as monitoring and control of invasive species animals.

    March 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
  10. Mark Wilson

    Why not use an AR-15? Does the type of gun really matter? I have to drive to work every morning, does the make/model of my car determine whether I actually get there? Stop being so ridiculous over gun control.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • jim

      We should all have the right to choose witch guns we can use. in this video they were just giveing another reason for the ar- platform.

      March 26, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • John

      The gun type does matter. Have you tried shooting a 500 lb hog with a pistol? Doesn't really work out well. lol

      March 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  11. doug

    His premise for needing a 30 round mag is a farce. He's lucky to hit two in one firing spree. They run so fast you can't get off thirty rounds and hope to hit anything. 10 rounds would be quite sufficient. By the time you fire 10, the living hogs are long gone. Now, he could justify having a fully automatic 50 caliber machine gun by that argument. That way he could probably kill 5 or 6 before they get to scatter, but that would be a ridiculous demand just for hog killing.

    March 25, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Matthew

      I have literally shot a hog, in the head, under a feeder at night that was standing in a large group and watched the rest of the group continue eating.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
    • Chris

      Something they dont mention is that feral hogs will get angry and even charge at people and they can do serious damage. What are you gonna do if your 10 rounds are gone?

      March 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
    • Allen

      You obviously didn't watch the video where they showed him kill 8 hogs while firing more than 10 shots.

      March 26, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Doug

      There's obviously quite a few people that aren't very familiar with feral hogs. First off, fences don't stop them!! They will root under them or just tear them up. Chain link, barbed wire, doesn't matter.
      They do move FAST and if your come across a pack of them (NOT uncommon) many times, when they "Scatter" and handful will end up charging straight at you.....so yes, the extra magazine capacity might be the difference as to whether you will keep your leg or not. I had a buddy who was checking his traps last year and lost a tire on his truck when a bore charged his truck and "Gored" his rear tire....actually tore a chunk out of the sidewall.
      I prefer the 7.62×39 round. It's got a little more punch than the 5.56 round. Pull two pins and swap the upper assembly and go to work.
      I've actually hunted with a suppressed .300 whisper, that was NICE. You get to hit two or three before the "Scatter" begins...then if your good, you can still get a couple more. Seeing that we took almost 400 hogs last year off that one ranch alone, it's not hard to do. Oh, and it borders the San Jacinto River for several miles so it's kinda impossible to fence it anyway... 27 THOUSAND acres isn't exactly a LITTLE back yard to fence!!!

      March 26, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Mike

      Based on the video, he got about 3-4 but it took about 15-20 rounds if you listen to the firing. He could, in fact do w/less rounds but, like he said, would be less successful. On the other hand, if these guys did their homework, found out where the hogs travel into the fields from, they could set up better ambushes and take care of them more efficiently.
      That's called actual hunting. Gotta do the homework.

      March 26, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Ed

      While you sound believable, you are incorrect. Two weeks ago I did away with twelve hogs in one sitting using subsonic rounds with a silencer. I believe I used 22 rounds – gave away lots of meat after a not so pleasant loading and cleaning party.

      March 26, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  12. GSCOTT

    I have heard of a rather new invention call a FENCE you may have heard of this. This is basically baiting the hogs. It sounds like it is more about recreation and making money rather than protecting the crops. Even if the farmer builds the fences a little at a time made from some natural materials like trees it would be better than a slaughter on innocent "baited" wildlife.
    Get a clue please. Have consideration for God's creatures.

    March 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • John

      A large wild bore is more than capable of uprooting or knocking down an average fence. Unless you are talking about surrounding thousands of acres of farm land in high-strength concrete walls it won't make much of a difference, and who is going to pay for that.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Chuck

      The areas in question are large enough they aren't described in feet or even acres, the land area is described in square miles. Fences are, at best, a 'this is where my property begins' indicator.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
    • Matt

      A fence wouldn't stop them. Hogs can dig like crazy. Also they would destroy a wooden fence. They are considered pests like rodents...just bigger.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Sean

      Get out a calculator...then calculate how much a fence costs per linear foot..then calculate how many feet it takes to enclose about 20,000 acres, then calculate the man power needed to build the fence, then calculate the cost of up keeping said fence, then calculate how much you're willing to pay for the vegetables in your meal this evening.

      #realworldproblems

      March 26, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Nick

      Have you ever priced out how much it would cost to fence off 700 plus acres? we did it at our 30 acre farm and it took a year for us to set up, constant maintenance, electricity bills and thousands of dollars to pay for the materials and manhours required to do it. And then deer still got into it on a regular basis.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:49 am |
    • Tyler

      Not sure if you quite comprehend how many miles of fencing that would require just in south GA, not to mention the cost and loss in profits from tree removal and time commitment to actually build that many fences. Also they may be gods creatures, but they are a non native invasive species in the United states, brought over from Europe in colonial times. It's significantly easier, and cheaper to shoot them. Not to mention they taste good and the meat is all natural!

      As far as baiting traps go, they give a seriously unfair advantage to the average hunter. But save a lot of tax payer dollars when DNR Wildlife Services is called out for hog removal from a site, because it makes the job that much quicker and easier.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:41 am |
  13. Crysmyra

    This is very distrubing, the hogs deserve a place to live and they are simply looking for food, there has to be another way to keep the out of the crops other than slaughtering them. This is terrible, again we distroy things for our pleasure.

    March 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • John

      An overpopulated species that destroys habitat and property.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Chuck

      Hogs moved from being part of the ecosystem, to being a damaging and destructive invasive species long ago. There is nothing they won't eat or tear up, destroying the indigenous plant/animal habitats and ecological balance.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Nick

      You know they cause millions and millions of dollars in damage to farmer's crops right? they are an invasive feral species.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • jim

      The hog population have booming over the years witch has ended up to this. If we dont take care of a few hogs mother nature will take care of them.

      March 26, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Doug

      This is the result of a species of animal being introduced into a habitat (by man) that it was never intended to be in. They only have 2 capable predators down here.....gators and MAN. They multiply like rabbits and completely destroy the natural habitat, literally causing ALL of the other natural wildlife to suffer....if not starve.

      There is only ONE plausible answer......remove them and restore the wildlife back to it's natural state.
      Since the states down here don't have the budgets to take care of the problem, they simply have removed ALL hunting restrictions in order to allow the hunters and sportsman to take care of the problems for themselves.

      Here's an example:
      If one female can have a litter of up to 12, 3 times a year......and you estimate there's almost a hundred on your property now, how many do you have to kill every year just to keep the population IN CHECK?

      March 26, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Keros

      Crysmyra, if it were your property and your livelihood, I bet you wouldn't mind if someone protected your assets for free. It's a win-win situation. He's not having the guy destroy it for pleasure. He's getting his assets protected for free by allowing the other guy to sell the opportunity to make money by having other people kill them for sport. The other thing he could do is to pay some guy out of his pocket. If it were you, how much would you pay for a full time person or persons to keep watch on your ten/hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of product?

      March 26, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • stever

      ...and using Guns to do it. Only in America.

      March 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  14. C.V. Weigle

    Anderson, It doesn't take an AR-15 to kill deer or bears so why the heavy artillery for hogs? By the way, I can' believe that you have not put the South Carolina State Legislature on your ridiculist. The state Senate recently passed (to thunderous applause) a bill that will allow South Carolinians to carry guns WITHOUT A CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT. I will feel about as safe as the hogs in Georgia. God help us! C.V.

    March 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • John

      Yes, it doesn't take an AR-15 to kill a bear, it takes a lot more. The .223 round that an ar-15 fires wouldn't even phase a bear, people usually carry 12 gauge shotgun slugs and large caliber revolvers for protection from bears. An ar-15 is hardly "heavy artillery" as far as firearms and is perfect for hunting smaller game and varmints like wild bore and coyotes.

      March 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Chuck

      By law, the ammunition used in AR-15s (.223 Remington or 5.56mm NATA) is too weak (in ft-lbs of energy delivered to the target) to be used for most large game hunting. 'Bigger' caliber guns are therefore needed. Smaller calibers are typically allowed for pest or varmit extermination.

      If you are instead speaking of ammunition capacity, the 'need' falls more towards convenience and safety of the shooter if the hogs happen to charge the hunting party, which is not unheard of, especially in close or unexpected encounters.

      March 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
    • Nick

      If you knew anything about guns, you would know that the reason people dont use AR15's for deer or bear hunting is because the round they shoot is not powerful enough to be effective. .223 is less than half the power of your typical deer hunting caliber like .30-06.

      That said, some AR's in larger calibers are used for larger game hunting(like the rare ones in .458 socom, .300 black out or AR10's in .308), but other wise the .223 standard AR's see use in varmint hunting like in the video.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:46 am |
    • Doug

      First off, an AR 15 is nothing more than a .22 on steroids.....but it's still a .22 caliber projectile. A far cry from heavy artillery.
      Second, the AR is a very modular weapons platform. I can pull 2 pins and change the upper assembly on mine to change between multiple calibers in just a few seconds. 6.8 SPC for deer, .223 for coyotes, .204 for varmints, 7.62×39 for hogs, etc... Doing so allows me to use the same rifle instead of 5 or 6 different rifles. Familiarity is key when it comes to accuracy...since the same lower assembly is used for all of the above listed calibers, the trigger always feels the same.

      As for the concealed carry, many states are the same way. Some even allow "Open carry" without a permit.
      Not to worry, I haven't seen any "Wild West" shootouts on the news lately.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:10 am |
  15. Dhani Schimizzi

    SANDY HOOK: How can our representatives in Congress dare tell the American people they hold 'NO POSITION' on banning 'WOW'! -'Weapons of War' on Main St., after we've suffered one of the great American tragedies of the New Millennium? (Anderson, you tell me.)

    March 23, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

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