How to Build a Hog Trap
By Chris Jaworowski, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Landowners, farmers and wildlife managers in Alabama are looking for answers to the growing population of feral hogs in the state. Feral hogs are destroying crops and pastures and competing with native wildlife species for valuable food sources. Alabama landowners are not going to take it anymore. Across the state, landowners and wildlife managers are developing control programs to eliminate this non-native species. An important part of any feral hog control program involves live trapping. Feral hog traps come in all shapes and sizes; however, research has shown that corral traps have the ability to catch and hold more hogs than box-type traps.
The first step in building a corral hog trap is determining the type of door to use. Three types of door designs are commonly used in hog trapping: falling doors, swinging doors and root doors. Though all three designs will catch hogs, there is an important difference in the designs. Falling doors are similar to a guillotine and are considered single-catch traps. With this design, once the door falls, trapping is over for the night. Swinging door and root door designs are considered multiple-catch doors because they allow more hogs to push their way into the trap even after the door has closed. Both types of doors will allow landowners to catch hogs; however, utilizing multiple-catch doors increases opportunities to catch hogs after your trigger has been tripped. Hog trap door designs are available via the Internet by searching for “hog trap door plans” in most search engines, or landowners can purchase a ready-to-use door to install in their corral traps. Many local farm stores and Co-ops have ready-to-use corral trap doors in stock.
Constructing a feral hog corral trap is an easy task that can be completed by one or two people in about an hour. To build a corral trap large enough to catch 15 to 20 hogs, the following supplies are needed: three 5-ft. x 16-ft. horse panels, fourteen 6 ½-ft. T-posts, a T-post slammer, one roll of trapper’s tie wire (utility wire), and one pair of lineman’s pliers.
After building or purchasing a door, the next step is to find a suitable location for the trap. To keep hogs from rooting under the trap or bending your panels and escaping, you will need to find a flat and level area about 42 feet in diameter in the shade and near a water source.
Begin constructing the trap by setting the door facing a roadway, trail or fire lane that is accessible by truck, ATV, UTV or tractor. Traps accessible to trails or roads make removal of euthanized hogs much easier. Drive a T-post into the ground on each side of the door and tie the door to the T-post using the trapper’s tie wire and the lineman’s pliers. Next, attach one of the three horse panels to the T-post supporting the door. Be sure to start at ground level and tie the panel to the post about every foot. After tying the wire to the post, use the lineman’s pliers to twist the tie wire tight.
Next, move that panel and adjust to begin the formation of a circle. Install a T-post about 4 feet from the last post on the outside of the panel. Keep adding T-posts about every 4 feet until another horse panel is needed. When needed, overlap the next panel about 2 feet and tie both panels together with the tie wire. Be sure to install a T-post at the junction of the two overlapping panels. When the end of the second panel is reached, overlap the third panel and tie the panels together using the tie wire. Pull the panel around to the door and complete the circle by attaching the third panel to the T-post supporting the door. Remember to start at ground level when tying the panel to the post and install a tie about every foot. After tying the third panel to the door, complete the trap by installing T-posts every 4 feet along the third panel.
Trigger selection for the new trap depends on the door type used, but most often a trip wire made of 50- to 60-pound test fishing line and some type of root stick will be used.
For more information on trapping hogs contact Chris Jaworowski at 154 Battlefield Rd, Lowndesboro, AL 36752 or contact your local Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries district office.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit http://www.outdooralabama.com.
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources November 30, 2011
64 North Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130