Baril, the extension agent, knows what to do, but the answer requires the cooperation of landowners in the area.
“Now is the time when we can start setting traps in the creek bottom,” he said.
The hogs are foraging more now, he said, because most of the acorns that fell in October have been consumed by hogs, deer, squirrels and turkeys.
And although they travel to higher areas to eat, the animals live in low areas where creeks exist.
He said large traps, which hold a whole family — or sounder — of hogs are the key to eliminating the problem. The traps hold up to 20 hogs.
The whole family must be caught at the same time.
“If you leave one female, and she meets up a male, you will be back in the same situation a year later,” Baril said.
Night-vision cameras are set up near the traps so observers can make sure every hog in the family is inside the trap before the door is set to close.
Although now is the time to trap the wild hogs plaguing north Jefferson, there is one good reason Baril is not trapping them at this moment.
“The issue is cost,” Baril said. “Who is going to pay for it?”
He said that sometimes, the owner of the land where the hogs have chosen to make their home ends up eating the cost. He said it is similar to when a person’s livestock gets loose and causes damage; the owner is responsible.
However, “these are wild, so no one claims them. It’s a community problem,” Baril said. “The homeowners [where the hogs damage property] are not going to pay for it, except for repairing their property. The city often picks up part of the tab.”
Baril said the trap itself costs a few hundred dollars, but the real expense is night-vision cameras, which sometimes get stolen and must be replaced.
Baril said he is working on the problem with Mayor Phillips, and that the mayor has gotten permission from some landowners for traps to be set.
Phillips said this week he has not yet received an estimate on the cost of trapping the hogs.
At Monday’s Gardendale City Council meeting, resident Kermit Dooley asked what is being done about the hog problem.
Council President Stan Hogeland said the city will announce a plan during the April 15 city council meeting.
State law does not permit the transport of live hogs, according to Baril, so they will be killed when they are trapped.
They are edible, and reportedly taste great.