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Long-awaited BoarBusterâ„¢ deliveries begin this month

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There is an abundance of feral hog traps on the market that landowners and land managers can purchase at their local feed store, farm and ranch store, or welding shop. Many of these traps are readily available and easily moved from point A to B, but they leave a lot to be desired in terms of effectiveness.

Feral hogs are extremely intelligent. They balk at the sight of panels at ground level, narrow openings to walk through or door thresholds to cross. All of these characteristics are limitations of conventional box and corral traps. The hogs' hesitancy to enter a trap is referred to as trap shyness.

In addition to the feral hog's keen eye for structures designed to entrap them, they learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. Imagine a sounder (group of feral hogs) of 20 hogs continuously visiting a bait source. After a trap is set, five of the 20 hogs walk inside and trigger the trap. This leaves 15 hogs uncaptured outside of the trap. Those 15 hogs that witnessed the commotion associated with entrapment of their fellow cohorts may now be "educated" to the dangers of traps, leading to more difficulty in trapping these hogs in the future.

Noble Research Institute researchers began testing hog traps in 2010 and published results in the July 2011 Ag News and Views article Using Drop-nets to Capture Feral Hogs and the July 2013 Ag News and Views article BoarBuster thinks outside the box trap.

We did not set out with the intent of building a new trap, but just as experienced trappers continuously modify their techniques to improve trapping success, we built the first BoarBuster to capture trap-shy hogs. The BoarBuster is revolutionary because of its suspended nature and feature that enables users to view live streaming video. Feral hogs can enter the BoarBuster from any direction without crossing a threshold or encountering panels at ground level. The trap informs its users of hog presence at the trap via text or email message, allowing its users to capture those hogs with the touch of a button on a keyboard or smartphone.

Many landowners and land managers across the United States have anxiously awaited the unveiling of the BoarBuster. After years of research and product development to make the BoarBuster effective, safe and user-friendly, that day is here. The BoarBuster system is being exclusively manufactured and marketed by W-W Livestock Systems in Thomas, Oklahoma. The BoarBuster system is priced at $5,995, which includes the trap and camera. A monthly fee for cellular service is projected to be $69 per month. There will be no annual contracts for the cellular service. To purchase a BoarBuster, contact W-W at boarbuster@pldi.net or 1-800-999-1214. W-W also has more than 1,200 dealers nationwide (locate at wwmanufacturing.com/locator). Deliveries are expected to begin June 1, 2015.

For more information, including videos of BoarBuster in action, go to boarbuster.com. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Josh Gaskamp serves as the technical consultation manager and a wildlife and range consultant at Noble Research Institute. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University. He joined Noble Research Institute in 2007 after working as a hunting guide and gun-dog trainer on the King Ranch. Gaskamp's research on drop-nets as a potential tool for feral hog control led him to develop the BoarBuster™ suspended corral trap. His areas of interest include habitat management for wildlife, prescribed fire, and feral hog impacts.