Hogs running wild in Gardendale

Feral hogs are costing property owners thousands in damages. Source: WBRC video
Feral hogs are costing property owners thousands in damages. Source: WBRC video

GARDENDALE, AL (WBRC) - Help may be on the way for a hog problem in north Jefferson County. Community leaders in Gardendale are planning their next step in dealing with the issue and they're asking for input from people like John Epps.

Just about everything green you see on the Castle Pines Golf Course is under the care of Epps. He cuts the grass, prunes the trees, and hunts wild hogs.

"About eight years ago they actually showed up," Epps said.

Since then, Epps has been trailing, trapping, and killing the feral pigs. He says they are a danger to small pets and can cause thousands in property damage.

"A brand new green. The other night we redid it they got on there and chewed that up which cost thousands of dollars," Epps said.

It's not just a problem for Castle Pines. Several Gardendale residents have complained about the hogs with some even hiring companies to trap them. Now another source of help may be on the way.

"I emailed city hall in Gardendale and asked if they were interested in talking," Andrew Baril said.

Andrew Baril is an agent for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Thursday, he will host a Feral Hog awareness meeting in Gardendale. Baril says the key to solving the problem is targeting wooded areas and creeks that flow through them.

"Nobody goes down there. That's where they've been living for years now. The landowners that have land in creek bottoms will have to work together to eradicate the problem," Baril said.

Baril says that the hogs will have to be targeted there in the creek bottoms. He says ideally that will be funded through federal grants, the city of Gardendale and private landowners.  Baril says if they take this task on it must be done thoroughly because if just one female hog is left out, 25 pigs could be born in 2 years.

The awareness meeting is set for Thursday, Oct. 4 at the Gardendale Civic Center. It will start at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.