Archive for category Fish and Game

Building Snowmobiles: The Jager Pro MINE Trapping System- Catching Hogs Using A Smart Phone

This is cool and I wanted to do a post about this new evolution in feral hog eradication. Jager Pro is a veteran owned and operated hunting service that specializes in the eradication of feral pigs.

They are also very good at what they do. From using thermal optics on AR 10 type rifles and hunting these animals at night, to using high tech trapping methods like the MINE trapping system. Because it is a private business, they must find ways of making eradication profitable in order to sustain that business. So they do guided hunts and they sell traps like the MINE system.

What is unique about this system is that it gives trappers all over the country a better tool in the game of capturing these pigs. With the MINE system, you can actually observe and control a trap from thousands of miles away, all with a smart phone. The trap sends a text message via a ‘cellular control box’, when the trap detects movement. Then the trapper can turn on their camera and see how many pigs are actually in the trap. That is a crucial element of this system.

Current traps have very crude trigger mechanisms used to close the trap doors.  This results in only capturing a few pigs, which usually are the young and dumb pigs, and this contributes to the avoidance education of the adult hogs. Pigs use point men as well, and the videos below show how they operate in order to survive. lol

Research has shown that inefficient trapping methods, such as small traps that catch only one or two hogs, lead to avoidance education of adult hogs and continued expansion of the unwanted population.

Below I have posted one of these videos that Jager Pro hads put up about what they are doing. Most of all, it goes into the mental process and intense research that Jager Pro goes through when approaching this problem. They are analyzing and synthesizing–or building snowmobiles.

Of course the method works, and it is being spread to other regions of the country because of it’s effectiveness.

A trapping program designed to concentrate, gradually acclimate – and eventually capture and kill – entire “sounder” social groups of hogs has proven successful and is now in use in 11 states, he told farmers and landowners during a presentation at Millhaven Plantation in Screven County.

Think of this angle as well. Meat processing sites demand that the wild pigs they get should be alive, and thus pay more for living animals. If a trapper can capture an entire sounder group alive, that is money in his pocket.  So this little technological advancement on a basic trap, has the potential to dramatically change the business of trapping–making it more profitable.

This is a great example of the power of Offense Industry as it applies to culling animals. Jager Pro is innovating and continuously improving upon what they do, and I believe they have introduced a disruptive technology for use against these animals. -Matt

 

 

JAGER PRO M.I.N.E.™ Trapping System
(Manually Initiated Nuisance Elimination)

JAGER PRO conducted three years of research and filmed 500+ hours of video to test multiple trapping methods since traps have emerged in a variety of gate designs, materials, sizes and shapes. Our goals were to document pig behavior and also quantify the capture success of each method tested. Results of our research can be viewed on video. Each month we release a new five-minute trapping video of lessons learned via our newsletter and YouTube Channel. Viewers can understand the most effective trapping methods by watching feral hogs react to various trap gates and enclosures.

Our trapping standard is 100% capture of the entire sounder group. There have been few published studies to determine the most efficient or the most cost effective trap design needed to accomplish this task in order to successfully reduce agricultural and environmental damage of wild hogs. Our definition of efficient is to spend the least amount of time, labor and fuel to accomplish 100% capture. Our definition of cost effective is to spend the least amount of money to accomplish these same results.

The most efficient design in our research was a large corral trap (35’ diameter) using six 16-56™ trap panels, an automatic feeder and an eight feet wide M.I.N.E.™ gate closed by a remote control device. This method of trapping allowed us to capture entire sounder groups with the push of a button while onsite or viewing cellular pictures or live video from another location. Timers were set to broadcast feed every day at the exact same time. Cameras captured live video footage of hogs entering the trap enclosure until the entire sounder was conditioned to use the feeder as a daily food source. A human made an educated decision to close the gate using this method. This approach was our most efficient trapping method and demonstrated whole sounder removal in less than eight days every time. This method was also more expensive to operate because it required the use of a cellular camera for remote “text” pictures or a cell modem for IP streaming live video. These technologies are currently available through JAGER PRO™ sales

The most cost effective design in our research utilized the same large corral trap (35’ diameter) explained above using six 16-56™ trap panels, an automatic feeder and an eight feet wide M.I.N.E.™ gate but was closed by an electronic trip wire. This method of trapping still required us to condition the hogs to trust the enclosure as a food source but used less expensive game cameras to capture video footage of hogs entering the trap area. This required trappers to visit the trap site every few days to observe video on the camera’s SD cards. Electronic trip wires were then set at the back of the trap so hogs would trigger the gate closed while feeding which demonstrated an overall 87% success rate. This method was the most cost effective but required much more time, labor and fuel to operate while producing lesser results.

RESEARCH CONCLUSION-
Video intelligence is preferred over single pictures to receive the most complete feedback. Camera must be positioned opposite the trap gate to properly view hogs still outside the enclosure. Trap gate must be a minimum of eight feet wide with no visible frame to step over. Narrow gate thresholds and frames on the ground will prevent a trap-shy adult from entering a trap. Late winter months (December-March) provides the optimum trapping opportunity when hogs were searching for new food sources after the fall mast crops of acorns and hickory nuts are eaten. Round traps provide the largest trap area for materials used and there are no corners for the animals to pile up and jump out. Trapping is a very effective control method for removing large numbers of feral hogs if the task is performed correctly.

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Fish And Game: Utah’s Predator Control Program–$50 Dollar Bounty Per Coyote!

The Utah Legislature passed two predator-related bills in 2012. The first bill, Predator Control Funding (Senate Bill 87), adds a $5 fee to all Utah big game hunting permits. The money will fund a program to control populations of predatory animals that endanger the health of Utah’s non-predatory wildlife.
The second bill, Mule Deer Protection Act (Senate Bill 245), allocates general funding to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources ($500,000) and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food ($250,000). The legislation directs our agencies to work together — and with other government entities — to administer programs that reduce and control coyote populations, particularly in areas where predation of mule deer occurs.

Outstanding and it is good to see a state implement a ‘state-wide’ bounty program, as opposed to having counties within the state do this. The reason why this is a better program is because then hunters in one county can’t bag a coyote and take the thing to another county that posted the bounty. It is easy for hunters to ‘game’ the system, and it is unfair to those counties that bare the costs of such a thing.

Now when it comes to hunters going out of state and killing coyotes, and then bringing them to Utah to try and collect the bounty is another issue. Of course the DWR have tried to set up appropriate measures to keep folks honest, but I am sure there will be those who will test the system.

Plus, coyotes could care less about state borders.  Perhaps if Utah tried to convince their neighbors to implement a regional plan, and maybe even appeal to the federal government for such a thing, then maybe this program could be more effective?

The funding of this is interesting as well. It takes one group of hunters that go after big game, and attaches a 5 dollar fee to their tag, so that another group of hunters that focuses on coyotes will be compensated. The culling of coyotes helps to increase the amount of deer, or one system helps another system.

Plus, a hunter that goes after both deer and coyotes could potentially cover the cost of their hunting trip by bagging a few coyotes! In a poor economy, a program like this is a win win– deer meat in the freezer and income from culling coyotes.

The other reason why I like posting these deals is that bounty systems are excellent studies for offense industry.  You can see how hunters operate and how the system supports the overall goal of culling. You can also observe any unforeseen consequences and see how that group changes the program to mitigate that. My one advice to Utah is to remain flexible and use the data collected to apply some Kaizen to their culling program.

Below I have posted the FAQ, but if you go to the website you will see all of the forms and links that are associated with the FAQ. Good luck and happy hunting. -Matt

 

Utah’s Predator Control Program
Our offices have received many phone calls and questions about Utah’s new laws to control coyotes and other predators. This page provides details about the new Predator Control Program and addresses the most common questions. Please keep in mind that this information is subject to change and may be updated at any time. We encourage you to check back on a regular basis for the latest updates.
Frequently asked questions
How will the new Predator Control Program work?
This year, in addition to maintaining an aggressive predator-management policy, the DWR is implementing a predator control program that provides incentives for members of the public to remove coyotes. Participants in this new program will receive $50 for each properly documented coyote that they kill in Utah. For details, see the rest of this FAQ page or download the fact sheet (170 KB PDF) and the map (382 KB PDF).
When does the program begin?
You may register for the program starting July 1, 2012. There are no restrictions on removal dates after the program has begun, but reimbursements will not begin until after Sept. 1, 2012.
How do I register for the program?

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Fish And Game: The Pork Chopper Bill Passes–Texas Legalizes Helicopter Hunting Of Feral Pigs

Pretty cool. Hopefully this will create it’s own little industry that thrives. Anything that can reduce the population of these feral pigs and is self sustaining is a great way to go. It looks like Vertex is advertising itself as a helicopter hunting outfit if you are interested in doing something like this. -Matt

 

Serious shooters are lining up for a chance to hunt feral hogs from helicopters
August 27, 2011
By Steve Campbell
“Pork choppers,” Texas’ newest weapon in the war on feral hogs, will take to the skies Thursday when it becomes legal for hunters to buy seats on hog-hunting helicopters and gun down as many pigs as they can put in their sights.
With more than 2 million feral hogs rooting around the Lone Star State, there will be plenty of targets for aerial gunners willing to pay $475 for an hour of heli-hunting.
Vertex Helicopters is already bringing home the bacon as a result of the measure passed by the Texas Legislature this year.
The Houston-based firm requires shooters to take a $350 hunting safety course before they can book a hunt, said President Mike Morgan, a former Army helicopter pilot.
Sixty hunters have taken the course, and two more 15-person classes are already filled, he said.
“These are people who are really, really serious about shooting things,” Morgan said, noting that hunters from New York City, Missouri and Kansas have taken the course, which includes a four-hour class and 30 minutes of learning airborne target practice.
Vertex has secured landowners’ permission to hunt on more than 150,000 acres across the state and is negotiating to add another 550,000 acres, he said.
The company has booked more than 30 hunts with a three-hour minimum of flight time. Most shooters are scheduling five hours to six hours, he said.
“In the big picture it’s not that expensive,” Morgan said. “You have people paying $10,000 for one deer. At $475 an hour, it’s barely a drop in the bucket for serious hunters.”

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Fish And Game: Trout Fishing Bounties In Idaho!

The reward breakdown is: 300 of the tags are worth $50 each; 200 are worth $100; 50 are worth $200; 20 worth $500; and 5 are worth $1,000 each.
The competitive aspect is that the tags are invisible to the eye and can’t be detected by a standard metal detector. In order to tell whether a fish is a winner it must be killed and brought into the Idaho Falls Fish and Game headquarters to be checked.
Because the rainbow trout is a sport fish, it cannot be wasted. Anglers can keep the meat and turn in the head if they desire, or they can turn in the whole fish…….

Every lake trout of any size and rainbow trout more than 13 inches long harvested from Lake Pend Oreille pays $15.00!

Talk about cool?  Fishing trout and collecting a bounty for your effort?  lol It doesn’t get any better than that! Plus you get to enjoy the meat and you only have to turn in the head for verification.

So for you anglers out there that are looking for a good trout fishing vacation, try out the South Fork Snake River or Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. Read both ads for bounties below if you are interested and definitely check out the video they made about why they are doing this. -Matt

IDAHO FISH AND GAME UPPER SNAKE REGION NEWS RELEASE
Idaho Falls, ID
Fish And Game Offers Bounty On Rainbow Trout
Date:March 29, 2010
Contact:Gregg Losinski
(208) 525-7290
Since 1982 Idaho Fish and Game fisheries biologists have been monitoring the numbers of the different types of trout in the South Fork Snake River outside of Idaho Falls.
This monitoring has tracked the effects non-native rainbow trout are having on native Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations. Rainbow trout can interbreed with cutthroats and produce fertile offspring. The resulting generations of hybrids become more and more like rainbows, and less like cutthroats.

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Fish And Game: Jager Pro Thermal Hog Control

     “I quickly found that hunting in the daytime, the traditional way, I wasn’t very effective… I saw how effective thermal technology was in combat, and from what I see, farmers and ranchers are at war with feral hogs in the United States. So, it just made common sense to me,” said Rod.

     Wow, this is cool. What do you get when you combine a combat veteran, thermal night vision equipment, military grade weapons, and cutting edge hunting methods for guided pig hunts?  You get one hell of a hog eradication service, and that is what this country needs right now.

    Enter Jager Pro Thermal Hog Control out of Columbus, Georgia.  This company is not only brutally efficient in eradicating these things, but they are also in the business of taking folks out on guided night hunts to turn a profit.  Just imagine if Jager Pro became a franchise and these guys were able to take this concept to the next level? (they do day hunts as well)

     Feral hogs are a huge problem and I have talked about this in the past.  Even here in Idaho there are sightings of feral pigs in the south and this state’s game officials are concerned about their possible growth here. In Texas and the rest of the south, they are really bad and it is an all out war to eradicate these things. The amount of damage to crops and land they do is costing millions and the reproduction rates of pig are worse than rabbits. It is often referred to as the ‘Pig Bomb’.

     The other thing that jumped out at me was the concept of the ‘Judas Pig’.  Basically this is a strategy derived from a method of eradicating goats in Hawaii back in the eighties. The way it works is they strap a locator beacon on a pig and let them loose in an area. Because these animals are social, they tend to look for their fellow pigs or goats and graze or mate with them. If hunters want to find their prey, they just follow the Judas Pig (usually a young female pig or gilt) and then kill her new found buddies.  It is a method that is being employed all over the world with excellent success.

     Does this sound familiar guys and gals?  Pseudo-operations is what this is, and this is a very simplistic example of how effective it can be when applied to hog hunting.  The trick for warfare is finding that pseudo operator (s) that will lead you to the enemy–either willingly or unwillingly. Which is an interesting question?  I wonder if any Judas Pigs figured out that they were causing so much death and purposely avoided contact with other pigs? hmmm.

     I was thinking what would be really cool for this deal was to combine the Judas Pig concept with a geo-locating mobile app for smart phones.  That way hunters could participate in following the various Judas Pigs that have been released into the wild, all by pulling out a smart phone and seeing what lights up on their GPS enabled map. Jager Pro could offer this app to customers on a subscription basis, or use some other method of monetizing the thing.  Each Jager Pro pin on the map could have different types of information, like if it was a female or male, or how many pigs have been eradicated by using this pig.  It would be one way of making it easier for hunters to do their thing out there, and quicken the eradication process.

     Also, in Texas I am told that you can sell wild pig meat.  But the animal has to be alive when you sell it. They want to test the pig for diseases and whatnot before slaughtering it and selling the meat.  But still, that would be one way of making a little coin off of this deal. Very innovative, and Rod Pinkston of Jager Pro definitely gets a thumbs up from FJ. -Matt

Link to Jager Pro website here.

Facebook for Jager Pro here.

The War On Wild Hogs Using Military Tactics

Using thermal-imaging technology to put the crosshairs on feral hogs.

By Drew Hall

June 2008

 It’s 0100 hours and pitch-black dark as my team and I await our target’s arrival. We’d been briefed just hours before of the mass amount of damage our targets have caused. These beasts have destroyed other’s means of life, they’ve taken hard-earned crops away from farmers and they’ve had little to no regret about any of it. At least, not until tonight. For most of them, tonight will be the end. And for those who survive the assault, they won’t be returning to this area any more.

We lay in silence — waiting. Our team leader whispers the targets should be arriving any minute, their nightly routine rarely changes much. Little did they know, their own routine would be the death of them. They spend the heat of the day hiding in the swamps and thick woods, then they leave the safety of the swamps to devastate the land around them.

Suddenly, we spot a group of targets at more than a half-mile away. Our thermal-imagery optics allow us to view the presence of heat at extreme distances. We decide to start the stalk instead of waiting them out. We need to complete the mission quickly; we don’t have time to wait. After an hour-long stalk in a tactical formation, we are within 50 yards of our targets which have no idea anything is amiss. We spread out in kneeling and prone positions and take aim. The first shot rings out as muzzle fire exits our leader’s rifle. A barrage of rifle fire follows as all but a few of the targets fall to the ground. Some manage to escape, but the chain of command has been broken, and they won’t return.

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Fish And Game: North Dakota Takes Aim With Bounty On Coyotes

     The number of complaints USDA Wildlife Services receives from livestock producers confirms the coyote abundance.      According to Phil Mastrangelo, director of USDA Wildlife Services in North Dakota, coyote complaints increased from 374 in 2007 to 498 last year. He said Wildlife Services has nine wildlife-control experts across the state, and coyotes account for the bulk of their workload.

     “These guys work a large area, a minimum of five counties apiece, and they’re stretched pretty thin,” he said.

    I guess the Senate Bill for this was shot down.  But the House Bill is still in play and I think something like this would be a fantastic idea.

    First, lets look at the opponent’s view on this.  Of course the North Dakota Game and Fish Department would be opposed to a bounty program because it would threaten their good deals. Meaning if a bounty program succeeds, then why fund inefficient programs in the NDGFD?  I compare this to the TSA and their opposition to private industry taking over their airport screening services.(notice how the TSA shot private industry down as well)  This is government versus private industry, or in this case, government versus private hunters.

     But if you read the quote above, they are only using nine USDA government hunters to cover 5 counties apiece! How can they possible put a dent in the coyote population there?  Let alone, if these guys are being paid by the feds, they are probably getting health care and everything else that government jobs entail.  Or they could be contractor hunters–who knows? What I do know is that the state must scale up the hunting of this animal if it want’s to reduce it’s numbers, and it is not enough to just depend upon the whims of recreational hunters to do the job or nine government hunters.

    I think a bounty program would work just fine, and it would be a way for the state to spread the work load and incentivize the process. It would also infuse money back into the local communities where jobs are scarce. Hell, if a hunter was able to bag three coyotes in a day, that would be 300 dollars. Not bad for a day’s work?

     If you want professional hunters to really get involved with the eradication of these animals, you need to make killing coyotes a viable occupation for them.  Hunters pay for their gun, bullets, a tank of gas, food, and maybe even lodging to go out and hunt recreationally. But there is no way a recreational hunter will be driven to expend this much time and treasure to continually do this, unless they have another profession or trust fund that can support this lifestyle. (and some do out there) Hell, I have to really plan and budget to make an effort to go out hunting once or twice a year.

    But if you want to ramp up interest in the task, then it must be incentivized and there must be good rules and management of the process in order for it to be effective. The end result of such an effort will be the desired outcome.  Hell, if commercialized hunting almost decimated the buffalo back in the wild west days, a coyote bounty system could equally be successful.

     Or we can continue to depend upon an inefficient and undermanned government system to do the job–and meanwhile the coyote problem continues to rise and threaten livestock and deer populations. -Matt

North Dakota takes aim with bounty on coyotes

Feb. 09, 2011

By BRAD DOKKEN

Not a day goes by, Gerald Berthold says, when he doesn’t hear coyotes howling nearby on his farm west of Arvilla, N.D.

“You can be out in the evening, and you can hear them just about in every direction howling,” Berthold said.

Coyotes have killed at least two of his calves in recent years, Berthold said. And last summer, he said two calves simply disappeared from a pasture near Emerado, N.D.

Berthold can’t say for sure it was coyotes, but he has his suspicions.

“I don’t know where else they would have went,” he said. “They were too young to take off on their own. They were still nursing. They were month-old calves.”

Coyotes have become an increasingly hot topic in North Dakota in recent years. As the population grows, so, too, have the reports of coyotes causing problems. Berthold said the increase in coyote numbers has been especially apparent the past 10 to 15 years.

“They’re definitely on the increase,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”

Prompted largely by hunters who believe coyotes are hurting deer populations, a couple of bills have surfaced this winter in the North Dakota Legislature taking aim at reducing coyote numbers. House Bill 1454 and Senate Bill 2224 each would establish a $100 bounty on coyotes until 2,000 are taken.

Legislators haven’t yet acted on the bills.

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