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unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 9:26am

Hey guys,



    I'm based in a rural area in East Tennessee
and have had experience with wild animals before.  Here lately though I have been having some
weird experiences. I own a small plot of land that borders a large wooded area
and all of this has been happening on or around my property. Late evening and
once in the middle of the night when the sound woke me up I've been hearing
long grunts that turn into and end with more of a squeal. At first I figured it was a big hog but after the third time I heard the sound it was just
too deep and guttural with this unnatural squeal attached to it.



     I have had experiences with feral hogs on
a friend's farm in Oak Ridge when I went out and helped set traps. I am quite
aware of the sounds and tell-tell signs of feral hogs. The most questionable thing of this was the
intense odor. I assumed it was urine because of the ammonia type musk, but I
have never smelled something like that in my experiences with hogs.



    I have found a few tracks that I saw
on a trail in the woods against my property. They seem pig like but not
like a normal feral hog print. I will maintain awareness while home to see if I
can get more evidence or try to record the sound. I have the pics posted, not the best but its a start to trying to figure this out.



    I appreciate any ideas or answers that you
all might have. I live with and am comfortable with the knowledge that wild
animals are near my home, such as the coyotes, deer or occasional black bear,
but this sound and the fact that I don't recognize this sound or animal really
bothers me.

print on trail
print with rooting? on trail
2056 views
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 10:39am
I thought at first that tis was going to be an April Fool's joke, but to your credit, your report lacks the tell-tale signs of such a posting, such as a flowery writing style, outlandish sighting, reported feelings of indescribable terror etc. So I will give you a straight, non-sarcastic answer.

I've smelled plenty of pigs myself and I have often detected a strong ammonia odor. The sounds, as you admit, are very pig like. The one sound you mention as being much more guttural may simply be a larger boar. It's been found that truly huge boars are usually mixed with domestic swine and attain huge sizes. Hogzilla is a prime example. I will admit to not being familiar with prints.

Still, weighing the evidence you've presented, I'd say you have a large domestic/feral hog. I'm not sure what the game laws regarding feral hogs are, but collectively speaking, feral hogs are invasive, prolific, destructive and often dangerous. Once they've established themselves, they are impossible to eliminate. I'd check the game laws and if legal, I'd hunt the sucker down. Just make sure you bring plenty of firepower. The gristle and hide covering their vitals can be tough to penetrate.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 12:08pm
Excellent response Gerry.

The only correction I have to make is that Hogzilla was not a feral hog.



Hogzilla

"It was later also revealed that the "giant feral hog" was actually a
large domestic farm-raised pig named "Fred" that had been purchased by
the hunting preserve's owner 4 days before the hunt in an apparent publicity stunt. There was a 2008 grand jury investigation of the event based on charges of animal cruelty that was later canceled."

Why they cancelled the animal cruelty charges is beyond me, it was definitely cruelty.
It was a canned hunt, and that kid was allowed to take pot shots at that poor tame pig for over three hours with an underpowered gun.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 12:25pm
I was watching a program on huge hogs, and most of them were either domestic/feral or domestics that had escaped. It doesn't take very long for an escaped hog to turn feral.

The hog you're talking about wasn't hogzilla, though it was a huge hog. Hogzilla was killed by a man. The kid's kill was another huge hog. And you're right about the cruelty. First off, I'm not a fan of 'canned' hunts, especially since true wild hogs are found just about everywhere.

And the handgun the kid used was not the right weapon for that hunt. A handgun is fine if you're hunting with dogs, where the shot will be very close. Also, there are some single shot pistols that are chambered for rifle calibers that are more than adequate for hogs, but only in the hands of a seasoned handgun hunter. 

I intend to do some hog hunting whenever I get back to Florida, but I'll be using my 30-06 or my .35 Marlin. I'll be carrying a side arm, but not to shoot a pig with. None of my handguns are really adequate for hogs. From all I can gather, when it comes to hogs, bigger is better. Although they are pretty much vermin, they still deserve a quick, humane death. That is always my goal no matter what I'm hunting, even if it means passing on a shot.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 12:41pm
"The hog you're talking about wasn't hogzilla"

That was the name the media gave to Fred when the story broke in 2007 and there was a big outcry even here, I remember it well because I was so pissed off about it, still am for that matter.

But your response made me do another search, and I found this:

Hogzilla

"Hogzilla is the name given by Dr. Eliahu Katz to a male hybrid of wild hog and domestic pig that was shot and killed by Chris Griffin in Alapaha, Georgia, United States, on June 17, 2004 on Ken Holyoak's fish farm and hunting reserve."

I believe thats the one youre talking about.
My apologies for the confusion.

"And the handgun the kid used was not the right weapon for that hunt."

Exactly my point. He should either have had the correct caliber to take Fred down with a single shot, or his father should have killed him with a gun adequate for a single shot kill after the boys fist shot failed to kill him. But shooting an animal for 3 hours with what amounts to a cap gun is criminal.
Whenever I imagine the horror that poor pig experienced for 3 whole hours it just infuriates me.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 2:33pm
Most definitely the father should have backed him up. Three hours to kill any animal is not hunting, it's torture.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 3:22pm
Absolutely.

And the sad part is those sick bastards enjoyed it.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 1 2013, 7:26pm
Sick is right--cruel sociopaths, IMO.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Apr 3 2013, 8:44am
Thanks for the answers to my questions. You all are right and it could very well be a feral hog of some sort but I am just not quite sold on it. I have been hearing the sounds almost every night and the smell is really bad in the mornings. My guess is it is coming in at night and messing around closer to my home, which is a little unnerving. I have looked for more tracks and rooting but here lately I did find similar tracks and some evidence of rooting, I am going out later today for photos if the weather permits, they are calling for rain today. I will post to this thread if anything else noteworthy happens. Thanks again for the help.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Apr 3 2013, 12:23pm
If you can buy or borrow a trail cam, set it up where you see the most sign. You should get a photo or two of your culprit, especially if it's a pig.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 22 2013, 6:23pm
Definitely looks like it belongs to a club-toed pig lol.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 22 2013, 7:23pm
Can a pig be club toed?
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, Apr 22 2013, 8:24pm
It looks like this one is!
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Tue, Apr 2 2013, 8:06pm

Hello.
I am also from East Tennessee. In fact I lived in West Knoxville and in-laws live in Oak Ridge. I know rural parts of Tennessee I have family all over from Lenoir, Union, Anderson, and Campbell County. Even some in Grainger. I have an uncle that lives in Townsend and, like another uncle in Lafollette, he has some hog issues. East Tennessee is having a growing problem like many other states. I also knoe that there are some big tuskers that run around and have gotten loose. Those tracks and sounds are most likely from a bigger boar in the area marking his territory and letting everyone know. If you are able to, I say purchase some trail cams and use those. Hogs will routinely use the same paths. That should let you know what exactly you are dealing with. Thanks.
Richard

Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Apr 3 2013, 12:24pm
Yeah. What Sabers said.

Great minds think alike, eh?
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Apr 3 2013, 10:29pm

I completely agree with you Gerry.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Thu, Apr 4 2013, 8:41am
Well, since you posted that great idea first, I would be agreeing with you, lol.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Apr 10 2013, 10:09am
Defiantly, trail cams would be the best and safest way to figure out what I'm dealing with. Appreciate the tip and once I get set up I'll post whatever i find.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Thu, Apr 25 2013, 9:43pm

Have you considered that the unknown critters might be elk. You live near where they re-established the elk herds. Elk make the type of sounds you are hearing. The bulls have a really deep gutteral sound and both sexes end the grunts with a pig-like squeal. The bulls will also mark their territory with urine and musk. The tracks are also reminiscent of elk. The elk herds have expanded to the point where they are found out of the park now.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Fri, Apr 26 2013, 10:50am
Never even thought of elk, since he is in TN, but it's a great answer. If it is elk, he should look for wallows near wet ground. He could also check for sheds, though they won't last long with the rodents. If he doesn't find his answer by fall, the bugling by the bulls will definitely give them away.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Sun, May 5 2013, 6:05pm

I have a really good friend who lives in the Gatlinburg area and he has seen elk in the field by his house. I also am in the park whenever I get the chance and I often see and hear the elk, really noisy during the rut.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Mon, May 6 2013, 7:49am

and I often see and hear the elk, really noisy during the rut.

Aren't we all...
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, May 8 2013, 5:30pm

Us lusty Scots are..sometimes too noisy
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Thu, May 9 2013, 8:30am
Noise can be good, sort of like a atta boy.
Re: unidentified animal in East Tennessee?
posted Wed, Aug 7 2013, 4:16pm
Just a thought, but it's my understanding that true wild boar, as opposed to razorback feral hogs, have become naturalized in parts of East Tennessee. Given that your animal seems to be porcine, wild boar might well be a possible answer. 


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