If you’ve ever been on a hunting retreat, you may have wondered what kinds of animals around you could be carrying rabies. It’s a scary thought and one that many hunters have had before. There are, of course, your well-known rabies carriers, like raccoons, but what about other kinds of animals, like wild hogs? In this article, we will explore whether or not wild hogs carry rabies, how you can know, and if it’s safe to eat their meat.
Do They Carry Rabies?
So, let’s get the main question out of the way. Can wild hogs carry rabies? The answer is yes. Feral hogs can, in fact, contract and carry rabies. But how does this happen?
Because wild hogs are aggressive and territorial animals, it’s common for them to attack smaller animals that may be carrying rabies. In addition, they could contract and carry rabies in situations where they may sustain an injury from a fox or raccoon. As such, you should always be cautious when hunting if you encounter a wild hog.
How Can You Know?
At first glance, it may not always be apparent when a wild animal is carrying rabies. This statement is true for wild hogs carrying rabies as well. However, there are some key signs and behaviors you can watch for that could indicate a wild hog has rabies.
Early on in the stages of infection, it will be nearly impossible to tell if a wild hog has rabies. However, you may suspect they are carrying the disease if you spot any bite marks on their bodies. As the infection progresses, you’ll notice some classic symptoms. These include whitish-yellow foaming at the mouth, extremely erratic, confused, aggressive behavior, or a general pallor of sickness over the animal. If you spot any of these signs in a wild hog, you should keep your distance and not engage.
Is Wild Hog Meat Safe to Eat?
Should you encounter a wild hog in the early stages of rabies and kill it, are you at risk of getting rabies from its meat? Unfortunately, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Thoroughly cooking meat from a non-symptomatic animal carrying rabies will eradicate the virus. However, one should never eat meat from any animal that shows signs of rabies.
Gum Log Plantation
Are you interested in hunting wild hogs? Gum Log Plantation, a hunting retreat in Abbeville, GA, offers a great hunting experience for hunters of all skill levels. Our expert guides know how to spot the healthiest hogs, so you’ll feel safe filling your freezer with your catch. Contact us today at 229-318-9015 and schedule your stay at Gum Log Plantation.