Warthog

Vlakvark

Phacochoerus aethiopicus

Favorite with econo hunters!

Warthogs take little cognizance of game fences.  They burrow underneath and roam on more than one ranch.  For this reason, all warthogs are everybody’s warthogs.  So they don’t get saved for a rainy day.

Warthogs are tough, resilient and adaptable, though sensitive to drought.  They can face heavy hunting, provided that their environment stays available.  When threatened, they get very skittish, while at the same time one frequently sees tame warthog in camp sites.

Large boars can reach 100kg on the hoof, and grow huge tusks.  These make great  head mounts.

Although vegetation is preferred, warthogs are omnivorous and will even take  carrion.

On cattle and cash crop farms warthog is frequently considered as varmint, and farmers  welcome hunting at no cost to the hunter.  This would typically serve as food rations for laborers.  Most land owners, however, realize the commercial value of this animal, and would demand an affordable price.

The meat is good, and closer to game than to domestic pig.  Unfortunately it is the carrier of African swine fewer, deadly to domestic pigs, thus subject to restrictions for transporting of carcasses to and from certain areas.  This probably contributes to the affordability of warthog by the budget conscious hunter.  

Problems

Where there are game that crawl underneath, rather than jump across fences (such as Blesbuck and Red Hartbeest), warthogs can dig these animals to freedom.
Competing for fodder with live stock .  A grown-up male can graze as much as one head of cattle.
Destroying cash crops.

Hunting

Almost exclusively active during daytime only, this quarry can be hunted by walk-and-stalk or ambush.  It is daily dependant on water, which makes it a favorite with hand gun and bow hunters.  Waiting for warthog at the waterhole, is not only exciting, but also quite demanding, dependant on circumstances.  Although their eyesight is not at vulture’s level, they have an incredible nose for the scent of Homo sapiens!  Combine that with excellent hearing and the ability to detect movement, and you have a challenge on your hands to get within 20 meters!

Did you know?

Only males have the “second wart”
They run with tail up (Bush pig tail down) because they suffer of hay fever.  You see, the warthog’s back skin is an extremely tight fit.  Now, when he runs low through the dusty grass, he squints his eyes to keep the pollens out.  This causes the tight back skin to pull the tail upright.  True.