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Hog potion sure to turn hefty profit
My friend doesn’t have mad-cow disease, but he’s got cows and a bad case of the mad. His ill mood is caused by another four-hoofed species. Call it feral hog fever.
For 46 years, Larry Walker has earned a reputation as one of Georgia’s most capable attorneys. His batting average before juries would make Chipper Jones envious. But when he closes his law books at the end of the day, he’s a farmer.
His south-of-Perry (SoHo, South Houston County) spread is a showplace, most of the time. But that’s not good enough for Larry.
He wants all 485 acres looking sharp, every day. But wild hogs are wreaking havoc. He tried traps. He invited hordes of hunters - attempted eradication by lead poisoning, if you will. But it’s been like trying to rid your corn crib of rats. Almost futile.
If you own land, you know the frustration. Feral hogs are the No. 1 enemy of wildlife. They wreck the habitat and consume food that could nourish desirable game. Armadillos destroy your yard. Imagine a herd of 200-pound armadillos plowing in your woods and fields.
Without a fence around our garden, wild hogs would nose down every row, munching the seeds before they sprout.
Acorn-fed, hormone-free hogs do have value - on the barbecue pit or in the sausage grinder. Unless it’s a boar, the meat is succulent. But my cholesterol count can accommodate only two hogs a year.
That leaves the challenge of what to do about others.
A sow can breed at 6 months old. Every six months, she can produce four to 14 piglets in each litter. What if you have 100 wild hogs roaming? Do the five-year math. Like roaches, if you see one, you can bet you’ve got hundreds lurking in the dark corners of your home.
But feral hogs aren’t armadillos or roaches. They’re worse. Besides foraging and destroying, hogs eat turkey and quail eggs. I gave up planting chufa plots for turkeys. You might as well install a blinking sign, inviting hogs to supper. Wild hogs prey on young fawns and turkey poults, too.
Georgia’s hog problem is explosive. Larry is fuming. He’s motivated to find a remedy.
“What about the fellow from Pelham who invented Snake-A-Way?” he asked.
Pharmacist-turned-inventor James B. Tennyson sells pellets that reportedly shut down a snake’s nervous system temporarily, and scare the serpent into slithering away.
The snake-fearing masses are praising his name. Dr. T’s Snake-A-Way is flying off the shelves.
And somebody piggybacked his idea, stirring up a copycat recipe that is supposed to make deer scram.
If Larry Walker is anything, he is a thinker and a man of action.
He’s also a madly inspired farmer who is determined to eliminate the unwanted swine problem for all of us.
I can see him now, in a late-night infomercial. He’ll be using his silver-tongued, smooth courtroom skills hawking “Col. Walker’s Wild-Hogs-B-Gone.”
When he concocts the right formula, it’s going to be a smile-all-the-way-to-the-bank success.
An army of operators will handle the 1-800 calls from feral hog fever sufferers begging for relief.
Gucci-wearing women in New York’s ritzy SoHo penthouses and London’s SoHo district dwellers will call just to hear Larry’s syrupy, South Houston drawl.
“Oh, please, Col. Walker,” they’ll plead. “Send me some of your wonderful Wild-Hogs-B-Gone potion today!”
“Bless you, Col. Walker,” they’ll gush, as they write hefty checks and give out their credit card numbers with glee.
And guess who’s going to buy the first jug of his magic porcine-repellent pellets?
Dink NeSmith is president of Community Newspapers Inc. in Athens. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. This column was printed in the Athens Banner-Herald.