Rougarou Hog Control’s Hunt for 1000th Feral Hog

Rougarou Hog Control’s Hunt for 1000th Feral Hog

Pineville, LA: Rougarou Hog Control, Shane Kessler and his team protect close to 70K acres of farm fields. These individuals donate their time, money and the mental/physical aptitude required to endure the long evening hours needed to protect the agricultural crops/land of these Central Louisiana farmers.

Louisiana has an $11 billion agricultural industry. When state officials and farmers met this last November in northwest Louisiana with Governor John Bel Edwards for the “Listen to Agriculture” tour, the topic of feral hogs was a priority. This invasive species not only causes visual damage, but the monetary impact particularly in the spring when farmers are planting is substantial and the reason why farmers must invest even more in replanting costs. This setback also causes yields to be potentially lower due to the shorter growing season.

This Sportsman’s Paradise has become a prime breeding ground for feral hogs, and this invasive species has no natural predator to help keep their numbers under control. Damages are not limited to crops. The hogs will eat anything; such as fawn, small ground nesting or dwelling animals, small birds and the eggs of the local wildlife. They also root for grubs and other morsels, causing erosion and damage to levees, according to the Assistant State Wildlife Veterinarian with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that damages and control costs across the U.S is around $1.5 billion. In a study put out by the LSU Ag Center in 2016, it was approximated that the total cost of loss is around $55 million dollars for just the agricultural sector. This doesn’t include damages to personal property, insurance claims for vehicle collisions or any other factors that would only cause this figure to significantly increase.

As the state looks for viable solutions and debates the environmental impact to wildlife, with regards to the introduction of poison and/or fertility control measures to help cull the wild pig populations in the state, there is a group of individuals who have actively taken up this cause (at their own expense) and are using their skills and equipment to help do their part to combat this growing problem for their community.

Shane Kessler and Marty Strange heard the complaints of their fellow neighbors, and their personal testimonies of how detrimental the feral hog problem was for their community. As quickly as the farmers could put seed in the ground, the hogs would come in at night and root, cause soil damage and seed loss. This cost one farmer $20,000+ in crop loss; in addition to other costs related to labor, wear and tear on equipment and replanting. Shane and Marty knew they needed to do something, they began their grassroots hog eradication efforts right after the state began to allow the taking of wild hog at night. This is how Rougarou Hog Control (out of Pineville, LA) made it their mission to help their local farmers and their community tackle the eradication problem as best they could.

In the beginning, Shane and Marty used night vision optics for their hog eradication endeavors. Once Shane Kessler secured a Prostaff position with ATN Corp., he was able to obtain the thermal resources needed to further this outfits’ efforts. Rougarou Hog Control is setting new remediation records that rival even the state’s helicopter efforts. This crew is getting ready to hit their personal best, putting down their 1000th feral hog!

Today, Rougarou has grown, and now is a group of 6 dedicated individuals who protect close to 70K acres. These individuals donate their time, money and the mental/physical aptitude required to endure the long evening hours needed to protect the agricultural crops/land of these Central Louisiana farmers.

The following are just a few of the personal testimonials of the farmers Shane Kessler and his group have helped within their agricultural community;

The following are just a few of the personal testimonials of the farmers Shane Kessler and his group have helped within their agricultural community;

“Shane and his crew have done a phenomenal job for me! I farm 2500 acres comprised of many smaller fields that are surrounded by habitat, and the hog damage last year was extensive. They have removed at least 100 head and the damage this year is minimal so far!” Cliff Varnado

“I farm in Natchitoches and Red River Parish, Louisiana. In the past 10 years I have seen a continuous increase in wild hog population. Over the years we have tried trapping, helicopters, and local hog dog hunters to help reduce the hog population. In February of this year, I was contacted by Shane and Marty with Rougarou Hog Control about hunting on my farm land to help reduce the hog population and decrease hog damage. Because of their efforts, I did not have to replant corn on my acreage this year, and I always have replant due to hog damage! Shane and Marty were professional, respectful of my time, land, crops, and diligent in their efforts. I have since recommended them to my fellow farming neighbors and friends. Rougarou Hog Control’s equipment and hunting tactics are top notch, they are true professionals.” Jolley Nash

“I'd like to thank ATN for equipping Rougarou (Shane) with gear! Shane and his team have had unbelievable success eliminating pigs on my property. They have really saved me tens of thousands of dollars this year. Shane and his team have proved to be efficient and very trustworthy. As a row crop farmer (corn, cotton, and soybeans) and a rancher, I appreciate a group like Shane's that is steady and effective. I am also a supervisor for our local soil and water conservation board. We have some success helping our cooperators with trapping and aerial gunning, but Shane's persistence has made him champion for eradication efforts in 2018.” Patrick Churchman

“ATN Corp. is a very proud supporter of Shane Kessler and Rougarou. We are overjoyed that we could be of assistance and help this group with the tools necessary to help alleviate some of the damage the farmers have been subjected to in Louisiana.” James Munn CEO, ATN Corporation

If it wasn’t for the dedication, hard work and unwavering determination of the guys at Rougarou, there would be an additional 1,000 hogs in the state of Louisiana wreaking havoc on farmers and Louisiana residents. Thank you, gentlemen, for your ongoing conservation efforts.

About ATN Corp., Inc.: We are a manufacturer and developer of digital day & night vision and thermal imaging optics aimed at 24hr use. Our optics are a solution for many in the field dealing with feral hog efforts. ATN wanted to bring awareness the individual(s) who are dedicating time and money to give back to their community.