Year of the Pig
Mark J. Hainds
Narrated by Rich McVicar
Approximately 10.5 hours
Book published by The University Of Alabama Press
Year of the Pig is a personal account of one avid hunter's pursuit of wild pigs in eleven American states. Mark Hainds tied his mission to the Chinese calendar's Year of the Pig in 2007 and journeyed through longleaf forests, cypress swamps, and wiliwili forests in search of his prey. He used a range of weapons—black-powder rifle, bow and arrow, knife, and high-powered rifle—and various methods to stalk his quarry through titi, saw palmetto, privet hedge, and blue palms.
Introduced pig populations have wreaked havoc on ecosystems the world over. Non-native to the Western Hemisphere, pigs originally arrived in the southeast with De Soto's entrada and in the Hawaiian Archipelago on the outriggers of South Pacific islanders. In America feral hogs are considered pests and invaders because of their omnivorous diet and rooting habits that destroy both fragile native species and agricultural cropland.
Appealing to hunters and adventure readers for its sheer entertainment, Year of the Pig will also be valuable to farmers, land managers, and environmentalists for its broad information and perspective on the topic.
Mark J. Hainds is a research associate with Auburn University and research coordinator for the Longleaf Alliance located at the Solon Dixon Forestry Center in Andalusia, Alabama. He travels widely giving presentations on various aspects of forestry and has published several technical papers, most notably, "Distribution of Native Legumes in Frequently Burned Longleaf Pine—Wiregrass Ecosystems" in the American Journal of Botany.
“Feral pigs threaten vast portions of U.S. ecosystems, so Hainds, a forester, did good by spending 2007 hog-hunting in 11 states. Haindsí anecdotes, titled by a tree of each different ecosystem, wield dry humor and the admirable values of a farmerís son to critique the current state of hunting. His sympathetic intelligence suffuses this seriously funny nonfiction. ”
“Hainds is an avid (obsessed?) outdoorsman who has written this fun book of hunting tales featuring wild hogs as the quarry. While I have read many of the classic hunting stories, from Archibald Rutledge to Tom Kelly, I'm unaware of any that feature the hog. Thus, this book is a welcome addition to the genre. However, what is really special about the book is how the author weaves some serious current environmental concerns and ecological ideas, as well as discussions of hunters' ethics, into his descriptions of the chase.... With any luck, the enjoyable nature of these hunting stories will carry the more important messages of correct hunting behaviors and environmental awareness farther into the thicket than it has already penetrated.”
“A very enjoyable read, with some very good information on feral pigs woven in. Should be particularly well-received by the hunting and outdoor public. ”
—Frank Boyd, Certified Wildlife Biologist, State Director, Alabama USDA
“For those who love to read or tell hunting stories, this book is filled to the brim. I've never encountered anyone with more fervor for eliminating feral pigs from the landscape than the author. Mark Hainds's perserverance and disregard for personal safety (never would I crawl through a thicket looking for a wounded hog) will endear him to his readers. Yet this book well illustrates the scourge of feral pigs, the difficulty in managing a herd, and the devastation they have on agricultural and wildlife habitat.”
—David Rainer, Outdoor Writer and Public Information Manager, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
“This book will resonate with its readers. It is well thought-out and interesting from cover to cover.”
—Kevin McKinstry, Westervelt Wildlife Services
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