Thursday, November 17, 2011

American Hoggers will not boar you - New York Daily News

So even though the young ones bear a slight resemblance to lovable characters like Babe or Porky Pig, the hogs are the bad guys here and are treated accordingly. "American Hoggers" will not be included in any PETA gift packs this holiday season.
To some folks in New York, of course, this whole premise may sound like some kind of Wild West joke.
Domestic pigs either break free or are turned loose. Because pigs are smart, they quickly adapt to life in the wild and within a few weeks, they have become completely feral.
This means they live off the land. It also means they develop a bad attitude. Since they can weigh up to 400 pounds, with tusks, teeth and sharp hard claws, you don't just pick them up and tuck them under your arm.
The Campbells are hired by farmers, mostly, who are tired of losing big money from crops or livestock destroyed by foraging hogs. It's estimated feral hogs eat more than $50 million worth of crops in Texas every year.
With all that as premise, "American Hoggers" turns out to be a remarkably straightforward show, almost closer to a documentary.
The Campbells come in and assess the problem. They visit the areas of hog damage, look for tracks and figure out whether they can lay an ambush.
Hogs are fast as well as smart, however, so the Campbells' primary weapon is their dogs. Tracking dogs pick up a hog's scent and chase it down, driving it to someplace the Campbells can catch or shoot it.
As noted, we mostly see the catching here and watching the Campbells truss up even a small hog makes it clear just how strong and potentially lethal these guys can become.
The Campbells themselves are likable enough. Jerry is an old ranger, someone you can't imagine outside Texas, while Robert is serious about his job and Krystal has some flair.
She knows her way around a shotgun and she seems up for finding some fun in the job.
Watching "American Hoggers" might make many New Yorkers grateful the biggest thing they have to trap is a mouse.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

American Hoggers Krystal "Pistol" Campbell talks Feral Pigs

A&E?s new docuseries, "American Hoggers," follows the Campbell family in the state of Texas.

Krystal is a take charge member of the Campbell clan, with her blue glitter nails and sass, she keep sher dad on his toes, and can hog-tie a feral quicker than most people can put their shoes on.
Patriarch Jerry is the Hog Boss Man, replete with sub-titles.  He is helped by his two children, Krystal and Robert, as they try to eradicate the state?s explosive feral pig / wild boar population.
Incredibly smart, ferals have taken to the dry expanses of Texas, and they are a problem in 39 states and four Canadian provinces.  The Texas pigs are rooting and destroying crops with six inch canines, damaging fences, overpopulating and goring dogs and people too.

Jerry's old-school and believes in the power of dogs, and his one-eyed stud Rooster leads the pack.
Krystal is a take charge member of the Campbell clan, with her blue glitter nails and sass, she keep sher dad on his toes, and can hog-tie a feral quicker than most people can put their shoes on.
Monsters and Critics spoke to Krystal about her high energy new series that takes us on wild chases in the Lone Star state:

Monsters & Critics:  How did you learn to hog-tie safely, and how do the dogs keep the boar down so it doesn't rip open your arms doing this?

Krystal: I can barely tie my shoes! Thank God for boots and flip-flops! I use hobbles to secure the pigs; they?re so quick and easy to use, just slip them over the hoofs and I?m done, plus they come in hot pink.
The catch is when things get tricky and it?s crucial to have a good pack of dogs and a couple extra sets of hands. In that moment, it all boils down to survival; it?s every man for himself.
The dogs are keyed in on that hog and that hog is totally and completely focused on the dogs. When all of this is going down, we come up behind the hog, grab his hind legs, flip him, and hobble him.

M&C: What do you do with the ferals that are caged, and not shot on site? Are they euthanized elsewhere off camera?

Krystal: A hog that has to be taken out is money lost. We do our best to avoid having to put a hog down, but there is always potential for danger when dealing with a wild animal. Some hogs are processed into sausage and others are sold to various buyers.

M&C: Why has Texas had such a problem with these feral pigs? The state has half of the whole North American population of wild boars. how did this happen?

Texas is one of the largest states in the U.S. and is predominantly made up of farm and ranch land. There are ranches so big down here that some could take days to walk across and that makes a lot of territory for these hogs to roam without being disturbed. Where habitat, food and water are plentiful, there is a perfect haven for animals, such as wild hogs, to reproduce in massive quantities with little threat to survival.

M&C: Do feral pigs kill cows or steer? Do they kill family pets?  How is Rooster doing?

Krystal: It?s definitely not impossible for hogs to kill cattle, but in my experience this usually happens when a cow is calving (giving birth) and most vulnerable.  Hogs don?t discriminate when protecting themselves and if a family pet were to cross paths with this dangerous predator, then it is very possible they will be killed.
Although there is a big difference between a family pet and a hunting dog, the risk is equally as great and that?s why it?s super important to protect the dogs with cut vests and cut collars.

Rooster has definitely seen his fair share of hunts and has his battle scars to prove it, but if you want to know what is to become of him then you have to stay tuned!

M&C: Worst injury you have heard of from a feral pig capture attempt?

Krystal: My dad is the perfect candidate to answer this question, he has been shot with a .357 and had a wild boar drive a tusk through his leg. There are a million things that can go wrong in an already dangerous situation and that is why this job is not for the faint of heart.

M&C:  What can someone do to protect themselves from a late afternoon or early evening walk? What would you bring with you?

Krystal: I?m a Texas girl, I firmly believe in packing heat for protection, you never know when danger will come knocking. When I?m hunting, I carry a .357 and a sticking knife on my hip, as well as a .223 or AR15 in the truck. In less extreme situations, I have my black and pink .22. Guns may take lives, but they also save lives and when it?s kill or be killed.
M&C:  Are there any non-human predators in Texas that feast on these Feral pigs?

Krystal: In Texas, the feral hog?s worst enemies are The Campbells?period.

M&C: Love your crazy nailpolish in the scenes, what colors are you wearing right now going into fall? Does your dad ever comment on your girlie glamour touches as you hunt the feral pigs?

Krystal:  I keep my crazy colors all year round. I hate those unwritten rules that say we have to change our style according to seasons just because some celebrity stylist says so?I want my style to reflect my personality, not someone else?s.
I think dad is pretty much used to my girlie way of doing things. When he took me over to our leather man to have new leggings made for me, his exact words were, ?Order ?em however ya want ?em,? and that is exactly what I did. He gets it that I bring color and bling into everything I touch, but he knows I won?t overdo it.
He was a bit worried at first when I told him I designed hot pink leggings but when he saw them, he agreed that they?re pretty wicked. I just don?t think people should change themselves because of tradition because at some point it?s time that somebody, somewhere started a new one.

M&C: Is this feral pig problem being managed, getting worse or getting better?

Krystal: The hog problem is continuously growing and is much larger than one family, but as long as we keep getting out there we can sleep with a clear conscience knowing we aren?t just sitting back and letting it happen.

View the original article here

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

American Hoggers; Badass Krystal "Pistol" Campbell Talks About Killing Her ... -

"American Hoggers" is a new original real-life series that follows Krystal "Pistol" Campbell, her father and brother through their struggle to rescue Texas residents and ranches from the devastating chaos caused by millions of invasive wild boars.

We had a chance to chat with Krystal about the show and her interesting job.

Starpulse: Why are there so many wild hogs in Texas?

Krystal: Quite frankly, there just are not enough people who are both willing and capable of handling the situation, but that’s ok…I like to call that "Job Security." Hogs mature pretty quickly, a female is capable of reproduction as early as 6 months old and can have as many as 10 (give or take) piglets per litter. When ya sit back and think about it, the rate of repopulation is overwhelming.

What's the worst thing that's ever happened while you hunted a hog? The funniest thing?

I’ve been lucky that nothing too terribly bad has happened on a hunt (knock on wood). There was one incident when I was the first to arrive at the catch and the pig was a manageable size so I went ahead and grabbed him by the hind legs and flipped him. As I put my knee into his shoulder, one of the dogs knocked me over and the hog jumped up, spun around, and grabbed a hold of my leg. I had my leggings on so he didn’t penetrate skin and I was able to regain control of the situation with much thanks to a good pack of dogs and a boot heel.

The funniest thing that has ever happened was on the hunt in which I killed my first hog. I was about 6 years old and had trailed behind my dad on many hunts. I was riding double with my brother on a feisty little paint horse. When we got to the catch, my adrenaline was so high afterward I felt brave enough to ride that paint horse by myself. I was showing off and got him into a lope, I felt like such a badass. The trailer door had been left open and in a rough lope, that pony bailed into the trailer with me still on him! The top of that trailer whacked me right across the forehead and I had red paint chips all in my hair. I started blubbering for my daddy and had tears streaming down my face; needless to say, I was no longer feeling invincible.

If you weren't hunting hogs, what would you want to do?  

I’m a bit of a closet nerd and my education is very important to me. I’ve started working on my Master’s in counseling psychology, but I am also studying the material for the law school entrance exam. I have a bit of a creative side that I get from my mom so I design and make sparkly, girly accessories that I’d like to sell one day. I guess that makes me a lot like that feisty lil horse of many colors that loaded up in the trailer with me.

Is it difficult spending so much time working with your family? How do you all get along?

HA! Let me just tell you! We are family and we love each other very much, but there are so many dynamics that come into play within our household that tension is inevitable. Robert is the most serious, I am playful until enough is enough and then I’m known to get sassy, dad is an ornery old fart who is NEVER serious, and mom is the peacemaker. When mom isn’t around, it’s total chaos because dad will push my buttons until I can't take it anymore and get an attitude and then Robert gets annoyed with all the bickering. Then there’s always the whole father/son ego competition going on, but at the end of the day all is forgiven. No family is perfect but I think the fact we share a common ground in our love for the outdoors is what will always bind us together.

The series airs Wednesdays at 10/9 central on A&E. Watch here!

View the original article here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

American Hoggers review: Family biz goes hog wild

American Hoggers:

In case you haven't noticed, television has gone to the hogs.

Yes, I said hogs. As in wild boars. All of a sudden, TV is lousy with 'em.
First, Roseanne Barr opens her new Lifetime reality show chasing the menacing critters around her macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. And now A&E follows suit with "American Hoggers," a real-life series about a family of boar trappers in Texas. The show's original premiere in August was postponed because of the intense heat wave that beset Texas this summer.

Before we dig any deeper, "Hoggers," premiering with two back-to-back episodes Wednesday, is not likely to find much favor among the PETA set, as it depicts the family of Jerry Campbell, 64, tracking, capturing and shooting wild hogs. Granted, these are not the cutest of critters - the hogs, I mean, not the Campbells.
The animals, which Jerry pronounces smarter than humans, are otherwise unstoppable as they destroy crops and grazing land and endanger livestock, pets and, potentially, children. With their wild eyes, powerful (and powerful ugly) mouths, these are some mean sombitches.

Although the boars are said to cause about $50 million in damage in Texas alone, and are about as far away from the movies' "Babe" as you can get, some viewers will still find it hard to watch as these grunting marauders are set upon by Jerry, his daughter, Krystal (a.k.a. Pistol), son, Robert (Hunter), and their team, get hog-tied and hauled away in the back of a pickup truck.

"Hog boss" Jerry is probably TV's most unlikely reality show star. Dressed in a dusty, battered cowboy hat, jeans and worn boots, he's like a cross between Billy Bob Thornton in "Sling Blade" (especially when he says the word "taters") and old-time character actor Gabby Hayes.

A&E graciously provides subtitles for ole marble-mouth Jerry, but only intermittently. The network seems to think you can understand him if you see his lips move, but since he has a beard as thick as an English hedgerow, good luck even seeing his mouth, much less seeing it move. When you can make him out, he's just filled to overflowing with homespun aphorisms, such as his declaration that he's "been hunting hogs since Moby Dick was a sardine."

The show's creators are hoping that the family dynamic between Jerry and his kids will hold our attention in addition to all that hog chasing. Jerry, of course, knows a thing or three about hogs after 50 years in the business. But Krystal-Pistol and Robert-Hunter want to modernize things a bit.

When a favorite hunting dog - old one-eyed Rooster - goes missing, Krystal is miffed because her father won't spend money on better tracking collars for the dogs. Despite the fact that Jerry almost considers Rooster a member of the family, he's set in his ways.

Chasing and catching boars may be all well and good, but is it enough to keep us coming back for more every week? Well, if people can watch people fight over storage bins and seeing their cars towed away in South Beach, anything is possible.

View the original article here

PHOTOS American Hoggers' horsewoman Leah Penick -

American Hoggers Leah Penick

When the show American Hoggers first came across my radar I was immediately drawn to Krystal Campbell and for good reason, but now that I’ve been watching my eyes turn more and more to family friend Leah Penick.

I didn’t know jack about hog hunting but thanks to Jerry and his crew I’ve come to appreciate just how important trained animals are in their line of work. Jerry, Krystal and Robert would all tell you they’re washed up without a good pack of hunting dogs. And then there’s Leah and her horses and how they help the Campbell’s maneuver through some pretty treacherous terrain.

American Hoggers Leah Penick

Sometimes when I lay down at bed on a Wednesday night I dream of being a wild boar and Leah comes riding in on one of her regal horses. She catches me and wrestles me to the ground. Then she ties me up and…. Sorry about that :-) . I will say this song is playing in the background and might as well for this post too:

According to the show’s site Leah is an accomplished horsewoman that’s participated in competitive barrel racing. They boast that her handling skills are some of the best in Texas. Just knowing that is gonna make my dreams better / worse! Her skills and horses often come in handy for the Campbells and Jerry says of Krystal that she’d make a fine addition to the family. F-I-N-E fine I’d say.

Leah Penick American Hoggers
Leah Penick of American Hoggers gets her one

Hunting is a way of life for Leah and part of her family heritage. If the hunt’s terrain calls for it, she’s usually there to lend a hand and her stable of horses to get the job done.

Please feel free to click on any of the below thumbnails or the images already in this post for a closer view at one pretty Texan gal!

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Wild boars get the upper hand in American Hoggers - Isthmus

Truth be told, the title American Hoggers didn't fill me with anticipation for this new reality series (Wednesday, 9 p.m., A&E). But it turns out to be a fascinating look at boar hunters in Texas, where the feral beasts are terrorizing landowners. Veteran hog expert Jerry Campbell and his kids come to the rescue with horses, lassos and hounds equipped with GPS tracking systems — and despite all the weaponry, it's still a fair fight. "The boars are smarter than we are," the Campbells admit. The family's nighttime raids are epic battles, with equal cunning on both sides.

Part of the fun of American Hoggers is that you never know what will come out of the Campbells' mouths. Just when you start to think Jerry is a simple backwoods dude in a bushy beard and cowboy hat, he alludes to Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Meanwhile, his son compares the boars to "Chaucer's demons."

These animals may well be smarter than the Campbells, but I doubt if they're as well read.

Friday, 8 pm (NBC)

NBC took a risk in creating a contemporary detective series tricked up with a Grimms' fairytale element. Sadly, the risk didn't pay off. You're intrigued through the first or second commercial break as a cop named Nick (David Guintoli) discovers his "Grimm" heritage, which allows him to perceive otherworldly beasties disguised as people.

Rather than maintaining a plausible fairytale mood, however, Grimm descends into bathos right around the time Nick meets the Big Bad Wolf (Silas Weir Mitchell). This humanoid turns the series into a joke, throwing out German words and ironic commentary. He controls his animal nature, he confides to Nick, "with a strict regimen of diet, drugs and Pilates."

Please allow me to throw out my own German word about Grimm: "kitsch."

Allen Gregory
Sunday, 7:30 pm (Fox)

This new animated series is about a rich, arrogant 7-year-old boy who doesn't realize how off-putting he is. Similarly, creator/writer/voice star Jonah Hill doesn't realize how off-putting Allen will be to a viewing audience. As a movie actor, Hill rarely missteps (see his latest brilliant performance in Moneyball), but with Allen Gregory he steps right off a cliff.

Hill opts for the gross, cruel tone that's de rigueur for prime-time cartoons. But unless you have satirical genius on the order of The Simpsons or South Park, you're not going to get laughs with nasty jokes about AIDS or sex between a little boy and his principal. Here is Hill's idea of a punchline, as Allen's dad reflects on adopting a daughter from Cambodia: "She was this close to being turned into glue over there!"

Can someone please turn the remaining episodes of Allen Gregory into glue, pronto?

Boardwalk Empire
Sunday, 8 pm (HBO)

Now in its second season, Boardwalk Empire remains a compelling drama about 1920s Atlantic City — an era re-created so vividly that you can practically smell the bootleg whiskey. The series stirs up a potent brew of corruption, sex and violence, just as you'd expect from executive producers Terence Winter (a writer for The Sopranos) and Martin Scorsese.

At the heart of the story is Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi), Atlantic City's election-rigging politician and bootlegger. In this week's episode, Nucky works out a risky liquor delivery while his mistress (Kelly Macdonald) arranges for her son's first communion. "How can we avoid the fires of hell if we can't stop sinning?" a priest asks the boy. This turns out to be a relevant question for every character in Boardwalk Empire, from gangsters like Lucky Luciano (Vincent Piazza) to a federal agent with a guilty conscience (Michael Shannon).

The episode had me in its grip until a gratuitously graphic torture scene in the last act. The scene not only made me sick, but distracted me from the plot as I wondered why Winter and Scorsese would indulge in such artless sadism. Guys, you won't be able to avoid the fires of hell if you keep abusing your audience that way.

Iris Johansen's The Killing Game
Monday, 8 pm (Lifetime)

Eve (Laura Prepon) is a forensic sculptor who re-creates the faces of missing people to help police with their investigations. She's personally invested in her work, given that her own daughter was killed by a psychopath 10 years ago. As the TV movie begins, a new psycho has his eye on little girls, and he calls Eve to taunt her with information. He hints that she'll be killed next, and not even a hunky cop in the Atlanta PD can protect her.

That's a standard plot for a Lifetime mystery, but The Killing Game is a cut above. Prepon has a workaday realness, ever so slightly underacting. As a result, the movie never feels overwrought, even when Eve does crazy stuff like kidnapping a young girl from a safe house to foil the killer. She may be low-key, but this heroine surprises us with her daring moves.

"I'm sorry I'm improvising a bit," she tells the hunky cop by cell phone.

Please, don't apologize on our account. We can't wait to see what you do next.

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