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.

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