• Evaluating the Effects of Plant Oil Scents on Wild Hog Behavior on Cowden Plantation, Jackson, SC

      Hitchens, Samantha Rae; Flaherty, Haley; West, Valerie; Gill, Katlyn; Minter, Brad; Hunter, Austin; Sethuraman, Sankara; Thiruvaiyaru, Dharma; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences (2017-03)
      A previous study on Cowden Plantation suggested wild hogs were repelled by imitation catnip oil. This led to the question of whether that application could be replicated, and if other plant oils would have similar effects. Hogs were observed, via camera trapping, responding to the scent pad applications of the following plant extracts: imitation catnip, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus. Trail cameras were placed in 10 locations in various habitats to monitor the presence and reactions of hogs captured on video clips. Corn and scents were placed at each location and rotated each week for three months. The number of still images captured was used as the unit of measurement for population densities. Image totals for each scent were then compared to image totals without scents. Behavior was categorized into five reaction groups: No Reaction, Smelled Not Repelled, Repelled, Rubbed Against, and Tasted. Activity and behavioral responses occurred around the scents in all habitat areas. Most activity was captured over night when weather conditions were dry. Hogs did not often respond to the scents if corn was present. The majority of scent related activity occurred after the corn had been consumed. Behavioral responses were often noted in large females.