Boars were originally brought over to the US from Europe and confined to hunting preserves. Many escaped and interbred with the domestic pig, though full-blooded boars still inhabit the mountains of the AT, mainly living in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forests.
Recently more and more boars are inhabiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which is causing some ecological problems. Their rooting tears up the forest floor and makes the bald patches susceptible to seeding, and they also compete with deer and bear for food.
Their diet mainly consists of acorns, pecan, hickory and beech nuts. They will also eat grass, roots, tubers and berries in addition to crayfish, snakes, salamanders, frogs, eggs, young rabbits and carrion.
A wild boar averages 350 pounds, has dark grizzled hair, a long head with a tough cartilaginous snout, short legs and a straight tail. Their upper tusks curl up and out along the side of their mouths and can be up to nine inches long.
The best review of Cheryl Strayed's book, Wild, was written by Patches, a lady who solo-hikes long distances, including the entire Appalachian Trail.
Ginseng is so rare in North Carolina's forests that officials now require permits to harvest wild ginseng there.
Published Jun 25, 2013.
Published Apr 11, 2013.