I got the idea for this Lessons Learned during a brief hog hunt discussion with my neighbor Lany while I was plowing the snow at Rogue Manor West.

Best neighbor in the world.

Lany had just returned from a bow hunting excursion in Texas with his two sons. While speaking in an animated fashion about the hunt and their group success, Lany explained that there had been a mandatory ‘survival’ training session prior to the hunt.

During the pre-brief, the guides discussed the dangers and gave a demonstration regarding safe behavior around the hogs. Paying attention, he was told, could save your life.

One example was learning to turn your legs (and your femoral artery) away from the hog by modifying your stance. In that manner, even if the hog continues to charge at you even after you stick it with an arrow, the feral pigs’ massive tusks won’t cut you and you won’t bleed out and die rendering your hunting trip an unscheduled bucket list completion.

Lany’s son Chase scored his feral hog first.

Lany told me that the same man that gave them their Texas version of a Daily Security and Intel Brief was with Chase, and as they were tracking the feral beast through the thick terrain in near dark conditions, the man guiding got down on all fours and crawled through the underbrush headfirst looking for blood and other signs of the injured hog.

Lany said he asked the guy, “Aren’t you afraid of getting injured?” to which the guide replied:

I guess I’ve been doing this a long time. I know the risks.

Patterns abound.

I got a question from a reader regarding Lessons Learned #043: Get the picture?  The reader wanted more examples of my insistence that you can use human behavior profiling to pattern and profile Hollywood films.

To “E.J. in Teaneck, New Jersey;” Take a look at the films of Guillermo del Toro.

I’ll offer just The Shape of Water, Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. Now, look at the ‘monsters’ and creatures in those films. Del Toro’s ‘vision’ is carried out throughout his work and influences his current, past and future works. His creatures are as good as fingerprints to a profiler. Perhaps you noticed the similarity in these two films.

Roger Spottiswoode Directed ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, a 1997 Bond flick. He later declined to direct the 1999 Bond film, ‘The World is Not Enough’ so he could direct ‘The Sixth Day’ with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When Spottiswoode left the Bond franchise, he took his signature moves with him. For example, the antagonist in The Sixth Day is killed when a helicopter pitches forward in flight and the rotor blades decimate him. The same stunt using a different type of helo occurs in Spottiswoode’s Tomorrow Never Dies.

If you are a fan of post-apocalyptic films, try on Waterworld and the Postman, both Kevin Costner films.

I met Kevin at a local’s bar located at West Beaver Creek and Highway 6 back in the day. He was fun and funny – more intriguing in person than in his films. Both of these films are take-offs of Mad Max and each other.  

On the same skip-day from school I watched a Philip Marlowe film (The Big Sleep) and a Sam Spade film (The Maltese Falcon) and had to do a comic double-take.

Humphrey Bogart starred as the lead character in both, and forever created the mental image of the hardnosed gumshoe whenever I though of film noire. Even when I read Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett novels in the future, I saw Bogey as the lead.

That carried over even after I fell in love with Elmore Leonard novels.

Coincidences are what we call PATTERNS that emerge due to human behavior biases.

In the late 1970’s, Hollywood released ‘Dracula’, ‘Nosferatu the Vampyre’, and ‘Love at First Bite’. Three separate films all based on Bram Stoker’s character ‘Dracula’. Coincidence? Nope. I guarantee there was some investigative frippery at the studios where one got word that the other was making a vampire film and they raced to get a film out in time to trump the others.

That was repeated to a chilling degree when just a few years later when ‘An American Werewolf in London’, ‘Wolfen’ and ‘The Howling’ became our summer film offerings. Again, more espionage than coincidence, I think.

From a purely predictive analysis standpoint, I could use these few examples forwards or backwards to either determine the likely films to be released this fall or which producer and director made the film I’m watching based on the character foibles or the creature effects.

I’ll give you a final example, then its time for you to do your homework.

As recently as the 2018 – 2019 film release period Hollywood gave us three virtually identical films; The Silence, A Quiet Place and Bird Box. All films had situations where the antagonist, here creatures, used their vastly evolved senses to detect their human prey.


From Hollywood to Hassfurt / Hofheim. 

I recently received feedback on the Arcadia site regarding the Ramstein und Rammstein Lessons Learned I wrote. Protecting security through non-attribution, this is the ‘gist’ of the email.

Re: Arcadia Training; I spread the Lessons Learned; Volume #040: Ramstein und Rammstein post around the V-OPs community, and the responses were very positive. To quote a Tech Sergeant who knew Airman Cuddeback personally;

That was written so well, I felt like he had met Cuddy. It was so hard to read at first just because that is something that hits home incredibly hard. I miss that kid something awful.

The email included a ‘shout out’ to Human Behavior Pattern Recognition and Analysis training; “If we can train our Airmen to know what to look for and always to avoid these tragic situations then we absolutely should.”

The social impact of Arcadia Cognerati and our HBPR&A training is proven time and time again.

From Frankfurt to Fort Worth.

While hard to categorize, Arcadia Cognerati is primarily a training realm company. We consult on infrastructure hardening, and handle some protection issues for executives, dignitaries, their families and organizations, but we are masters at HBPR&A training.

We received an email this month from a family in Texas. They had planned on a 2-week vacation abroad and enlisted our aid in preparing their itinerary. Further, we contracted to conduct a pre-trip safety and security training webinar via a social media. Their response to the training post-trip was telling.

“We loved every aspect of Arcadia’s presentation. It was a ton of information, but it didn’t feel like drinking out of a fire hydrant.” 

“…the overall feel and optics of the presentation was so helpful for (my family) to start thinking about safety and situational awareness. Thinking ahead. I cannot overstate that enough.”

“Just being in a room in which a presentation of this nature took place has dramatically changed how my family thinks about these situations.”

While the family acknowledged that they didn’t follow all of the considerations or recommendations we made, they stated that, “what we did use was super helpful.”

They went on to say that our suggestions including preparing rally points, having a plan for each day and discussing it beforehand, our tips on transportation, standing or lingering in certain areas and event mapping were ‘huge’ for their destination but useful, “even for everyday life.”

The family added; “Just discussing the training points that Arcadia gave us each day got our heads in a better place from an overall Safety / Awareness perspective. We used it throughout the day, every day, whether walking around to our big stadium events or shopping, it was something that brought us a sense of peace.”

The family added a bunch of accolades which I won’t include as they will assist in attribution, but I will add their final thoughts regarding the Arcadia Training they received; “your training continued the narrative of my family thinking and acting on the Safety and Awareness elements throughout our trip. We can’t thank you enough.  We have told dozens of friends about (the Arcadia training).

So What?

There is a huge difference between “Knowing the risks” and heeding the warnings. Many people “talk the talk”, but few ever WALK their talk.

My neighbor Lany illustrates the potential danger of Hog Tusks

Feral pigs move in large groups called Sounders. Estimates are that there are about 2 million feral hogs in Texas. Experts estimate that 6 million of them in at least 39 states, and they are “rapidly expanding,” according to the Agriculture Department.

The ancestors of these hogs were introduced in North America by Spanish conquistadors who brought them over from Europe. Since then they have been cutting a swatch across our nation, causing about 1.5 billion dollars in damage each year according to the US Department of Agriculture. We’re not talking Timon and Pumbaa here; these pigs are aggressive and can be dangerous. At their current breeding rate, hunters would have to kill 70 percent of the total population of feral hogs to prevent their continued expansion.

Knowing where to hunt is one key element of your pre-hunt preparation. Choosing a state like Texas will increase the likelihood that you encounter feral hogs. It is the state with the largest feral hog population and hog season is open year-round. Apparently, you can spotlight at night as long as you inform the local game warden first.

This bit of knowledge is essential as feral hogs have adapted to being hunted by becoming nocturnal and only feeding or ruminating at night.

Traps attached to feeders are providing results. In Ohio, one such trap caught 30 feral hogs at one time. These are referred to as TTPs. Tactics, techniques and procedures. They are just like ‘fingerprints’ in the sense that they are the clues that feral hogs leave behind. These are the types of clues that will help you locate anything you wish to find. For this exercise, let’s stick to feral hogs.

Hogs wallow. That means that they use watering holes, dig around in the watering holes to create mud and hunker down in an effort to cool themselves. Looking for these watering holes can help narrow down your search area. Those clues qualify as Heuristics, Geographics, Proxemics and Biometrics.

Hogs Root. Rooting is where a feral pig uses their tough snout to dig into vegetation and soil to find food. This is probably the most recognizable clue that you are on the feral hog’s track. In addition to being transfer evidence, these cues qualify as Heuristics and Atmospherics.

And, speaking of tracks, the pigs hoof leaves a track that while resembling a deer track is generally much deeper, wider and more round. Again, transfer evidence, but linked to Heuristics, Geographics, Proxemics, Biometrics and Atmospherics.

You can choose to bait them (an offer they can’t refuse), lure them with pre-recorded sounds (a predator call for example, or a piglet in distress). And, like Lany warned earlier, hogs charge – so you have to either keep a safe distance or cover and be prepared to protect your vital areas if you are attacked. 

If you have trepidations about hunting feral hogs form the ground, my dear friend Butch is involved each year with a ‘Pork-o-pocalypse’ style feral hog hunt while flying in helicopters and using automatic weapons as the killing instruments.

Many of the helicopter hunts cost $50,000 per group. Some more. The cheapest one I could find was just under $4000.00 for two hunters. I was surprised that there were over a hundred and fifty companies in Texas alone that offered hunts to decrease the numbers of these pests.

In some instances, you can choose a fully automatic weapon and the guides provide the trophy photos, lodging, ammo and meals. You can have the meat from the younger pigs made into any manner of foods or sell the meat (or donate it) to local charities should you not want to take it with you.

In Butch’s case, all the proceeds go to Veterans and folks that need help. It’s a non-profit.

So, while animal rights activists lament, no matter whether you decide to hunt hogs from a helo, balloon, fixed wing aircraft or on roller skates, you’d be helping ebb the invasive pests costing US farmers and ranchers tens of millions of dollars in damage each year.

But before you go, do your research. Conduct a cost / benefit analysis. Conduct a risk assessment. Look into a packing list based on the advice from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Rehearse being attacked by a feral hog and practice the First Aid measures to treat yourself before evacuation.

Do your homework. Don’t just talk the talk, learn to Walk your Talk. Oh, and Butch, I’m supposed to ask you to hook Lany and my son Nico up with a helo-hog-hunt. See what you can do!

Training changes behavior.



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