Wild hogs weather you hate them or love them they are here

Chris Pulchny

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Whether you love them or hate them, feral hogs are a force to be reckoned with. Texas has long considered feral hogs, feral with no seasons and few restrictions on harvesting them. In Oklahoma however, this practice has not historically been the case.

Until May 2000 all hogs in Oklahoma were considered owned or domestic. To pursue feral hogs, permission from the hog “owner” was required. Failure to obtain permission posed liability problems for the hunters or persons who happened to take a stray domestic hog. Happily things are changing. Recent Oklahoma legislation has removed them from the list of domestic animals and has clarified rules governing harvesting or hunting feral hogs. It establishes some common sense rules and guidelines that are much needed to address the proliferation of feral hogs in Oklahoma. The primary change is that feral hogs are no longer considered domestic animals. A feral hog is defined as any hog running at large whose owner is unknown. If a hog's owner wishes to do so he or she can delay the designation of “feral”, an additional ten days by notifying adjacent land owners with in the first five days of escaping.

Another important aspect of this legislation is that it prohibits willfully releasing hogs to live in a wild or feral state on public or private lands. This is significant in that this action has been the primary mechanism by which hogs have spread through the state and all of North America. This publically sends a message that it is unacceptable practice and supports law enforcement in the event a case is made.

Other key points included in the legislation deal with taking or hunting feral hogs on private land, one still must obtain permission from the land owner. But on public lands hogs can only be taken by means and times designated by the ODWC. Additionally any person whose hunting license is revoked may not pursue feral hog by any means. Although this legislation will not eradicate the feral hog problem it will give land owners firm ground to stand on when dealing with this invasive species.

*modified from article written by ken glee with the Samuel Roberts Nobel foundation legislative report on the feral hog in Oklahoma.

Hogs have moved through most of the entire contiguous und states, including Hawaii. This seems to be unbelievable however hogs have a short gestation period that is roughly 3 months 3 weeks 3 days. These litters can produce up to 16 piglets. This leaves room for exponential growth.

Current maps of hog populations are available to show this spread of the feral Hog as a species; if one would consider them that. If you know hogs inhabit your property. I would personally wage an all out war on these invasive species. The wild hogs will and do cause devastation to native vegetation, they cause erosion issues, as well as compete with native wildlife for various food sources. This puts stress on your deer herds’ and your turkey populations; as well as the fisheries in your region. Hogs can be hunted and trapped to reduce populations. Before doing this I would reference your wildlife agency in your perspective state for legal means.

In Texas snaring is allowed, however in Oklahoma it is not. Traps must be pen type structures. Shooting is a legal means of taking at different times considering the laws on public lands which you may be hunting. Private lands here in Oklahoma a feral hog is open for a bullet any time any day. That's why many of us do everything from feeding the cattle to shed hunting with a rifle in hand. If you can find the rules and regulations in your area for this I would encourage you to consider. Your time in the woods to also incorporate a hog hunt anytime you are in the woods. This allows one to hunt most of the year and to bring an out of control population nearly nationwide to a tolerable level.

Posted by Chris Pulchny under Hunting on March 9, 10 12:25 PM | Permalink

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