Wild hog populations are threatening native wildlife habitats, timber, agriculture, water quality, roads, and levees not only in Mississippi, but all across the United States.
Wild hogs are not native to North America and are classified as a “nuisance animal” in Mississippi by state law. Hog populations are rapidly expanding because of their prolific reproductive potential, lack of natural predators, and their ability to survive in virtually any type of habitat. Populations have also expanded throughout the United States by illegal transport and release into the wild.
Deer hunters with feral hogs on their property, or hogs that migrate through in search of food, often find planted fields or crops damaged by the animals’ rooting and digging. Quality deer management and habitat management should include predator control measures for these nuisance animals. The best deer management strategies for your property definitely should incorporate year-round eradication and control through hunting and trapping.
To respond to the severe problems created by wild hog populations, many states, including Mississippi, have passed laws making it illegal to import or transport live wild hogs and to release them into the wild. Anyone convicted of releasing wild hogs in Mississippi may be fined up to $5,000 and spend up to 5 days in jail.
Recent research suggests that to control wild hog populations, approximately 70 percent must be removed annually. While there is no bounty on wild hogs, the Mississippi Department, of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks strongly encourages landowners and their agents to control wild hogs at every legal opportunity.
Current nuisance animal regulations allow private landowners to trap, hunt, and kill wild hogs year-round with some specific restrictions. Trapping via multi-individual catch corral-type traps are regarded as the most effective and efficient way to reduce hog populations.
While wild hogs are not considered a “game” species, hunting with firearms can also be an effective control tool. Visit http://wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/ for information about wild hogs and control techniques.
The MDWFP recently initiated the Mississippi Wild Hog Task Force comprised of multiple state and federal agencies, private organizations, and commercial producers representing wildlife resources, forestry, agriculture, environmental quality, and road and levee infrastructure. The goal of the task force is to educate Mississippians on the destructive impacts of wild hogs and to promote policies that encourage the reduction of wild hogs and the damage caused by them.
For more information regarding nuisance animal regulations in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/nuisance or call us at 601-432-2199.