I agree 100% with that....and NY has a shoot on sight rule in the southern counties due to hogs moving up from PA...why in the world would open a perserve for them in the middle of the state?...
DEC concerned about feral hog infestation
By: Bob McNitt, Outdoors Columnist
July 17th, 2008
The time may come when you'll awake one morning to see your lawn, garden or field looking like a crazed person with a rototiller had attacked your property during the night. If you think that's not possible, you might want to consider the Department of Environmental Conservation's recent press release on New York's feral hogs, which are increasingly showing up in southern counties near the Pennsylvania border. Another invasive species, such as was the subject of last week's column.
The feral hogs that are showing up in New York are apparently ones that have migrated north from Pennsylvania, a state where escaped or released swine have reverted to the wild there. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has reported documenting wild hogs living in 11 counties there and breeding in at least two of those along with past evidence that they existed in four other counties, the state is at a crossroads with feral pigs, clear evidence that their population is growing, and if something is not done soon, the Keystone State could have a situation similar to the one in the Southern states where habitat destruction by feral hogs is a huge problem.
Currently free-roaming feral hogs have been verified in Tioga, Cortland, Tompkins and Cayuga counties. The DEC is asking licensed hunters to shoot any feral hogs on sight at any time of year. A small game hunting license is required. Of course hunters need permission from landowners to take hogs on private land and may take them on public land that is open to hunting when encountered there.
Not a native species to America, swine are imported domesticated stock first brought to the continent by Hernando de Sota to the Atlantic Coast of Florida in 1539. A major contributor to the feral hog population in the country, especially in more southerly states, was the now obsolete practice of "free roam farming." Hog farmers would brand/mark their hogs and release them into the open woods to roam free, breed and grow, then, using dogs, would round them up and drive them into pens. Of course many were never captured and left to live and breed in the wild.
Since pigs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat, their survival and reproduction rates in the wild are excellent. Feral hogs are capable of breeding at six months of age but eight to ten months is the norm and liters average about six. In the more tropical climates, sows may have two liters annually. Other than man, adult feral hogs experience almost no predation to control their numbers. The amazing thing about these hogs is how quickly the species reverts back to being wild, including their physical appearance. Each subsequent generation born in the wild increasingly appears more like their true wild counterparts, the Russian or European wild hogs, complete with longer tails and tusks, heavier and thicker body hair and longer, coarser hackle hairs along their backs. How prolific are they? In the state of Texas alone it's estimated population of feral hogs is now more than 1.5 million and still growing, and Florida comes in a close second in feral hog population. Until a few years ago, about the farthest north you'd encounter resident feral hogs was South Carolina, but a string of mild Northeastern winters allowed low winterkill mortality on the hogs that were steadily expanding their range northward. Feral hogs are much like deer in that mild winters allow their numbers to increase, and also the recent surge in escaped or released feral hogs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio supplemented the wild stocks there. The results are pretty predictable that feral hogs would eventually start showing up in southern New York.