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Feral hogs a dangerous nuisance in the Natural State

September 26, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.
In this Aug. 24, 2011, file photo, a feral hog stands in a holding pen at Easton View Outfitters in Valley Falls, N.Y. Such hogs do more than $1.5 billion a year in damage around the country, and scientists are taking what could be a big step toward controlling them. They are field-testing poison baits made from a preservative that’s used to cure bacon and sausage. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Feral hogs are not native to the United States. They are an invasive species, a public nuisance and a threat to Arkansas.

They compete for food resources, destroy habitat by rooting and wallowing and will eat ground-nesting birds, eggs, fawns and young domestic livestock. They also carry up to 45 bacteria, diseases and parasites, including Trichinellosis, Brucellosis and swine herpes virus.

Hunting and shooting feral pigs has been implemented for the last few decades. It can chase feral hogs away from crops or food plots temporarily, but they soon return or become a problem for a neighboring landowner. Studies show at least 66% of a hog population must be removed each year just to prevent it from growing. Hunting has shown to reduce hog populations by only 8 to 50%.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recognizes large-scale trapping as the most efficient and economical means currently available to reduce feral hog populations.

Sport hunting of feral hogs has been more hindrance to hog removal than benefit. Illegal relocation of hogs for hunting purposes has spread the problem to new areas. The shooting of individual hogs also thwarts large-scale trapping efforts by agencies because increased disturbance makes it nearly impossible to catch the whole sounder, or family group, at once.

Arkansas law prohibits the sale and transport of live feral hogs.

Hog Hunting and Shooting Regulations

On private land: Feral hogs may be killed or trapped year-round, by a landowner or anyone with the landowner's permission.

On public land:

- Dogs are not allowed for hunting feral hogs on WMAs.

- Feral hogs may be killed by hunters who are hunting bear, deer or elk during a firearm season with weapons legal for those seasons, except on some Wildlife Management Areas.

- Hogs may be taken incidentally with archery tackle from Nov. 1-Dec. 31, during open bear, deer and elk seasons, except on

Print Headline: Feral hogs a dangerous nuisance in the Natural State

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