Feral Hogs: a problem in the Wiregrass

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Dec. 30, 2019 at 5:38 PM CST
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Feral hogs are especially common in the Wiregrass.

They tear up crops and roads causing millions of dollars in damage.

The hogs are legal to hunt year round to help control the population.

Permits can also be issued to kill them at night.

"We get calls about feral hogs or wild pigs regularly like weekly,” Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources District IV Supervisor Captain Heath Wells said. “95% of the time it's in rural areas."

Feral hogs can normally be killed with a firearm.

Most calls about these wild animals are outside city limits, there are still cases within city limits and typically cannot be handled with a firearm.

"It's illegal to move them out of the trap or wherever they're caught alive because they are a nuisance and we don't want that nuisance to spread," Walls said.

Once the hogs are trapped they have to be eradicated.

"A lot of times you have to trap the hogs inside the city limits which sometimes trapping hogs is the better way to get rid of them anyway if you're really wanting to get rid of them you can get rid of more quicker that way," Walls said.

If you happen to encounter a wild hog and have no way to defend yourself, the best thing to do is just leave it alone.

"Unless there's a sow with piglets or babies around they're probably not going to attack you unless you're getting close to their babies or something like that," Walls said.

The feral hog problem has gotten the attention of the federal government.

The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded a grant to Geneva, Henry and Houston counties for a pilot project to help with feral swine control.

The pilot project will also be in Baldwin, Escambia and Sumter counties in Alabama.

Georgia was awarded $1,500,000 for its project.