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Will Hunters Be Allowed to Go Whole Hog?

Wild hogs are coming! Wild hogs are coming! Like a pest-control Paul Revere, wildlife officials are warning about the dramatic population increase in wild hogs, and the “militia” (in this case, hunters) may be called out to help. Even green organizations are alarmed at the destruction to the environment caused by these feral beasts and the expense and difficult measures required to control them. Could the wild hog replace the whitetail deer as the neighborhood big-game animal? Perhaps make pulled pork a staple like hot dogs? Kevin Murphy reports for Reuters in this informative post:

Ryan pigA few years ago, Jim Vich would not have dreamed of setting up an elaborate trap to catch wild hogs.  But that was before Oklahoma was invaded by a plague of pigs that devour crops, uproot pastures, destroy wildlife habitats, spread disease to humans and animals, kill trees and even knock over cemetery stones.

“I started trapping them more or less in self-defense,” said Vich, 60, a livestock farmer in northeast Oklahoma. “They were tearing up my place.”  Oklahoma is battling a wild pig problem that has spread across the United States. The pigs, evolved from introduced wild boars or from escaped domestic stock, are prevalent in 36 states and have been sighted in 47 states, according to authorities who track their populations.

They are vicious critters that typically grow to 200 pounds, can run 30 miles per hour, jump three feet high and climb out of traps with walls up to six feet high, experts say…

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.