VIBURNUM, Mo. – Feral hogs are causing massive problems for farmers and others in multiple states including Missouri. An organized effort is underway in the Show-Me State to try and wipe them out. A lot has happened since FOX 2 last reported about this problem in 2019.
The hogs reproduce at a very high rate. A female hog can start reproducing at just six months old. She can have three litters a year, with several piglets in each litter.
There has been a 52 percent reduction in the land occupied by feral hogs in Missouri since 2016. This is around 5.8 million acres from which feral swine have been eliminated.
There are around 38 people working full time to eliminate the feral hog populations from several state organizations. They rely on reports from the public, scouting teams, and systematic baiting methods to find the hogs on the landscape.
Efforts to remove the hogs within Mark Twain National Forest have been even better. New rules were established in 2019 to make trapping more efficient. The new regulations allow hunters to shoot feral hogs during deer and turkey seasons.
Before the rules were put into place, there were just over 900 hogs captured. Now there is an average of around 3,000. That is around a 225% increase. Since 2015, a total of 12,884 feral hogs have been eliminated from the Mark Twain National Forest.
Feral hogs that are killed can be eaten but not all people like the meat. The many diseases that the hogs carry also raise safety concerns.
There is no way to tell how many feral hogs are left in Missouri. The fight to eradicate the hogs will continue for years to come. But, it appears that the state is making major progress. Hopefully, feral hog populations from other states don’t move in.
Report feral hog sightings or damage, and learn more about feral hog elimination at www.mdc.mo.gov/feralhogs