MISSOURI – Conservation officials have been working to remove feral hogs from Missouri for several years, but their presence remains an issue for dozens of counties.

A new report from Missourinet.com states that feral hogs remain a concern for at least 38 counties, particularly for those south of Interstate 44.

Feral hogs are an invasive species that pose several concerns due to their destructive nature. Officials say they’re capable of killing smaller native animals, damaging landscapes, contaminating water, and spreading diseases.

According to the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership, the state removed roughly 10,000 feral hogs in 2021 and another 6,300 last year. Officials say more than 50,000 have been removed from the state since 2016.

It’s hard to estimate how many feral hogs are roaming around Missouri, but there are likely at least tens of thousands. A new report from Captain Experiences ranks Missouri as the 13th worst U.S. state when it comes to feral hog impacts.

Despite the problems they might pose, hunting feral hogs on public land is illegal in Missouri and strongly discouraged on private property. Passersby are also encouraged to avoid physical contact with feral hogs.

Instead, anyone who spots a feral hog is asked to fill out this form from the Missouri Department of Conservation or contact the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership.