Feral Hog Menace: Missouri Bill Would Open Public Lands to Hog Hunting Again

Texas feral hog hunting

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By Travis Smola

Hunters in Missouri have not been able to hunt feral hogs on public lands for four years now, but that could be changing again under a new bill filed by Republican Rep. Robert Ross.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Ross has introduced the bill (HB 2427) at a House committee meeting earlier this week. The bill is co-sponsored by Chris Dinkins and Jeff Pogue. For years, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s stance has been that trapping hogs is more effective than shooting them.

Ross didn’t mince words in his criticism of the MDC.

“If they would shift their focus from making private landowners and hunters bad guys,” Ross said, “there might actually be a chance to get these hogs under control and eventually eradicate them.”

According to the Springfield News-Leader, Ross had plenty of support of his opinions. His bill drew praise from Rep. Sonya Anderson and several farmers who have been dealing with feral swine.

Bruce Lindsey’s Shannon County property borders public land, which limits his options in dealing with the animals causing destruction to his crops.

Missouri feral hog hunting

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“If hogs come over and plow up my fields tonight and get back over tomorrow, I’ve no right to kill ’em,” Lindsey told the committee. “Does that make sense? It doesn’t to me.”

Reynolds County, another place that has seen its share of hog problems recently, saw commissioner Joe Loyd agree that hunting in conjunction with trapping was likely the best solution.

“I’m not against trapping,” Loyd said. “It is a viable means of eradication. But it’s not the only means that it’s going to take to get a handle on this.”

However, the MDC maintains that allowing hunting wasn’t as effective as trapping large groups all at once. MDC Deputy Director Aaron Jeffries said he spoke with officials from Texas, another state besieged by pigs, and those officials said allowing hunting also started an industry that doesn’t want to see the hog population reduced.

feral hog hunting pigs

Nick Leghorn for TTAG

“I guess 25 years of trapping and hunting, I don’t know how much more proof you need that that doesn’t work,” Jeffries told the committee.

He says the MDC is also concerned about people actually releasing hogs into the wild illegally. The Department of Conservation wants a bill to increase the penalties for that.

At the close of the meeting, nothing was voted upon, but it is expected there will be more hearings and discussion on the proposal in the near future. Stay tuned.

 

This article originally appeared at our sister publication, Wide Open Spaces

comments

  1. avatar enuf says:

    “For years, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s stance has been that trapping hogs is more effective than shooting them.”

    So what? While that is likely true it is not the point. Feral hogs are a destructive invasive species. Killing them off via a variety of methods adds up to fewer feral hogs than if only one method is used. Of course hunters should be encouraged to shoot feral hogs, just as often as they care to. There should be no game limits, and a year-round open season for all methods.

    1. avatar Kevin says:

      I’m not necessarily defending the Department of Conservation, but here is their rationale for not shooting feral hogs:

      From https://mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/FERAL-HOG-FAQ-JAN2020.pdf

      When hunters shoot feral hogs, it complicates efforts to remove these pests. Hogs are social animals that travel in groups called sounders. Shooting into a group of 15 hogs and killing one or two hogs does not reduce the population, it scatters the sounder in various directions and makes trapping efforts aimed at catching the entire group at once more difficult, because hogs become trap-shy and wary of baited sites. With their high reproductive rate, removing one or two hogs does not help to reduce populations. Feral hog hunting also creates incentive for illegal releases.

      1. avatar Casey says:

        I take that to mean that giggle switches, bump stocks, and claymores would be more effective than a bolt gun.

        1. avatar Kevin says:

          Yeah, I guess if you could shoot into a group of 15 hogs and kill all 15, that’s pretty dang effective! 😉

        2. avatar Someone says:

          “You don’t need a 100 rounds magazine, you don’t need an AR15! Buy a shotgun. Buy a double barrelled shotgun.”

          Well, Joe, sometimes two blasts from the balcony are just not enough.

      2. avatar N says:

        So what your telling me is we need machine guns?

  2. avatar Roh-Dog says:

    Any idiot that claims to be an ‘environmentalist’ or an ‘animal rights activist’ and is anti-‘all methods to control’ the wild hog population is a nut whose opinion is worth hog excrement.
    I’ve seen what they do, no crop or ground-rearing animal is safe from this porcine terror.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Because they think it is humane to bore the hogs to death by reading Karl Marx to them. I personally think that is a cruel and inhumane method of culling.

      1. avatar JW says:

        Never read Marx to a pig of any sort! Hasn’t anyone read Animal Farm? 🙂

  3. avatar Gerard Smith says:

    Much personal experience here.

    For one – there is a quote in the article about not being able to shoot hogs on his own land – which IS NOT true.

    I believe it was 2 years ago that Missouri Dept of Conversation (MDC) said no more hog hunting on MDC-managed lands. I believe it was this past deer season (2019) when federal forests in MO became the same thing. Private land you’ve always been able to shoot them.

    The recent bill allows for shooting them on MDC managed land WHEN HUNTING for deer or turkey with the proper tag (which is very common – I hunt the Southeastern portion of the state and almost always get a hog or more during deer season).

    I agree w/MDC about trapping vs hunting. What I don’t agree with is funding – in my example there are I think 4 traps that the USDA can setup over 4 counties or so – not enough. They need to either dramatically increase funding for trapping OR (and my favorite suggestion) offer a bounty on hogs at $10-20 a piece and I suspect that would make a big dent.

    1. avatar Nero "...diction, not grammar..." Wolfe says:

      “’If hogs come over and plow up my fields tonight and get back over tomorrow, I’ve no right to kill ’em,’ Lindsey told the committee.”

      Is this the quote? I read it to mean the hogs return to the safety of public land in the morning, before he has had the opportunity to shoot them on his property.

      1. avatar BeoBear says:

        I agree, I read it the same way. He clearly meant the hogs attack at night and retreat to protected land where they can’t be killed. The same tactic used in human wars although the hogs obviously aren’t studying human battle tactics. Hmmm…or are they?

        To read it the OP’s way you would have to already be against the hunting and looking for a way to twist the facts to suit your own argument. Much like the democrats do with their anti second amendment agenda.

    2. avatar Someone says:

      Incredible how the government grows and spreads into all aspects of our lives. In Missouri they even have a Dept. of Conversation now! 😁

  4. avatar Defens says:

    I think they should trap as many as they can in MO and TX, transport them to California and Virginia, and release them on the state capitol grounds. What’s a few more hogs at the trough?

    1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

      Sounds like a good idea to me.

      Release them in the middle of the city, LA, SF, Portland, DC, and how about a BUNCH in Chiraq.

      1. avatar TechGuy says:

        We already have hogs in Chiraq! They’re not quite as hairy as the ones in the south but, they’re just as fat and, even more destructive. They literally RUN the city! They vote …even the dead ones.

        1. avatar TechGuy says:

          BTW: Chiraq hogs are a protected species. AR-14’s and AK46’s CANNOT be used (Not powerful enough. It might only only wound and cause the animal to suffer). You WILL be persecuted unless you have a criminal record and are using an illegal gun…. in which case, you’ll be released in an hour or two…. with “affordable” bail (usually none).

  5. avatar guy says:

    The only trapping method that’s truly effective is when you wait for the whole group to get used to the trap and then arm it. I would love to waste some hogs although I’m glad we dont Havem in Pa.

    1. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

      When I was growing up feral hogs were a fact of life. On public land they are treated as a game animal. On private land they are treated as property of the land owner to do with as he wishes. I now live about 40 miles north of where I did then. They are now a problem here. We started getting a few pics on trail cameras at the farm. Before we knew it we were overrun. They were destroying crops, food plots and feeders. Traps are definitely more effective than hunting with a rifle. The trap hunts 24 hours a day. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be hunted with a rifle. We found the most effective method was to invite hunters with dogs. Those that weren’t caught/killed would leave the area. They can’t tolerate the harassment. We caught, killed and trapped 300+ before we got the situation under control.

  6. avatar Bloving says:

    Landowner: “Wild pigs are a pest and are destroying my property!”
    Me: “I’d like to volunteer my pest-control services.”
    Landowner: “Okay! That will be $500 per hunt!”
    Me: “Sounds like those pigs aren’t a big enough problem for you yet. Let me know when you are serious about getting rid of them.”
    🤠

    1. avatar Dude says:

      When there’s a business model built around the “pests”, don’t expect them to be eradicated anytime soon.

    2. avatar 2A says:

      Amen brother….

  7. avatar D.J.U. says:

    I beleave this is a perfect reason to allow for faster suppressor permits or no permits needed for extream suppressor suppression as to limit the scattering on them. I live in country setting thats almost suburban in southern Mo.. Ive actually had one of these large ferral hogs come up to me. I was unable to retrieve a rifle to shoot it and could have gotten in trouble for illegally shooting it even though I could have claimed it presented a danger to us. It was over 200 lbs, no stock tags and almost dossil enough to have been someones stock. A first for me. I still get pissed at myself I didn’t snap a pic, but my camera and phone both were in the house with my rifle. Had this been in a group of them my freind, my wife and myself could have been injured badly, my wife, freind and myself petted it on the head, although it was very pushy and blunt, but luck was on our side I assume. I still don’t beleave it was tame just do to all of it’s actions, mabey escaped or turned out at one time. It had not been castrated. So its anyones guess.
    Had my dog been out there I doubt it would have approached us.
    If the meat on these hogs is havestable and safe it could be donated to the needy, shelters or food programs that also except deer harvest for the same reasons. Ozarks food harvest receives alot of venison every year from hunters in our great state. This meat if usable would further that projects needs and help to those in need.

  8. avatar Model 31 says:

    I dunno. If SHTF and there is nothing left in the stores, I think having a few million hogs near by might be useful to have around. They won’t taste like pork in the store but they’ll probably taste a lot better than your neighbor.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Model 31,

      I used to be on a mission to eliminate all the woodchucks around my home. Then I realized that they would be a valuable food source if society collapses. Now I leave them alone as long as they are not destroying my garden or causing other damage.

      1. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

        Same reason why I feed the squirrels in my yard. Keep them fat and happy on corn.

  9. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    Picture this:

    Large piles of corn, hundreds of hogs feasting.

    Then you hear “Redleg this is Phantom 6, fire mission over”

    “Phantom 6 this is Redleg, send over”

    “Grid PK034672 , swine in the open, fire for effect ”

    “Shot over”

    “Redleg , repeat over”

    “Redleg this is Phanton 6, pigs do fly, out”

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