Michigan Ask Hunters: Help Eliminate Feral Swine

Many years ago I went on a boar hunting trip to Tennessee.  The picture is of me and younger brother Darryl with my boar.  We were so far back into the hills and hollers that the moonshiners were running stills in the area.  That was my first encounter with free range wild boar, and we were all impressed at the aggressive nature of the beast.  Out of the five of us hunting, two were charged, and one dog was slashed pretty bad by the ill tempered pigs.

My brother Randy had to shoot straight down, as he ducked behind a tree, with the hog in hot pursuit.  Thankfully he hit the spine and stopped the 220 pound boar in its tracks.  Randy Redmond put 3 rifle slugs in a charging boars chest, and dropped him only a few feet away.

The reason I bring up this hunt is because of the problem that now exist in many parts of the United States.  Wild hogs, feral pigs, Eurasian boar; whatever the blood-line are at epidemic levels in many states.  Could Michigan end up like Florida, or Texas, or California some day?  Texas has over 2,000,000 feral hogs wrecking havoc in the Lone Star State, and Florida isn’t far behind.  Last week, while vacationing in Florida I saw two wild boar, in an area where there wasn’t supposed to be any.   A female wild boar can produce three litters of piglets in a 14 month period.  You can see that in just a couple years time how the population would skyrocket.  Pigs are omnivores and eat anything and everything in sight.  This includes farm crops, ground nesting bird eggs, baby fawns, plant roots, and anything else that has the misfortune to cross their path.  They make wallows in farm fields, change the course of small streams, and uproot  crops.  They carry disease and are harmful to humans and domestic animals.  They are an ecological disaster wherever they are allowed to proliferate.

Several years ago I was one of a few voices trying to sound the alarm here in Michigan.  I talked with DNR directors, the Dept. of Agriculture, and wrote a feature article for our local paper.  In fact I even shot a feral hog just a few hundred yards from my Monroe County home.  I reported my encounter to the Department of Natural Resources, but for whatever reason it was never recorded in a statewide survey of boar sightings/kills!

Well it now appears that the Michigan DNR is doing something about this invasive species of destruction.  It is now legal to kill feral swine in any county in Michigan so long as you posses a valid hunting license.  Go to www.michigan.gov/dnr for all the pertinent information on Michigan’s wild boar problem.  While your on the site watch the video clip done by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.  It’s called “a pickup load of pigs.”  Do Michigan a favor and shoot “on sight” any swine you may encounter.  If we don’t get a handle on this problem now-we will pay deer-ly in the future!

Mike

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