Wild hogs dig up more trouble for county farmers, landowners

Wild hogs sightings have been on the rise lately, proving a nuisance for farmers and land owners alike because of the extensive damage to crops, timber, pastures and native wildlife habitats they leave behind.
“There are very few areas left in the county without wild hogs. We’ve gotten reports from within the city limits of Amory, Bartahatchie, Wren and Lackey,” said Monroe County game warden Dean Hudson.
Wild hogs are classified as a nuisance animal. According to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, a nuisance animal falls in any species, native and non-native, that regularly causes conflict through their interactions with humans. These conflicts can range from mere irritating circumstances to major property damage.
The wild hog, a non-native species in Mississippi, is a mix of the domestic swine gone feral and wild European boar.
The majority of wild hogs are black in color, while others are “grizzled.” An average adult boar will be about four to five feet in length and approximately 30 inches high. Adult sows are slightly smaller. An adult male will average 250 to 300 pounds and a female will average about 150 to 180 pounds.
The increasing population of wild hogs across the state is mainly due to its breeding capacity. A sow can breed as early as six months of age and will give birth to anywhere from four to 12 piglets twice a year.
For Austin Cadden who participates in a conservation reserve program with his father on land they own in Blackcat Bottom, wild hogs are a significant problem.
“They’ve killed between five and six acres of our pine trees and they tear up our fields and ditches by rooting. They rub up against trees scratching at fleas and ticks and either break them or rub the bark so far down that they eventually die,” Cadden said.
Another mark wild hogs leave behind is rooting, which is when the animal turns up the ground with it’s snout in search of food. According to Hudson, when a wild hog is finished rooting, it looks as if someone has dug holes in the ground with a shovel.
Due to the destructiveness and aggressiveness of these nuisance animals, many people look for every opportunity to kill them.
“We’ve killed around 500 since 1998 in Blackcat bottom. I’ve killed 13 since October of this year. They can be dangerous, though,” Cadden said.
He was once charged by seven wild hogs after shooting one of them and has been hit on more than one occasion.
Landowners may hunt nuisance animals year-round at any time of day or night with no caliber restrictions on property deeded in their name.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks has laid out some general hunting and trapping regulations on wild hogs and other nuisance animals at www.mdwfp.com.