JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi wildlife officials say wild hogs are now in more than half the counties of the state, tearing up crops and destroying other kinds of vegetation.
Four and five years ago, they were only causing problems in about five or six counties.
Wildlife officials tell WLBT-TV in Jackson that they are trying to make it easier for people to kill them.
“Basically liberalizing it, making it where a landowner, leaseholder, can kill hogs or other nuisance animals any day of the year, day or night, without any type of caliber or weapon restrictions,” said Chad Dacus with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
MDWFP officials said wild hogs populations are growing because of they reproduce often and can survive in virtually any habitat. The animals also lack any natural predators.
Wild hogs are crafty, too, making them difficult to corner and kill. Their razor-like tusks and aggression when cornered can make them dangerous to pursue.
Officials said there have been so many complaints that virtually all of the rules against shooting them have been removed.
A new state law took effect July 1 that added wild hogs to the state beaver-control program.
The law created a Beaver and Wild Hog Control Advisory Board to come up with a program to control or eradicate beavers and wild hogs. The program is administered by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture.
Tony Hammons, who lives in Copiah County, likes to hunt the hogs, take pictures of them and eat them. He has respect for how dangerous they can be too. He said the tusks are very sharp.
“Just like being hit with a razor,” Hammons told WLBT-TV.
Information from: WLBT-TV, http://www.wlbt.com