Workshop explores wild hog problems


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Posted: 4/30/2009


Wild hogs make pigs of themselves when rooting through crops and young forests, leaving behind a wide swath of damage and economic loss.

Producers and wildlife managers who deal with this problem can get help by attending a wild hog workshop sponsored by the Mississippi State University Extension Service; the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks; and the Mississippi USDA Wildlife Service.

The workshop is June 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Simpson County Livestock Barn on Highway 49 near Mendenhall. Registration is $20 and due by May 22. The cost includes educational materials and, in keeping with the workshop’s theme, a pork barbeque lunch.

Topics include wildlife damage, wild hog biology, swine diseases and parasites, hog trapping and laws governing the removal of wild animals.

The Extension Service held a wild hog workshop in the Delta last year in response to complaints there from row crop producers. Producers and wildlife managers in south Mississippi and the rest of the state also have problems with these animals, which prompted this workshop.

"Wild hogs can root a 50-acre field quickly, depending on how many of them are present and how hungry they are," said Extension wildlife specialist Bronson Strickland. "They also ruin deer and turkey plots, damage farm roads by rooting and destroy young tree seedlings."

He said scientists have linked hog rooting and wallowing near streams to erosion and changes in water quality.

Wild hogs are hardy animals that can have two litters of piglets each year, with up to eight piglets in each litter.

"The total damage to cropland, forests and recreational areas by wild hogs each year has been estimated at more than $800 million," Strickland said. "This is a problem with no easy solution."

Contact Strickland at (662) 325-8141 or the local county Extension office for more information on the workshop.

Wildlife and Fisheries