Feral hogs are bad news. If you care about wildlife habitat or are trying to make a living in agriculture, they are a disaster. They eat everything from crops to wild turkey eggs, and even fawns. They breed rapidly and expose both humans and livestock to the risks of swine brucellosis, pseudorabies, and tularemia.
Feral hog eradication is supported by the Missouri Department of Conservation and USDA/APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service), and by every ag organization in the state, government or industry.
Taxpayer-funded state and federal efforts have made great progress against feral hogs in Missouri, but finishing the job is a challenge. It takes days or even weeks to habituate wild hogs to the only traps that capable of removing them faster than they can breed. Just one interaction with hunters near one of these sites can ruin the effort.
Even worse is the illegal but common practice of purposely turning hogs loose to ensure more breeding stock out there to build bigger populations to hunt. Which is what caused the problem to start with.
Some southern states have been hunting these hogs for generations, mostly with no limits and no fees. Yet they have seen their hog populations explode. Unchecked, they will inevitably spread.
We represent over 100 hunting, angling and other conservation affiliates in this great state. We respect and enjoy the exceptional hunting opportunities and outdoor heritage in Missouri. We were the organization behind the drive to adopt science-based conservation back in 1935 and we support efforts to eradicate feral hogs in this great state.
Now is the time to support state and federal agencies along with our conservation and agricultural partners. The Conservation Federation of Missouri encourages all Missourians to speak up.
Tyler Schwartze is the executive director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri.