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Wisconsin DNR Asks Hunters to Shoot Wild Pigs

Wild pigs have become such a nuisance in Texas that this year, the state passed a new law allowing people to hunt them without a license. (NASA/Wikipedia)
Wild pigs have become such a nuisance in Texas that this year, the state passed a new law allowing people to hunt them without a license. (NASA/Wikipedia)
November 25, 2019

MADISON, Wis. — Hunters are fanning out across Wisconsin for the nine-day firearm deer season, which got underway over the weekend.

As they pursue a successful hunt, state officials want hunters to keep an eye out for an invasive animal. Wild pigs, also known as feral hogs, can spread diseases, as well as damage crops and wildlife as they search for food.

They've caused serious problems in other states, mainly in the southern U.S. Liz Tanner, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Natural Resources, said while it hasn't been a big problem here, some sightings have been reported this fall.

"Occasionally, we do get feral-pig-type sighting reports, and they typically turn out to be domestic pigs that have escaped confinement,” Tanner said. “And so, we're aware of some domestic pigs that may be on the landscape right now, and we're really hoping that hunters can help us eradicate those pigs."

The Wisconsin DNR considers the hogs unprotected wild animals, with no closed hunting season or harvest limit. Landowners can shoot them without a license, and anyone else can do the same with a small-game license.

A hog is considered wild if it's been on the loose for more than seven days. If it is killed before that window closes, the hunter could be held responsible for the cost of the animal.

Tanner said in 2002, Wisconsin hunters played a large role in containing a feral pig population in Crawford County. She said they hope hunters will answer the call again.

"We're hoping to be able keep the population from establishing,” she said. “That way, we don't have to deal with the kind of issues that other states, like Texas, are apparently dealing with."

In Texas, state officials say the wild pig population is estimated to be between 3 million and 5 million, and has spread to about 90% of the counties in the state.

Mike Moen/Cynthia Howard, Public News Service - WI