Missouri Kills More than 6,200 Feral Pigs in an Ongoing Effort

Continued trapping efforts in the southern Ozark Region proves to be effective for helping to control this invasive species.

Missouri Kills More than 6,200 Feral Pigs in an Ongoing Effort

In an ongoing effort to control its runaway wild hog population, Missouri dropped the hammer on more than 6,200 feral pigs in 2022. Photo: iStockphoto.com/dbrazeale

More than 6,200 feral pigs were killed in Missouri in 2022, part of an ongoing project state officials are focused on to blunt the northward expansion of the destructive species. The removal of 6,289 hogs by the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership was a third less than in 2021, officials say. The partnership of state and federal agencies, organizations and landowners, coordinates spotting, communication and eradication efforts. 

“If anything, the efforts have increased but there are simply fewer hogs left on the landscape,” said Dan Zarlenga, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “It’s an indicator the program is succeeding.” 

The trend of fewer feral pigs being eradicated isn’t new. More than 12,000 were killed in 2020, a record, but the next year about 3,000 fewer were sighted and killed. This year’s drop by a third is a significant and positive trend, officials say. “We’ve just been hitting them really hard,” Zarlenga said. “It seems to be paying off.” 

Feral pigs primarily are found in the southern part of the state, known as the Ozark region. This covers south-central and southeastern Missouri. The latter is bordered by the Mississippi River. Feral pigs are believed to have moved north from Arkansas and also through introduction. 

Missouri officials primarily have used trapping methods to target the pigs and catch the entire sounder. Hunting has been downplayed as an effective method. Hunters often kill only a few pigs in a group, which then scatters and may split up to move into new areas.


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