KANSAS CITY (AP) — State officials have banned the hunting of feral hogs on land owned or managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation as part of a continuing effort to eradicate the destructive animals.
The ban approved June 24 by the Missouri Conservation Commission does not apply to private lands. It will take effect Sept. 30 on nearly 1,000 conservation areas in Missouri owned or operated by the department, conservation officials announced in a news release.
Five years ago, state and federal agencies committed to eradicating — rather than controlling — the feral hogs because they are extremely destructive and have large litters. In 2014, Missouri received $235,000 as part of $20 million in federal funds appropriated for eradication efforts in several states. Friday’s vote came after the commission considered public comments on the issue.
About 30 of the conservation department’s lands are known to have feral hogs, mostly in southern Missouri.
Conservation agents have been baiting traps with feed to catch entire herds — known as a sounder — together. If a hunter shoots one or two hogs before they are trapped, the rest will scatter to another site, conservation agents said.
Conservation Department Division Chief Jason Sumners said the ban approved Friday is “a direct result of some misguided individuals disrupting trapping efforts by MDC staff.”
Releasing hogs to non-enclosed areas or into the wild is illegal in Missouri. The conservation department is encouraging the public to report such activities or any sightings of feral hogs to wildlife agents.