Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The New York Hog Explosion!
Ok, I am being a bit overzealous in my title, but I couldn't resist with all of the talk of hogs and invasive species. I was reading the Democrat and Chronicle from my home state of New York when I came across an article on feral hogs yesterday. There are reports that feral hogs are starting to infiltrate farmland in Central New York.
New York wildlife officials are scrambling to confront an invasion before it becomes an environmental disaster.

Feral hogs, abundant for years in many Southern states, are slowly creeping into New York, and they are not a welcome addition.
Now, if this is the case I expect to see many more stories from my NY hunting buddies regarding feral hogs. I haven't heard of anyone taking any hogs or going on a hog hunt, but I am sure it''ll happen.

I do have my doubts, call it skeptical, but I think this may be getting more press because it's a hog and not another invasive species. I don't know. What I do know is that hogs cause incredible damage to farmland and New York is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the U.S. With many cash crop farmers growing corn, beans, buckwheat and barley, the hogs are certain to flourish without some aggressive action. The next time I plan a whitetail hunt with my family in New York I wonder if I'll be on the hunt for a hog as well. I think it'll take long than a year or two for things to get that far.

You can be certain of one thing though. If the hogs are left to abound, you will start seeing more and more "outfitters" popping up offering hog hunts for a hefty price. Ugh!


  1. Not to come across wrong here, but I honestly hope that you don't see a rise in hog hunting outfitters in New York. In fact, besides the high-fence ranches (that need to be regulated and should be held financially responsible for control efforts if their animals escape), I would hope the Empire State takes a page from Colorado and a couple of other states, and bans the commercial hunting of feral hogs.

    It's a truth that a significant cause of the influx of feral hogs in many states is the transport and release of hogs by "sportsmen". Usually it's done by a handful of guys who don't know any better. They just want to add something huntable to their lease and really have no idea how quickly a population of feral hogs can grow and spread. But when hog hunting becomes a money-maker, the incentive to trap and transplant hogs creates a whole pipeline of pigs. It's happened throughout the south, in Texas (where it was finally regulated), and here in CA... despite the fact that transport and release of non-native species is generally illegal.

    Let the sport hunters shoot them and count it a boon. Allow the land owners who are having problems to either open their land to sport hunters for free, or hire professionals to trap and eradicate. In cases where there's a demonstrated negative environmental impact (sensitive wetlands, for example), the State can pay trappers and sharpshooters to come in and exercise some control.

    But most importantly, accept the fact that if the hogs have been living and breeding in the area for five years, they are there to stay. Total eradication is not going to be feasible, short of drastic and dangerous measures.

  2. I don't think you are coming across wrong at all, Phillip. On the contrary, I think that's exactly what I was looking for. I don't want to see it either and I sure hope I didn't express my thoughts in that way. It may seem that way when I mention hunting them there, but honestly I don't want that option. No, I would rather see the farmers and sportsmen kill them off and not have the insanity of having to deal with rampant feral swine. The farmers have enough to deal with when it comes to the high population of deer and other wildlife feeding on their crops.

    Like you mentioned, I have heard of plenty of people catching and then releasing hogs for the 'sport' and to have something else to hunt. Not only is it wrong, illegal and unsportsmanlike, it's just stupid. The careless attitude of some people will lead to the problems for many.

    I appreciate the input, Phillip. I hope that the New Yorkers take this kind of advice to heart.