MDWFP Concerned About Illegal Wild Hog Trapping Methods
JACKSON – Wild hogs can be found in all 82 of Mississippi’s counties, and the damage they cause to the ecosystem, agriculture, and native wildlife are a serious concern. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) encourages control of wild hogs at every legal opportunity and for everyone to become familiar with regulations regarding hunting and trapping wild hogs. According to MDWFP Nuisance Wildlife Biologist, Anthony Ballard, “Late winter and early spring is a period when available food resources can be depleted, which makes trapping wild hogs with bait even more effective. Therefore, we encourage landowners to take advantage of this time of year to trap wild hogs, focusing on trapping entire sounders (multiple family groups) at one time.” Ballard advises, “Trapping wild hogs is not like setting traps for rats and mice. There is an art and science to effective wild hog trapping. Improper trapping techniques can actually impede population reduction success.” Types of traps, location of traps, materials used, pre-baiting, trap doors, trigger devices, and when to set the trap for capture are all important considerations. For specific information about wild hog trapping techniques go to www.mdwfp.com/wild hogs and www.wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/.
The MDWFP is particularly concerned about recent reports of use of illegally constructed wild hog cage-type traps. To protect non-target animals such as deer, turkeys, raccoons, and black bears, regulations require that all wild hog traps be constructed with the top at least 50 percent open to allow the escape of non-target animals, particularly black bears. Such traps must be labeled with the owner’s name and contact information. Additionally, traps must be monitored at least every 36 hours, and all non-target animals must be released. MDWFP Black Bear Program Leader, Richard Rummel, warns landowners, “Black bears are subject to be found in any part of Mississippi and may be attracted to commonly used baits in hog traps.” Black bears can die from stress and injuries in their futile attempt to escape from enclosed traps. Black bears are considered an endangered species in Mississippi and to injure or cause death of a Black bear carries penalties of up to $5,000, five days in jail, and loss of hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for one year, if convicted. Proper openings in the roof allow black bears and other non-target animals to climb out unharmed, but prevent the escape of wild hogs.
If landowners have any questions or need technical advice about wild hog trapping, please call the MDWFP at 601-432-2199 or visit our website at www.mdwfp.com/wild-hogs. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mdwfp or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDWFPonline.