Wild hogs continue to be a growing menace across Oklahoma

State could start seeing some of the problems Texas is having with the animals
BY ED GODFREY, Staff Writer, egodfrey@opubco.com Published: May 18, 2013
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The hog wars are ongoing in Oklahoma.

Feral hogs are present in all 77 counties of Oklahoma and the population keeps growing.

“Every year we are getting more complaints and in newer areas,” said Kevin Grant, division director of wildlife services for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

“A few years ago we got very few complaints in the northeastern part of the state. Now they are common.”

Wild hogs root up pastures and destroy crops and food plots. In one case in Oklahoma, feral hogs even plowed through cemetery, knocking over the tombstones. The damages they cause are tremendous.

“They will eat anything,” Grant said. “They are smart. They are prolific.”

Texas is so overrun with hogs that they are commonly seen on the roadways. It could be a glimpse of Oklahoma's future.

Hogs reach sexually maturity very quickly and have multiple litters during the year. They are so entrenched in Oklahoma, “You would have to remove 70 percent of the population over a period of years to really see any good come out of it,” Grant said.

There is no statewide eradication program of hogs. When requested, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry can provide temporary relief for landowners through trapping hogs and other methods.

The agency also will shoot hogs from the air, something that landowners now will be able to do on their own property.

Bills introduced this year in the state Legislature to allow aerial hunting of hogs by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft both passed and were signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

“The problem is now if you shoot one, another takes it place,” Grant said.

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