Wild hogs could be past point of elimination in Ohio – Dayton Daily News

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By Steve Bennish, Staff Writer

Ohio could be past the point of being able to eradicate destructive wild hogs from the state, a federal wildlife specialist said.

The swine, popularly dubbed “Hogzillas” capable of growing to 500 pounds or more, have taken a foothold here as they have rapidly spread across the United States in a population explosion, a new survey shows.

So far, Ohio’s animals are apparently free of diseases that could harm people, said Craig Hicks, a wildlife disease biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture based in Reynoldsburg.

But they remain a serious threat to native wildlife and the environment, and hunters should still use caution when harvesting them, Hicks noted.

“Their existence here can only wreak havoc on the natural environment,” he said. “We may be beyond the point of removing all feral swine from Ohio.”

In 2009, the first year of an ongoing program to test the wild hogs for diseases, Hicks examined samples from 14 swine killed by hunters. Tests came back negative for classical swine fever, swine brucellosis and pseudo rabies.

That doesn’t mean hunters shouldn’t be vigilant, he added.

As with deer or any wild animal, hunters should wear rubber gloves when handling raw meat and properly bag discarded pieces after field dressing, Hicks said. Hunters should also wash their hands and clothing. And, as with any pork product, the meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

The total number of wild Ohio hogs — a mix of farm escapees and much larger European boars that fled game hunting camps — is 500 to 1,000, according to estimates.

They’re in 26 of 88 counties including Belmont, Gallia, Guernsey, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Ross, Scioto, Vinton and Washington in the southeast.

They’re also in Adams, Brown, Butler, Darke, Preble and Shelby counties.

Reports also have located them in Auglaize, Champaign, Fayette, Logan, Mercer and Pickaway counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

As wild hogs have spread, they have developed permanent populations in more regions, said Jack Mayer, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, S.C.

In a Scripps Howard News Service report, Mayer said he’s tracked the spread of the pigs to 44 states. America’s wild pig population more than doubled in size and range in the past 20 years. Two decades ago, 500,000 to 2 million roamed the United States. Now the population is 2 million to 6 million. In 1982, they were documented in only 17 states.

Mayer said that when a wild hog community is large enough, it reaches a critical mass and gains what scientists say is a permanent foothold.

Twenty-one states fall into that category of having an “established” hog population. When the population is smaller, it can still be removed by hunting and trapping.

Twelve states have so-called “transitional” or “emerging” populations including Ohio, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Wildlife experts have said the hogs are increasingly running roughshod in rural areas, suburbs and even a few cities. They’re digging up cemeteries, gardens and lawns, causing car wrecks — and occasionally attacking people.

In 2009:

• A wild pig attacked a St. Petersburg, Fla., woman in her backyard in April, goring her leg. Seven months later, an Avon Park, Fla., driver was killed when her sports utility vehicle flipped after colliding with a wild hog.

• In Detroit, a wild pig wandered through downtown, making its way to the home of a family in nearby Warren, Mich.

• In September, in a Redding, Calif.-area subdivision, an estimated 100 feral hogs tore out landscaping and turned lawns into muddy messes.

According to the Scripps Howard report, no national strategy or program exists to corral what is a cross-border problem. Without federal intervention and enforcement of laws that limit transporting animals, the battle against the pigs — which each year cause an estimated $800 million in property and crop damage and 27,000 auto collisions — could very well be lost, Mayer said.

The USDA’s Hicks said wild pigs are challenging to kill.

“They’re a pretty smart animal, and they learn from our mistakes,” he said. “They are prolific breeders. In our southern counties, trying to find them on a large tract of land can be difficult.”

via Dayton Daily News.


  1. Tim Robertson says:

    Hog removal within 60 Miles of Cincinnati,

    I have a team ready to hunt you destructive hogs.
    We are rifle hunters.



  2. Protect are small game & Deer population. for any help removing your feral Hogs Please respond to the email. Thanks & happy hunting

  3. Protect are small game & Deer population. for any help removing your feral Hogs please respond to my email (rickysnow00@Gmail.com) Thanks & Happy Hunting.

  4. I have a friend that hog hunts and was having me look for a site to post something where we can get out a way to have people contact us. We live in franklin county but are more than willing to travel. If you have a problem with hogs and would like us to take care of it we can. We usally kill but we can set a trap. We use both guns and bows. So if you want us to kill them we will use a bow if you do not want us to be shooting a gun on your land. You can reach me at brooks.alex12@yahoo.com just put “hog help” in the subject.


  5. xtreme solutions says:

    I am a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator here in Ohio, send me an email with hog removal in the subject line if you have problem hogs, we will do whatever we can to remove the nuisance hogs from your property for free.

  6. If there is a landowner that needs someone to hunt hogs off their property I am interested. I am a responsible hunter and will respect the land. contact me by email I will hunt anytime. I also have a family to provide for and will donate any meat I wont need.

  7. I am a us marine. I and my friend would pay to let us come to your farm and kill these devils . We would hunt with 12ga buckshot and smith wesson 500 magnum they will die quick the meat would be donated to homeless shelter or those less fortunate. email me at cfout4050@gmail.com

  8. Has anyone had luck hunting wild pigs in Shawnee State Forest? I have heard there are many there …. Thanks

  9. will hunt hogs coyotes 4free bow /gun or/trap however the landowner wishes 2solve the problem .call me at 740 887 3951 thank you.or 740 253 9444.

  10. As a avid hunter teaching my youngest son about the wonderful world of hunting . If you are a land owner having hog problems I would love to come help you with your problem . Just email me at randyball33@hotmail.com .

  11. would come all the way from north florida to help.we use dogs and no guns.phone #8509267883

  12. Phillip Jasiunas says:

    Me and a friend in ohio are trying to find places in ohio to hunt hogs if you have land and hogs are being a problem we’ll hunt them. Just want to hunt some hogs if you know of any places can email me or call leave a message on my phone 937-309-4898 or email me at red.dragon2007@gmail.com just really whana go hunting for a first time too.

  13. Robert Hill says:

    We are looking for farmers needing assistance with hog erradication. I and my friend have been hunting Ohio for years and own land here as well. Please e-mail us with your problem and we’ll be happy to help!

  14. wild hogs are a big problem in many states damaging crops and are very dangerous. i would love to hunt hogs are white tail deer or elk. on my first deer hunt my stock om my 30,30 marlin had a hair line crack in it. i saw 3 deer that day on my first deer hunt. they where coming across a field with a creek and trees in between us and the deer. i went down through the dry creek bed and layed my gun on the bank on the other side. well my stock fell apart on me. this is a true story. it is embrassing but true.. you got to remmber this was my first deer hunt ever. larry from ks

  15. I’ve lived in Ohio for 18 yrs, been in the field 100’s of times and have never seen a Hog or know anyone that has. Never heard of anyone I know shooting one – nor have seen a photo of a shot hog (other than a “canned hunt”)

    I don’t think there is a hog issue in Ohio

  16. looking for farmers with feral hog/coyote problem, fathers/sons group of (5) looking to hunt your property, fire arm safety is number one, we’ll respect your rule/property as if it’s are own. If we can help contact Mark @ myboyzrhunters@comcast.net

  17. You can get Ohio Hog hunting information at http://www.huntwildpig.com/state-specifics/ohio/

  18. Marshall Knowlton says:

    Hello, I am looking for anyone who owns land and would let myself and a friend who are not only veterns but respectful hunters to hunt on. Please let me know I will be willing to share the harvest. contact me at heath.knowlton@yahoo.com

  19. Bill Druschel says:

    Bill says When spring comes and it warms up Id like to hunt southern ohio for hogs . I can be reached at wldhookstown@yahoo.com Thanks Bill

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