Thursday, February 9th, 2023
Thursday, February 9th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Hunters asked to aid with pig problem

Matheys said hunters have tried just about everything to kill a
pig or two, including using box traps, baiting, hounds, horses,
ambushing them, still-hunting, and relying on dumb luck. A rifle
seems to be the gun of choice for wild hog hunters.

Because wild hogs are an unprotected animal, they can be hunted
all year, night and day, without a bag limit or possession limit.
No carcass registration is required. Hunters must have a valid
small game, sports, patron, or archery license, however.

While it’s relatively easy to recognize a wild hog, Matheys
cautions hunters to make sure before they shoot that the animal is
not a domestic hog that has escaped. Most people refer to the
ferals as Russian boars.

“If it looks and acts like a wild hog, it probably is, but check
the color, which is usually dark black or real deep brown. They
have a mane along their back and more mass toward their shoulders
and a narrow rump. Their tails tend to be straight, not curled,”
Matheys said.

Dressed weight of about 50 wild hogs that have been shot in
Wisconsin since they were discovered in the fall of 2002 have
ranged between 40 and 150 pounds. Biologists believe there are at
least another 50 wild hogs roaming about. Loomans thinks there are
more, based on testimony from the May 26 hearing.

“Hunters shot 30 pigs off of one farm in a year near Bell Center
in Crawford County,” Loomans said. “Dave (Matheys) thought that
there were about 50 killed in Crawford County last winter. That
wouldn’t include pigs from other areas. No one has a solid
estimate.”

What about the meat for those few hunters who are successful in
killing a wild hog? Is the meat edible?

“Hunters have reported that the meat is delicious,” Johnsrud
said. “But it’s all in the way you fix it, I guess.”

Wild hogs are an unprotected species

Russian wild boars and European wild hogs are a non-native wild
animal in Wisconsin. Those that are free-roaming are considered an
unprotected wild animal.

 There is no closed season nor bag limit on unprotected wild
animals. Hunters must use legal guns and ammunition to hunt any
unprotected wild animal.

Like other unprotected species, wild hogs can be hunted at night
without hunting hour restrictions, except during the gun deer
seasons. A light can be used at the point of kill, similar to what
is allowed for hunting raccoons.

Hunters must have valid small game licenses, or licenses that
includes small game (like sports or patrons), to hunt wild hogs in
Wisconsin.

Hunters should be aware that just because they see an unconfined
hog in the wild does not mean that is a wild hog. It may be a
domestic hog that has escaped.

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