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Reporting and commentary from OnEarth editors and correspondents
I agree with Jeff Kart but must object to his use of "wild" instead of "feral" in no fewer than three instances in this article. All hogs/pigs/swine/boars are invasive, not "wild," and those that have escaped captivity are feral. There are no wild pigs or boars in the New World, and almost all feral pigs are hybrids of domesticated pigs and boars (boars are wild in Eurasia but not in North, Central or South America). I assume Jeff used "wild" for the sake of variety, but his usage is confusing and gratuitous. Would he describe an elephant that has escaped a circus as "wild"? Of course not. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment also incorrectly uses the term "wild," and the California Department of Fish and Game makes this same idiotic error in its regulations, so Jeff isn't the only offender. The only good feral pig is a dead feral pig.
I fail to see how Michigan is overrun with feral/wild or whatever you want to call them since I have yet to see a single hog or even signs of them. And, since the deer numbers in the UP are so low this year, I would gladly take a shot at one of these "invasive" hogs!
Banning feral hogs will never work. Not unless it's just a ban on live ones. No matter how they got there, they are already there and you ain't getting rid of them. They need to be hunted year round, with no closed season and no limit on how many dead ones you can have. When you ban the possession of feral hogs, or the hunting of feral hogs you give the hogs free rein to breed and reproduce, which they will and at an alarming rate. Your five thousand hogs will be fifty thousand in five or ten years. In truth, the game ranches can be a useful control tool if they buy their hogs from trappers and dog hunters. Create a market for feral hogs and you create a reason to catch them, which means more people doing hunting and trapping. Texas and Florida have buying stations that buy feral hogs for export and slaughter.