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Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are everywhere in Arkansas. These non-native invaders likely escaped from a farm
or were released for sport hunting. After a generation or two, progeny of a domesticated
hog appear untamed, with thickened fur and tusks. Sows produce an average six piglets
per litter when 8 to 13 months of age,with 1 to 2 litters per year, for a lifespan
of 5 to 8 years. Other than hunters, research indicates feral hogs have few predators
once past 10 to 15 pounds.
Their feeding and wallowing behaviors create a number of problems, including agriculture
crop loss, pasture damage, wildlife habitat loss, water pollution (e.g., sedimentation,
transmission of E. coli), and disease transmission to livestock and in rare cases, people. Non-native feral
hogs compete directly with native wildlife species for limited food supplies, disturb
habitat, and consume small mammals and reptiles, the young of larger mammals (e.g.,
fawns), and eggs and young of ground-nesting birds (e.g., bobwhites, wild turkey).
Watch a video clip of a pasture rooted up by feral hogs
Although small herds of feral hogs have lived in Arkansas for generations, the feral
hog population in the state has increased and expanded dramatically since the 1990's.
Controlling the prolific feral hog has proven difficult. Feral hogs are very adaptive
and learn to avoid hunters and traps. Hogs are very mobile, and will range for miles
in search of food and mates. Most feral hogs are nocturnal, and therefore often unseen
until signs appear. Signs of feral hogs are rooting, tracks, wallows, nests or beds,
tree and post rubs.
Watch a video clip of a feral hog wallowing
USDA – Wildlife Services offers assistance to private landowners statewide experiencing
feral hog damage. They have a number of employees dedicated to assisting landowners
with trapping and removing feral hogs, and in some instances aerial shooting. To request
assistance with feral hogs on your property, call Robert Byrd at 501-835-2318.
None of the following methods for removing feral hogs have proven 100% effective,
though corral trapping is recommended as the most efficient for removing large numbers.
Using several strategies, for example corral trapping followed by night shooting and
dog-hunting stragglers, could be your best option for achieving population reduction.
Each situation is unique. Contact the agencies listed above, or your local County
Extension Agent, to discuss your particular circumstance.
Additional details are available from resources below.
Click here for a video clip demonstrating the use of camera surveillance to detect
hogs and observe behaviors
For more information about feral hogs, local trapping demonstrations, upcoming workshops,
or having a workshop in your community, contact your local county Extension office.
For details about feral hog laws, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission or read the fact sheet Laws and Regulations Governing Feral Hogs in Arkansas.