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Feral hog. Photo by Don McCullough, CC BY-NC 2.0.

Feral hog trapping

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature.

We wanted to get to a remote section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park to do some bat work. To get there by land would require going by foot nearly the entire way and turn a day’s worth of work into a three-day expedition. However, going by boat cuts out all that leg work. The Smokies has a program to control feral hogs, and we were able to catch a ride with a couple of their hog control staff traveling by boat to their work area.

Hogs are an introduced, component of the North Carolina landscape, and their rooting through the soil in search of food can be especially destructive to fragile, native plant communities.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing to allow the trapping of feral hogs with no closed season and no bag limits. Under the proposal, trappers must have a free permit in addition to a hunting or trapping license. The hogs must be live-trapped using traps constructed such that a non-target animal can easily be released or escape without harm. The new rules also require trappers to place permit numbers on all traps. Feral pigs must be euthanized while in the trap and may not be removed from any trap alive.

Under current rules, feral hogs may be trapped only under a depredation permit, which requires an economic justification, threat to human safety, or documented overabundance

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and WNCW, this is Gary Peeples.

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