Feral Hogs Plaguing Rural Missouri
Rural Missouri is being plagued by a “dark force” according to one landowner: feral hogs.
Rural Ozark County landowner Mark Eisenmann told the Ozark County Times that feral hogs are overtaking the farmland in Ozark, leading landowners – fearful for both their safety and their crop – to join forces with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) to “eradicate” feral hogs in the state.
The expanding feral hog population isn’t limited to Ozark County. According to the MDC, feral hogs have caused damage in several counties throughout southern Missouri, including the Howell, Texas, Shannon, and Oregon Counties, and have an estimated population of 8,000 and 10,000. Missouri officials want to eradicate the problem before the population becomes unmanageable, an issue seen in several states across the U.S. including South Carolina, which has an estimated feral hog population of 150,000 and Texas which, with a wild hog population of approximately 2.6 million, has the largest feral hog population in the United States.
Concerns for landowners in Missouri revolve largely around the damage feral hogs cause by rooting up land, although dangers to livestock also pose a risk. Ozark, which borders Arkansas, has no predators to keep feral hogs in check, leading landowners to turn to corral trapping, helicopter shooting, night shooting, snaring, and drop netting.
Although the landowners in the Ozarks don’t encourage hunting to eradicate feral hogs, it is a popular method in Texas, where hog hunting season is year-round. Night hog hunting is best accomplished with the use of specialized equipment and gear. The Hogman Outdoors Game Alert® Rifle Kit is designed specifically to give an advantage during night hog hunting, without disturbing game behavior.