Vicksburg National Military Park.
Sam Andrews - The Vicksburg Post
Wild hogs wreaking havoc in park -
If Mike Madell had some posters handy, he'd have the ugly mugs of seven wanted feral hogs plastered all over Vicksburg National Military Park.
"We've removed 11 so far since mid-October," Madell said. "And we've just sighted the group of seven. It's definitely a problem."
Wild hogs have made the northern third of the 1,800-acre park their rooting grounds since a mass migration of hogs, alligators, coyotes and other wildlife moved down the Mississippi River as it reached record flood marks in May, said Madell, the park's superintendent.
Dense brush between Graveyard Road and North Union Avenue has turned into a pig's playground - - earth is scoured throughout the woods, particularly around a marker for the Indiana Regiment.
"For whatever reason, they like it," Mandell said. "They must have found some food there."
The park has enlisted the help of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to trap and shoot the nuisance animals to head off any movement south or east where they could cross paths with joggers on the tour road.
"We can't transport them live," said Virginia DuBowy, the park's natural resources manager. "So, we do it in a humane way."
Wild swine weigh up to about 200 pounds and can be aggressive, usually around piglets. They may be hunted in Mississippi year-round without firearm restrictions. Concealed weapons may be carried in the park, but must remain inside one's vehicle, said Rick Martin, the park's chief of operations. Visitors may be cited by rangers for hunting in the park, which can prompt an appearance before a federal magistrate, Martin said.
Wild boars spotted at Riverfront Park in Vicksburg forced the city to close the park for nearly two days in the week leading up the the river's record 57.1-foot crest May 19. No records are kept when boars are shot by agents with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the agency said.
Park officials saw an initial wave of hogs as the river rose and fell slowly. Some were believed to be the last of a group that had escaped from farmland near the park about two years ago, DuBowy said.
"The foot source for them is tremendous, with the grubs and plants," she said. "They've got a lot of water and a lot of cover. It's hard to get to - - but the pigs don't seem to have a problem with it. It's an inviting place for them."
Extensive crossbreeding has varied the appearance of wild boars, in terms of shape and coat color, according to a report issued by USDA in August. The agency says estimates of the U. S. feral pig population in 2010 reached 5 million over 37 states, up from 16 states in 1982. The animals cause more than $1 billion in damages to public and private property annually, the report said.
By Danny Barrett Jr. email@example.com
A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter
Article by Fred Messina, editor of "On Target Outdoors" from The Vicksburg Evening Post on Friday, January 19, 1990. Photo by Bob Phillips.
Bob Phillips came up the other day with a photo of his wife Marian and a deer she got on Brown's Point New Years Eve. The deer was an 8-point with 16 inches of inside spread that weighed in at 190 pounds. A nice trophy in anyone's book. However, the tale Bob told is that this was Marian's fourth deer this year and he claimed that he would have done better than he did if he had not spent so much time hauling Marian's deer out of the woods. Come off it, Bob. We all know who the hunter was.