Mississippi wildlife officials say wild hogs are now in more than half the counties of the state, including Warren, tearing up crops and destroying other kinds of vegetation
Four or five years ago, they were causing problems in only about five or six counties.
Wildlife officials say they are trying to make it easier for people to kill them.
"Basically liberalizing it, making it where a landowner, lease-holder, can kill hogs or other nuisance animals any day of the year, day or night, without any type of caliber or weapon restrictions," said Chad Dacus with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
MDWFP officials said wild hog populations are growing because they reproduce often and can survive in virtually any habitat. The animals also lack any natural predators.
Wild hogs are crafty, too, making them difficult to corner and kill. Their razor-like tusks and aggression when cornered can make them dangerous to pursue.
State officials said there have been so many complaints that virtually all of the rules against shooting them have been removed.
Dacus said Warren County's hog problems is as serious as other areas of the state. One of the reasons for the county's hog problem, he said, is the Mississippi River.
"They like to be near water, and the Mississippi gives them a good place to gather," he said. "They'll follow the river."
One of the local areas that has suffered from hogs is the Vicksburg National Military Park which had to set out traps in an effort to either control or eliminate the hog population in the park.
Park Superintendent Michael Madell said the problem last year was centered in an area north of Graveyard Road, adding the park's hog problem has since slacked off.
MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS
"We haven't seen any hogs since April or May," he said, adding traps are set up in different areas of the park to catch any hogs that might come in the area.
Hogs were reported often in Vicksburg and Warren County during the Mississippi River flood of 2011. They were seen swimming across the swollen river and coming onto the bank at Riverfront Park.
A new state law took effect July 1 that added wild hogs to the state beaver-control program.
The law created the Beaver and Wild Hog Control Advisory Board to come up with a program to control or eradicate beavers and wild hogs. The program is administered by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture.
Tony Hammons, who lives in Copiah County, likes to hunt the hogs, take pictures of them and eat them. He has respect for how dangerous they can be, too. He said the tusks are very sharp.
~The Vicksburg Post
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