Hunters Helping Farmers
Hogs are the target as the Hunters Helping Farmer Program begins the task of eliminating these invasive creatures. The program is designed to have both hunters and farmers work together to lessen the impact that wild hogs have on crops and the environment.
The departments of Agriculture and Natural resources are working together to limit the economic and environmental impact that wild hogs are having on farms. The departments see it as a natural and beneficial fit for both farmers and hunters to work together. It provides the opportunity for hunters to have additional opportunities to hunt and gives farmers an additional protection method to protect their livelihood.
The issue is difficult to solve and will continue to be an issue for many more years. There are no legal poisons that can be used against them and they have no natural predators as they are a non-native creature. Sows begin to reproduce at eight months with four to eight piglets in each litter; this occurs every 12 to 15 months of a sow’s lifespan that can last four to eight years. They are also susceptible to swine brucellosis and pseudorabies which can easily transfer to domestic pigs.
It is estimated that they number anywhere between two million to six million in the Americas, are present in 39 states as well as four Canadian provinces and can cause upwards of $400 million of damages in Texas alone. They can destroy entire fields of rice, sorghum, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, melons and have also been known to eat livestock. They can also root as deep as three feet easily removing burrowed seeds, removing crops and allowing invasive plants to take hold.
The problem will not be resolved with hunting privileges on private land, but it does reduce the damages caused by these beasts. The purpose is to give farmers additional legal methods to combat this destructive force. Hunters and farmers will be matched according to geographical location, which gives farmers access to hunters in the general vicinity. Farmers must register with the government to have access and the right to hire hunters to eliminate their wild hog problems.
Farmers in Georgia should register or find additional information on wild hog program if they feel that wild hogs are posing a risk to their farms and livestock.