Agency declares "Open Season" on wild hogs - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Agency declares "Open Season" on wild hogs

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By Bert Case - bio | email

PEARL RIVER SWAMP, MS (WLBT) - Wild hogs have been a national problem for years.  It is estimated there are more than four million wild pigs in over 35 American states.  Texas has the biggest problem, but it is a growing problem in Mississippi, particularly along rivers.

The pigs eat up crops and can spread diseases.  Pictures were given to WLBt by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.  The department is making it much easier Wednesday to hunt the beasts, as we learned from Chief of Law Enforcement Steve Adcock.

"The only real stipulation now is during archery season.  You can't run dogs to hunt hogs, and you have to use that equipment during that time period, but other than that, you can kill them day or night with any weapon," said Chief Adcock.

Larry Castle, Director of Wildlife, for the agency admitted the pigs have become a very serious problem in Mississippi.  "The hog problem in Mississippi is a critical problem," he said.  "It is a growing, critical problem.

Ken Hilton, who is familiar to many Central Mississippians as a former automobile dealer, is now retired and has a farm near Port Gibson.  Over the past four years he has made it his business to become an expert on the wild animals.

"I say they need to be taken any way they can, and poisoning them is really the only way they will have any kind of effect," said Hilton.

These animals like swampy areas along rivers, like the Pearl.  They are not native to this country but are believed to have been brought here by Spanish explorers.  Hernando de Soto discovered Mississippi in 1541.

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