Wild hogs used to be a problem in Tennessee, here’s why they aren’t anymore

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Wild hogs are not native to Tennessee, but up until about five to six years ago, they were a major problem for farmers here in the Midstate.

However, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency was able to drastically reduce its population with the help of some technology.

Wild hogs were imported into parts of East Tennessee during the 1920s and were only in a few counties for years. But unfortunately, they became a nuisance as their populations exploded.

“The big part of a problem with a hog is they get into a farmer’s field and they “root,” looking for invertebrates and tubers, and roots,” explained Barry Cross, TWRA Region 2 Communications and Outreach Coordinator. “And a field that has been planted would now look like it had been plowed.”

The normal answer for the overpopulation of animals like this would be to open them up for hunting. And that’s exactly what the TWRA did in 1999. BUT things didn’t turn out as planned.

“When we implemented the statewide hunting season on hogs, what we found was that the good intentions we had with that, had bad consequences,” Cross said.

You see, hunters wanted to transport them back to their land to hunt them there. And with the rate they reproduce, this quickly became a problem. So, what had started in 15 counties had now expanded to 80 of our 95 counties. And hunting wasn’t effective.

“You might take 2, 3, 4, hogs when you start shooting at them,” explained Cross. But that disperses the group of hogs. And they go to other landowner’s properties.”

So, the TWRA discovered that trapping the wild hogs was the answer and using some modern technology to do so.

“These traps were equipped with cameras and sensors, and they allowed officers to be able to monitor the trap remotely and trigger the trap door remotely,” Cross pointed out. So, they could watch and make sure they got all of the hogs that were in a particular group in the trap before they dropped the door.”

So, with a few exceptions, the wild hog population is under control here in Middle Tennessee.

However, the TWRA will still assist farmers or landowners who report a wild hog problem.

To learn more, click here.

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