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|DWF alters shooting rules on feral hogs|
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is about three weeks into a new program which will offer limited assistance to farmers with feral hog problems.
The Department recently began a new program which allows a set number of night hunters to shoot loose swine which are blamed for the destruction of crops and other valuable resources.
Lowery Moak, WLF biologist in Region 4 in Ferriday, said Monday, "Swine deperation in every parish in our region is a major problem." Concordia, Tensas, Franklin, Catahoula, Caldwell and Madison make up the region.
"The night shooting program is new and follows some strict guidelines, but it can be done," Moak said.
However, the biologist also said that hunting hogs at night was not much of an advantage to the hunter, "because the eyes don't shine like a deer. You pretty much have to know where they are at night."
Moak said the problem has increased annually over the past several years.
"We have reports of some farmers who have replanted three times already this spring," he said.
He added the new night program limits the number of shooters available for a single hunt and had caution for hunters.
"The application has to be signed in the Regional office and owner permission in writing is required," he said.
"Also a hog population is tough to control. They adapt quickly. I won't say they're smart, but they learn fast," he added.
He said hogs have been known to eat a single row of corn when it sprouts and return for the seed in the same row after replanting.
The feral hogs, he said, also endanger future forest growth by consuming seedlings and other favorable undergrowth.
"There are reports," he said, "of sportsmen importing hogs to the region, letting them free for their hunts, and then some of the hogs getting away."
For additional information on night hunts for feral hogs, call David Breithaupt or Amity Bass, 757-4571.