The Feral Hog in Oklahoma
Oklahomans have enjoyed or cursed feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in the southeastern and eastern parts of the state for several years. Oklahomans in many other areas of the state are following suit. At one time, domesticated hogs were managed as free ranging livestock in parts of the state. These domesticated hogs would often become feral and were hunted or trapped for meat. Managing domesticated hogs as free ranging livestock is not a common practice any more. However, feral hog populations remained and are spreading throughout the state. As feral hog populations have expanded, debate about the pros and cons of their presence has become more intense. Many landowners, especially farmers, cringe at the thought of feral hogs becoming established on their property. Some hunters, on the other hand, look forward to having them on their favorite hunting grounds. To some hunters, the feral hog represents a formidable trophy worthy of paying money to hunt. To some landowners, the potential of leasing feral hog hunting rights makes it a bit easier to accept the presence of the animals. Regardless of landowners' and hunters' opinions, feral hogs have proven their ability to survive and procreate, and will probably be around for a while.
All photos by R.L. Stevens except where noted.
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