Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Wild Pigs Establish Healthy Local Populations, Eradication Underway

wild pig_coverHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (11/16/12) – In response to reader inquiries, SurfKY News spoke with Thomas Young, a local biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR), concerning increased sightings of certain native and non-native wild animals. Young’s jurisdiction includes counties in the Green River Region including Henderson, Hopkins, McLean, Muhlenberg, Union, and Webster.

Residents of southern Hopkins County, northern Christian, and western Muhlenberg County have recently reported encounters with wild pigs, an invasive, non-native species to the area. Other isolated populations exist elsewhere in western KY as well. In fact, wild pigs are non-native to the continent and it is believed that they were introduced as a food source to what is now the southeastern portion of the US in the 1500s by the Spanish explorer, Hernando DeSoto, according to Mississippi State University (MSU). Over time and as the animals escaped from their enclosures, wild populations of these hardy omnivores grew and spread. The situation was exacerbated as well by free-range livestock management practices.

Much of the population of these highly intelligent animals consists of pigs that are hybrids of the domestic pigs introduced centuries ago and the Eurasian Wild Boar. Wild pigs are also known by the common names wild boar, wild hog, feral pig, feral hog, Old World swine, razorback, Eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar.

Young said that the KDFWR is dealing locally with wild pig populations in a centralized area stretching from the Pond River bridge at highway 62, just northeast of White Plains, following the river corridor upstream (south) to Christian County, ending near Cave Springs Road. He said populations have also spread down the west fork of the river, just south of White Plains and crossing highway 813 (Apex White Plains Road) but, to the best of their knowledge, not as far as highway 41.

Beginning approximately two months ago, KDFWR, working with landowners, began an eradication effort in the area. Anyone sighting or harvesting a wild hog in this or any other area should contact Young at (270) 824-7045 or a local law enforcement officer who will then contact the KDFWR. These reports help the agency by alerting them to where populations may have grown, allowing them to target specific areas in their eradication efforts.

A recent similar eradication program in Hickman County, KY resulted in the harvesting of 350 wild pigs. Young said that the same KDFWR trapper assisting with the local campaign was involved in that successful effort. Although the KDFWR is concentrating on the aforementioned Pond River area, local outdoorsmen have reported to SurfKY News anecdotal evidence of populations many miles north of the highway 62 bridge as well as east of Pond River in wooded areas approaching the city of Greenville.

The US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services (USDA) is assisting the KDFWR with the operation, providing traps. Young said total eradication is a challenge due to the fact that exact wild pig numbers are not known. “We’ve known about the population for close to 10 years,” said Young. “People had been harvesting them whenever they could, and we worked with landowners, putting out traps.” He said that efforts were “stepped up” following a late-August, 2012 White Plains Town Hall Meeting addressing the issue.

Wild Pig_2009_map

2009 US wild pig distribution 

Officials don’t know exactly how the swine infiltrated the area, but they strongly suspect that they were introduced by individuals who released them for hunting. MSU agrees with Young, stating on their website, “Range expansion over the last 20 years is mostly a result of illegal translocation of pigs by humans” and that 45 states now have wild pig populations. The animals are a nuisance to landowners and farmers, causing damage to crops and native flora. They are generally considered not to be dangerous and will avoid humans; however, when cornered or wounded, a lightning-fast charge combined with razor-sharp tusks can cause serious injury. Wild pigs can grow in excess of 500 pounds, with an average weight of 100-150 pounds.

A recently-stiffened KY State Law prohibits the release of a wild pig. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor, and offenders face forfeiture of the right to hunt, fish, trap, or to act as a commercial guide for a period of ten years. In addition, a conviction may now result in incarceration for up to a year, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Casey Piscitelli
SurfKy News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit, Meth Arrest

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (12/23/14) ― A disturbance complaint on Osborne Lane resulted in a Madisonville Police officer… Read More

Bison Auction Set for Jan. 31 at LBL

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (12/24/14) — A public auction to reduce the size of Land Between The Lakes’ bison herds will be held… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 11192

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 25, 2014 7228

Gift Returns Done Right

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 19, 2014 6219

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 19, 2014 5261

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4730

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 19, 2014 3955

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 23, 2014 3854

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 19, 2014 3677

Vehicle Explodes into Flames on Pride Avenue

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
December 23, 2014 3332

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 25, 2014 3271

Arrests Made After Dulin Avenue Christmas Eve…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie

Stories Trending Today

December 24, 2014 11192

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 25, 2014 7228

Gift Returns Done Right

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 25, 2014 3271

Arrests Made After Dulin Avenue Christmas Eve…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
December 23, 2014 2860

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 25, 2014 2823

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - December 25, 2014

in Video by Crime Stoppers
December 23, 2014 2578

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight
December 24, 2014 1677

KCC Hosts 'Gift of Life' Opportunity

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1600

'Frozen' Plays to One Last Packed House at Living…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1572

2014 Looking Back: World Saddened at Death of…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1501

Statewide Broadband Initiative Launched

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss