Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT

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2008/01/10 21:27:25 (permalink)

Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG, TO ALL THE SPORTSMEN, HUNTERS, AND FARMERS YOU KNOW. This is very important to the future of farming and outdoor recreation in our state.  
 
    Wild boars are in Pennsylvania! They have breeding populations, and no one knows for sure just how far they have spread. Prior to December 27, 2007, wild boars were unprotected. This means that they could be taken by hunters, at any time, day or night. On December 27, 2007, the Pa Supreme Court voted to make wild boars/ feral hogs a "protected mammal." This means that the Pa Game Commission has the authority to regulate and enforce hunting seasons and bag limits for wild boars/ feral hogs. I can understand that the government believes that the harvesting of wild boars/ feral hogs should be regulated. However, they are considered an "invasive/ nuisance species." The general consensus, from the Pa Game Commission, the Allegheny National Forest, and several other groups, is that they should be eradicated.
    After reading the agenda for the Pa Game Commission's January 27 - 29 meeting (you can view the agenda in .pdf format on their site), it appears that the proposal will allow hunters to take wild boar only as "incidental" game, while lawfully hunting for bear, deer, and fall turkey. Stop and think for a minute... This allows them more than nine months of protection throughout the year! Exactly how does this help reduce or eradicate the population? If the Commission is truly concerned about preventing further spreading of the population and possibly eradicating wild boars from Pennsylvania, then the proposed season should be the same as for coyotes, allowing licensed hunters to take them year-round.    I also read an article in the Warren Times Observer, which quoted Brad Nelson, "wildlife expert" for the Allegheny National Forest. He has some interesting views:    "Hunters have found out where they are, go in and just scatter them. So, instead of having wild hogs on one drainage on one farm, they scatter to several drainages on several farms. Hunting to get rid of them isn't a good idea."    How does this genius think we can get rid of them? Does he believe that if they aren't hunted, that they will not reproduce (2 litters of 8 - 12 piglets per year)? Does he believe that they will not spread out to more fertile areas, after they destroy their habitat? He goes on further to say:    "We're hoping that Pennsylvania will act quickly and do something before they get to be a big statewide problem. It would be nice if we could just eradicate them all and really closely regulate the hunting preserves so they are accountable in the future."    What fairy tale does Mr. Nelson live in? Does he expect Mr. Rendell to wave a magic wand, and watch them disappear? If this is the kind of thinking that is expected to save us from wall-to-wall wild boars, then we already have "a big statewide problem!"

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#1

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    S-10
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/10 21:51:50 (permalink)
    Yep---that's what he said---and these are the same experts that we have put our faith in to do the right thing with the deer in the state. Put a year round bounty on them and make the reserves that let them escape put up some of the money to pay it. You think the deer destroy the birds nesting habitat, and farmers fields---just wait until these critters take hold.
    #2
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/11 17:08:57 (permalink)
    Here's the link to the PGC's agenda for the January 27th - 29th meeting.
    http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/lib/pgc/pdf/january_agenda_2008.pdf
    That will be the time to speak up about the changes they're trying to implement.

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    #3
    A1H Skyraider
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/11 18:00:17 (permalink)
    Supposedly the breeding populations the speak of are in Bedford and Cambria counties.
     
    When living near Johnstown about 10 years ago i believe quite a few hogs were reported to have made a midnight escape from "Big Mikes" game preserve up near colver or revloc in cambria county.  looks like they never caught up with all of them.
     
    Humm,  If im hunting groundhogs could a pig be incidental then???

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    #4
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/11 20:50:37 (permalink)
    Probably not, as the agenda calls for them to be taken while hunters are lawfully hunting deer, bear, and fall turkey. They need to put them in the same class as coyotes, or at least open year-round during the legal shooting hours.

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    #5
    Wally Cat
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/12 08:28:30 (permalink)
    Here piggy, piggy piggy! I've never seen one in the wild but I would like to. As far as I'm concerned they would be incidental game regardless of what I was actually hunting at the time. Huuummm - wild roasted pork butt. Sounds good to me.

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    SPIKER
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/12 17:23:18 (permalink)
    Let the PAGC manage them like they have the deer and there wont be a breeding population left in just a few years.
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    spoonchucker
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/12 21:39:40 (permalink)
    All those deer you take ILLEGALLY with your "killing machine" crossbow probabley doesn't help the population.

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    spoonchucker
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/12 21:40:59 (permalink)



    SPIKER

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    I have a Horton Hunter 200# Crossbow,and what a killing machine it is.I only wished I could use them legaly so I dont have to look over my shoulder every time I use it to kill a deer.

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    #9
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 06:33:15 (permalink)
    I received a response from Brad Nelson of the Allegheny National Forest. Here is what he has to say:
     
     "The State Department of Agriculture has a plan to erradicate
    feral swine in PA which involves trapping as the primary means of removing
    them from Penns Woods.  Feral hogs are relatively easy to trap using a
    corral trap that is baited.  The problem has been that hunters see a group
    of 6 or 7 pigs, they shoot 2 or 3 and the remaining ones run to the next
    county.  I am very concerned about them reproducing in the wild and the
    potential for them to do great ecological damage is well documented from
    other states.  If you read the research, you will  not find one state that
    has successfully eradicated feral hogs through hunting.
    As a hunter, I think it would be fun to hunt wild hogs, but as a
    responsible conservationist I know the damage they can cause.  Sitting in
    my deer stand, it would be hard to let a group of wild hogs walk by without
    taking a shot at them, but knowing that shooting them would only make the
    problem worse would make me hold my fire.
    I raised pigs as a kid growing up on a farm in Maryland.  I know how easily
    they can dig around and get through a fence.  Hunting preserves need to be
    accountable for any hogs they turn loose on their preserves."

    Brad B. Nelson
     
    My response:
     
     I agree that hunting preserves with hogs should be held accountable. If I re-routed the plumbing in my house to dump raw sewage into a stream, I'm pretty sure that I would be held accountable. It's the same concept. In fact, I'm pretty sure that Pennsylvania already has laws that prohibit the release of non-native species. Why aren't they being enforced?
        As for resolving the current situation, it would be a pretty ambitious undertaking to try and trap them all, especially if they've spread as far as rumored. Who's going to pay for that? If you say the State Dept. of Agriculture, then you mean that we, the taxpayers, are going to pay for it. How far do you think that's going to go, with Gov. Rendell's pet projects (think Philly Convention Center & Pittsburgh Penguins stadium)competing for funding? If you recall, after getting his pet projects included in the budget, Gov. Rendell went crying that we needed to find some way to come up with more money, such as leasing I-80 and collecting tolls, because our highways are in such poor shape, and we can't afford to fix them.
        In addition, there's no guarantee that you're going to catch primarily feral hogs in the traps, unless they are operated manually. In that case, as with any other big game, the animal's senses of hearing (good), sight (fair to poor), and smell (excellent) are going to come into play. These aren't barnyard pigs, that accept humans coming into close contact. These are wild pigs that are every bit as "woods-savvy" as a whitetail deer or black bear.
        As for hunting them, I find it hard to believe that they're going to run and scatter to places they haven't already been or wouldn't be expanding to in the near future. Just like other big game animals, they have bedding areas, feeding areas, and escape routes into heavy cover, when threatened. If they scattered randomly when shot at, as you claim, we wouldn't have to worry much about them breeding and expanding their range, as there would be single pigs scattered all over that state, as opposed to numerous family groups. If a hunter shoots 2 or 3, then that's 2 or 3 less pigs left to breed and expand. If it's 3 females that a hunter takes, then that's anywhere from 48 to 72 piglets that won't be born in the next year, at the rate of 8 - 12 piglets per litter and 2 litters per year. That's a pretty significant dent in the breeding population. 
        If, in fact, the Dept. of Agriculture wants them eradicated, have them and the Pork Producer's Council (and the other groups that have a vested interest) create a fund and establish a small bounty on them. It will be far more quick and effective than trying to trap them from every corner of the state. It would also be far more cost-effective, especially when you factor in all the extra tax revenue from the sales of guns, ammo, gasoline, and services that hog hunters will buy. Let's face it, we, the hunters, with the PGC's blessing, did a fine job of decimating our huge deer herd in just a few years. If I had told you 20 years ago, that someday you'd be lucky to see 10 deer in a season, you would have laughed at me. Now, when I tell my kids that I used to see 50 to 100 deer per day, they look at me like I'm crazy. There's no reason to believe that we couldn't do the same or better with feral hogs. Maybe a bounty wouldn't be considered "politically correct", but there will be just as many people that will be just as unhappy about the government spending our tax dollars on a pig-trapping program, that's not likely to be any more effective than a concerted year-round effort by experienced hunters.    In any case, whether they are hunted, trapped, or both, if they are indeed fairly well dispersed through a large portion of the state, no method is likely to fully exterminate them, as there will always be isolated herds that are missed, overlooked, or inaccessible, due to terrain and property boundaries. Catching or shooting every single feral hog in the state would be akin to bringing in a live Bigfoot. At best, we can only hope to keep their numbers in check, while keeping in mind that tax dollars are not in unlimited supply.

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    #10
    jlh42581
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 07:53:21 (permalink)
    The have been in centre county for a long time. People have been shooting them in the snow shoe area for years. They are not in abundance but people have killed them. Based on what pigs do to the environment is the only reason I would like to see them gone. I think it would be awesome to go hunt whitetails and maybe crank a pig with a bow.... you could shoot both and grind them together.... bologna....mmmm.... bologna
    #11
    RIZ
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 12:19:08 (permalink)
    we shold be blaming the judge that may a stupid decision to protect the swine, as in pigs not politicians.  be fore the judge's decision, pigs could be shot at any time with no limit, now that they are protected they must be managed. so who's going to pay for this management to protect the farmers, the hunters naturally.
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    spoonchucker
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 12:49:48 (permalink)
    Riz,
     
    I believe it would be the opposite. Without the PGCs authority to provide an open season year round, or restricted, it would be illegal to take them at ANY time.

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    RIZ
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 13:57:13 (permalink)
    i believe it would be like pigeons, they are considered non-game animals and have no protection status and there for can be taken by any means and when ever you want.  but hey if they want to make it a game animal then let's make money on it.  let it multiply and take over where there are no deer.  that should make the no deer crowd happy.  plus the hogs can get much bigger than deer and most people will say they taste better, who doesn't like bacon and ham.
    #14
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 15:03:48 (permalink)
    watched a show on wild boar and hogzilla and how we cannot seem to stop their breeding.  Basically they are almost in every state in the country and their numbers contine to grow and they continue to move northern..

    CB
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    casts_by_fly
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 16:58:12 (permalink)
    spoon,

    they were considered a non-game species like pigeons and could be shot any time by any means with no rules around them. The PGC had no authority to regulate anyone who was chasing them.

    I think it was a good decision on the judge's part. Previously, no agency had the ability to regulate or control how the pigs were hunted. You could have brought dogs for them, you could shoot them with semi-auto rifles, and you could shoot them in safety zones. Technically you weren't hunting and the PGC had no ability to regulate. At least now there is a set of rules for people to follow. The onus now is on the PGC to manage them correctly. Whether that means open season like coyotes or highly regulated like the department of agriculture is calling for, we don't know.

    thanks
    rick
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    spoonchucker
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 17:04:18 (permalink)
    Chapter 1.
    Sec. 103. Ownership, jurisdiction and control of game and wildlife.

  • General rule. - The ownership, jurisdiction over and control of game or wildlife is vested in the commission as an independent agency of the Commonwealth in its sovereign capacity to be controlled, regulated and disposed of in accordance with this title.
  • Method of management. - The commission shall utilize hunting and trapping as methods of effecting necessary management of game, furbearer and wildlife populations.
    The OR WILDLIFE part would indicate to me that they would have that authority. I could be wrong though.

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    #17
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 17:44:43 (permalink)
    spoonchucker - PGC released a statement (I believe it was last Fall) claiming that feral hogs were not classified as game animals or wildlife, but an invasive non-native species, that had escaped from captivity. They went on to say that they had no regulatory authority over them, therefore, hunters could take them by any means and without a license.
     
    I received another response from Mr. Nelson of the ANF:
    "You touch on 2 points that are critical to the success of any
    hog eradication program.  (1) funding - It takes money and personnel to
    implement an effective trapping program.  I agree that PGC should not have
    to bear the full burden of funding this program.  State Ag does not have
    the moeny either, but several members of the state task force are exploring
    funding options from a variety of sources.  (2) How extensive is the
    abundance and distribution of wild hogs? or another way to ask this
    question - Are wild hogs so well established that you couldn't possibly
    eradicate them by trapping?  Members of the task force and other PGC
    personnel indicated that its not yet too late to eradicate them through
    trapping.  The Bedford county population and the Tioga county population
    appear to be the most extensive and would require the most trapping effort
    to eradicate them.  I think Penns Woods deserve the effort to try to
    eradicate these destructive beasts.  If Kansas can do it, surely PA is up
    to the task..........but we need to act quickly.
    Point of clarification - I did not say that they would scatter randomly as
    individuals.  State trappers indicated that they remain in groups and
    quickly become gun wary.  You are correct that they become very
    "woods-savvy"."


    Brad B. Nelson

     

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    #18
    steelydaze
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/16 17:55:43 (permalink)
    Killum
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/01/17 06:35:50 (permalink)
    spoonchucker - The original article was taken down. I did find this in one of their other documents:
     
    "Wild boar, Russian boar or feral hog all refer to a breed of pigs that have been brought into the state by hunting preserves. Many of these pigs have escaped and are reproducing in the wild. It is illegal to release any domestic or feral hogs into the wild. Domestic or feral hogs shall include any animals from the porcine family. Breeding populations are believed to currently exist in Bedford and Cambria counties. These pigs pose a threat to our native wildlife and must be eliminated before their numbers increase to a point where elimination is very difficult.
    Because they are pigs they are considered domestic animals by law and the Game Commission has no authority to regulate hunting of these animals. If you encounter these animals while lawfully hunting for game or wildlife we would encourage you to kill them. We recommend to not use any device or method that is not lawful for taking game. The Game and Wildlife Code provides that the possession or operation of equipment or other devices unlawfully used or prohibited shall be taken on the first appearance as evidence of a violation. While the Game and Wildlife Code does not address pigs, it does address lawful methods of hunting and if you use any unlawful device or method you are subject to prosecution. To avoid any potential confusion you should only kill these animals while you are lawfully hunting for game in the appropriate firearm season and while wearing the appropriate fluorescent orange safety clothing."
     
    Just remember that they are now protected, until the PGC defines seasons for them. Note that in this article, they do address methods of hunting and unlawful devices.



    post edited by Pheasant Hunter - 2008/01/17 06:39:08

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    #20
    Presquisleanglr
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    RE: Wild Boars in Pa - IMPORTANT 2008/02/09 21:13:45 (permalink)
    Spoon, your a little out of control with the wild life thing, a pig is a pig not a wildlife critter.
    What you are saying is well some bulls got loose and now we have Pennsylvania wild Bullffalo? or some free range chickens just kept on free rang-en and now the game commission can put a season on them, so not to scatter them across the state .
     
    Not to realistic is it ? wild Pigs are of no difference than any other farm animal, just because some hunters will pay to kill one does not change them from live stalk.
     
    It cost several hundred dollars to set up and run just one hog trap for a week. The biggest problem is the collateral catches. Any feed set out and maintained daily will attract bear, deer, turkey, coon, opossums ,skunks. A hog trapper must also run at least three box traps at a hog trap just to keep the coons from pilling up and setting off the trap and eating all the bait.And bait is not cheap.
     
    A properly sized hog trap will catch deer and soon be ruined by bear, if in bear country.
    I'm sure Mr. Nelson has all good intentions but is so far off the mark  he might be considered hilarious by some. Not me of course. Its a relatively new problem in the state and some must muddle through it until they get it right. And right is shoot on sight,any season or no season, find some fresh hog rooting track em down and collect. Hogs are much easier to collect by hunting in Pa. than by trapping, just some of the reasons stated above,
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