Wisconsin wildlife officials are encouraging deer hunters to keep an eye out for feral pigs and, if you see one, shoot it.
Just make sure it’s not your neighbor’s domestic hog.
Feral pig sightings and harvests should be reported using the Feral Pig Reporting Form found on the feral pig hunting page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.
The wild pigs, which have caused extensive damage to forests in some southern states, can be found across a wide variety of habitats and are highly destructive because of the rooting they do in search of food.
They are also efficient predators, preying on many species, including white-tailed deer fawns and ground-nesting birds like grouse, woodcock, turkeys and songbirds.
Feral pigs are known to carry several diseases dangerous to humans and the domestic swine industry, including swine brucellosis, pseudorabies and leptospirosis.
In Wisconsin, there is no wild population of feral pigs, the DNR said. And recent reports of feral pigs in several counties turned out to be escaped domestic pigs instead. Domestic pigs may not be shot.
"Each year, we receive reports of feral pig sightings and harvests from around the state," said Liz Tanner, DNR wildlife damage program assistant. "Most of these reports turn out to be domestic pigs that have escaped confinement. However, any report of potentially feral pigs is of interest and concern given the negative impacts they can have on the environment, crops and our domestic swine industry."
Feral pigs have been defined as pigs "existing in an untamed or wild, unconfined state, having returned to such a state from domestication" and living in an unconfined environment, outside of an enclosure for more than seven days.
They are considered unprotected wild animals and may be hunted year-round. Feral pig hunting hours are the same as for deer during the nine-day season. During the rest of the year, there are no hunting hour restrictions for feral pigs.
There is no bag limit on feral pigs, and landowners may shoot feral pigs on their property without a hunting license. Anyone else can shoot a feral pig so long as they possess a valid small game license, sport license or patron license and have landowner permission if they are on private land.