Dan from Madison recently wrote a post discussing how wild predators, once unknown in cities and towns, are now making their homes in urban areas.
The subject that seemed to interest most people was how feral hog populations are also spreading. They are dangerous and destructive animals, and I firmly believe that keeping their numbers down is a matter of public safety.
The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Study has a fascinating map available on their website. It shows the areas of the country where feral swine populations exist.
The map by itself doesn’t show how quickly the animals have spread, but you can get an idea of that by taking a look at these three earlier maps.
Notice, if you will, that California had only minor infestations of feral swine back in 1988. By 2004, however, wild pigs could be found all throughout the state. I think this is due to how hunting is generally perceived there. Although necessary for wildlife habitat preservation and the continued health of game animal populations, it appears to me that the activity is denounced by most people living in California as a terrible and savage practice.
My home state of Ohio has a page devoted to wild boar, along with a detailed map showing the distribution of wild swine in the state. It is legal to harvest wild boar year round here, either by a landowner on their own property or by someone with any valid hunting license. Purchase a license to hunt pheasant and come home with a few hundred pounds of pork. Num num!
Although I have eaten my fill of various cuts from wild boar many times, I have never tried bacon made from a feral pig. I think that will be my next hunting project.
(Don’t forget that photos of wildlife observed in urban settings can be found at Subdivision Wildlife, and they are now accepting your personal photos.)