July 1, 2024

Rooting Out the Problem of Wild Pigs

Article Contact: Mark Lance,

Why It Matters: Wild pig populations are continuing to explode across the country. With an estimated 6 million individuals nationwide, they’re having a profound impact on crops and privately owned property, causing an estimated $2.5 billion worth of damage annually while also negatively impacting native wildlife and their habitats. Subsequently, this is a big problem for sportsmen and women who have seen some states expand recreational hunting of wild pigs while others take a different approach.     


  • In 2021, the Alabama Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus spearheaded a successful effort to expand feral hog hunting at night on privately owned property.
  • In 2024, Texas and Oklahoma approved the use of a warfarin-based toxicant, Kaput, in an effort to control wild pig populations through poisoning.
  • Mississippi, through their Wild Hog Control Program, offers feral hog traps to private land managers that meet certain requirements.
  • Some states, such as Kentucky and Ohio most recently, are limiting the recreational hunting of feral hogs due to people transporting and releasing feral hogs for the sole purpose of hunting them.

Wild hogs are prolific reproducers. Adult sows, given favorable conditions, can easily have two litters of piglets per year, and those offspring can reach sexual maturity between 6-8 months of age. Through rooting and the consumption of seedlings and row crops, wild hogs do damage to not only farmers, but also destroy native wildlife habitat impacting both game and non-game species. Ground nesting-birds, such as quail and turkeys, can be severely impacted through nest destruction/predation, and other species, such as whitetail deer, experience increased competition for food sources. Limitations on the irresponsible transport of this invasive species have been made in many states and should continue to be strengthened as this played a huge part in the fast expansion of their range.

With wild pigs now present in at least 35 states, management strategies continue to evolve. The wholesale removal of wild pig sounders through trapping has proven time and again to be the most effective, yet costly, means of eradication. In states such as Kentucky, wild pigs are slowly starting to appear in places where they haven’t been in the past. In these instances, true eradication through trapping is possible if their presence is caught soon enough.

However, in some states, such as Texas where the wild pig population is around 3 million, true eradication is a nearly impossible hill to climb. In these cases, recreational hunting should not be unnecessarily limited as it has proven to be an effective means of managing wildlife populations and provides sportsmen and women with increased opportunity to get afield.

The efficacy of using toxicants to manage pig populations has been debated for years but just recently Texas and Oklahoma have approved the use of Kaput. Kaput is required to be used in feeders made specifically for wild hogs, and only state licensed professionals can utilize it. A recent study out of Texas A&M University has shown that Kaput is effective in wild pig control.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) remains at the table for discussions related to wild pig management, serving on the National Wild Pig Task Force and coordinating with our state fish and wildlife agencies, the National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses, and our partners.

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