Deer Hunters Face Unwanted Competition as Feral Hog Explosion Thins Herds

Deer hunters are facing competition from a source that is mean, relentless and out of control.

The explosion of feral hogs across the U.S. is threatening the deer population — spreading disease, dominating the food chain and even, on occasion, killing and eating fawns. In Louisiana, where there are an estimated 700,000 wild hogs, hunters and wildlife officials say they are taking a toll on the whitetail deer herd.

“They are in the marshes and beaches of Louisiana all the way up into the hills and piney woods and swamps,” Jim LaCour, state wildlife veterinarian for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, told “They’re in every habitat in the state” . . .

LaCour described the feral pigs, which can weigh up to 500 pounds, as “opportunistic” eaters — omnivores that feast on anything crossing their path, including deer fawn, other piglets and dead animals . . .

Some speculate the population boom is due to relatively recent cross-breeding in the wild. Others, like LaCour, say the popularity of hog hunting in the 1980’s and early ’90’s led humans to move the feral pigs from confined, geographically isolated areas into places they had never been before. (Read more from “Deer Hunters Face Unwanted Competition as Feral Hog Explosion Thins Herds” HERE)

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