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Posted: Monday, 01 September 2014 7:44AM

Louisiana hunters bag more hogs than deer



According to Louisiana's annual deer-harvest report, state hunters killed 183,600 feral hogs last year. 

In the 2013-14 season, Louisiana hunters shot 166,200 deer.

The fact that the hog count is higher than the entire deer harvest comes as no big surprise to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

"There's just a lot of hogs. Also, you can hunt hogs year 'round, whereas you can hunt deer for about four months," says Deer Program Manager, Scott Durham. "There's hogs everywhere. They're prolific. There's a lot of them and people go after them."

Louisiana continues to loosen its hog-hunting restrictions, but that seems to be doing little to slow the hogs' spread. And, as hog numbers rise, deer populations decline.

"Deer and hogs do not socially tolerate," says Durham. "In other words, deer don't tolerate hogs very well. They kind of run them off. They just don't like to be around hogs. So they compete for space. Where hogs exist, deer indexes, deer sightings are reduced as much as 49 percent."

"They're a pretty big problem in my opinion and in a lot of other biologists opinions. They're omnivores, they compete directly with a other wildlife species for a lot of food sources. They're ground nest predators. They carry a lot of diseases."

Durham says hogs outbreed deer. They destroy a lot of the landscape through their rooting activities. And, they dig into agricultural crops.

"They can destroy some sugar cane, corn...so they're creating quite an economic impact, on the negative side, for farmers and landowners all across the state," Durham says.

"They're impacting the deer herd, we're fairly certain. And they're impacting food resources for turkeys, quail...they impact everything because of their presence and their predatory nature as ground scavengers."

The number of hog kills in Louisiana last year increased by 14 percent over 2012's total.

 

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Locations : Louisiana
People : Scott Durham
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