Feral hogs have been moving into the state of Missouri and causing many problems. The damage property and can even spread disease to humans, pets, and livestock. These animals have been known to carry diseases such as swine brucellosis, pseudorabies, trichinosis, and leptospirosis. They are the source of serious problems that land managers face. Feral hogs root and wallow on the ground which causes severe destruction in small periods of time. Their feeding behaviors contribute to soil erosion, decrease water quality and damage crops and hayfields. Additionally, they destroy sensitive natural areas such as glades and springs. Because these wild hogs are not native to Missouri, they should be eliminated quickly. There have been sightings across the state along with established populations in several Missouri counties. Feral Hogs can breed any time of the year which enables them to produce efficiently and increase in population rapidly. The females can mature at 6 months and will produce two litters a year and averaging six piglets per litter. Furthermore, this allows feral hog populations to double in as little as four months. These animals can reach up to three feet in height at the shoulder and five feet in length. They can reach up to 400 pounds, but an average sow is 110 pounds and boars 130 pounds. The feral hog problem arouse in the 1990s when hog hunting for fun began to gain popularity. Groups began raising European wild boars to hunt on licensed shooting areas. Not long before many of these hogs escaped or were released intentionally on public land. Since hogs are highly adaptable and breed so rapidly, the Conservation Department was receiving damage complaints from landowners. Although it is not suggested to hunt specifically for feral hogs, hunters should shoot them on sight. No permit is needed to kill them except during deer and turkey season.
Here is a link to the University of Missouri that explains more about feral hogs and what we can do to reduce their population and destruction of our land.