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Hunters Permitted to Take Feral Hogs During Deer Season in Zone 25

Feral pigs (razorbacks) in Florida, United StatesImage via Wikipedia

August 31, 2009

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife has been issued a Special Wildlife Management Permit to control feral hogs in Deer Management Zone 25. Feral hogs compete with wildlife for available food sources, prey upon ground-nesting birds and small mammals and may carry disease. For these reasons, feral hogs are classified as a potentially dangerous exotic animal. The increase in the population of feral hogs has also resulted in damage to lawns, golf courses, farm crops and forests in Gloucester County.

Feral hogs may be pursued during the season dates prescribed for Deer Management Zone 25 and may be harvested anywhere in Zone 25. Sportsmen and sportswomen will be permitted to shoot free-ranging feral hogs of either sex and any age while deer hunting during the Fall Bow, Permit Bow, Six-day Firearm, Permit Muzzleloader, Permit Shotgun and Winter Bow seasons, provided they have not reached the season bag limit for deer. The bag limit for feral hogs is unlimited and no hog permit is required. Shooting is permitted only Monday through Saturday during legal deer hunting hours. Only weapons authorized for deer hunting may be used to take feral hogs. Written permission must be obtained from the landowner to pursue feral hogs on private property.

Feral hogs must be checked at the Sportsmen's Outpost on Fries Mill Road in Williamstown or at Ted's Taxidermy, 713 Rt. 40, in Buena. Personnel from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture may be at the deer check station on key days of the hunting season to take samples. Harvested feral hogs may be retained for personal consumption. Sportsmen are responsible for the butchering and disposal of the carcass.

Deer hunters are advised that people can contract diseases, such as brucellosis from infected feral hogs. Plastic or rubber gloves should be worn while field-dressing feral hogs. Unwanted entrails should be burned, buried or disposed of to prevent access by animals. Work surfaces and utensils used to field-dress and butcher hogs should be cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of disease. Feral hog meat should be thoroughly cooked before it is eaten.

The special permit offers sportsmen and sportswomen a unique opportunity to assist the Division of Fish and Wildlife in protecting New Jersey's natural resources and species biodiversity. Though the known population of feral hogs in New Jersey is currently small, hunters can help eradicate them before they become well established and negatively affect the state's natural heritage.


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