Ohio Encourages Hunters to Bag a Boar

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Ohio's hunters are encouraged to harvest any feral swine they encounter in the wild in order to limit the spread of this destructive species in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Known in Ohio as "wild boars," they also are also called free-ranging European wild boar, Russian wild boar, wild pigs, wild hogs, or razorbacks. These "eating machines" damage agricultural crops, degrade wildlife habitat and consume the eggs of ground-nesting birds, as well as, reptiles, amphibians or just about anything else they come across. They also carry diseases that can infect domestic livestock, wildlife and even people. The rangy-looking non-native members of the domestic swine family are increasing their distribution in Ohio, according to state wildlife biologists.

The Division of Wildlife documents the counties and townships where feral swine have been observed, but more specific locations are not available or recorded. The number of feral swine in any given township varies. The greatest numbers of hogs are generally reported from southern Ohio counties. Hunters interested in pursuing free-ranging wild boars should start by talking to local residents and businesses (agricultural supply stores, check stations, local diners, and area farmers) and then do some scouting in the county they plan to hunt.

Wild boars have been reported in Belmont, Guernsey, Noble, Morgan, Monroe, Athens, Hocking, Vinton, Washington, Gallia, Lawrence, Scioto, Butler, Preble, Logan, Champaign, Auglaize and Knox counties. Visit the division’s Web site to view a general location map. Hunters are reminded to always obtain permission from the landowner before venturing onto private property.

Wild boars feed most heavily at dawn and dusk, spending their days resting in dense vegetation or wallowing in mud holes. These nuisance animals may be legally harvested year-round by hunters with a valid Ohio hunting license or by landowners on their own property. During the deer-gun and the statewide muzzleloader seasons, a valid Ohio deer permit is also required and hunters should use only the firearm legal for the season.

Wild boar meat is reportedly excellent to eat. As with any game, proper field dressing and thorough cooking is always recommended. Experts recommend cooking all types of meat to 155-165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.

Successful wild boar hunters are encouraged to submit digital photographs to be posted on the Division of Wildlife's Web site at www.wildohio.com. Feral pig sightings can also be reported through the site.