Ohio Hunters Encouraged to Hunt Wild Boars

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Ohio's deer-gun hunters are encouraged to harvest any feral swine they encounter in the wild in order to limit the spread of this destructive wild animal 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 ground-nesting bird eggs, reptiles, amphibians, or just about anything else they come across, say state wildlife biologists. They also carry diseases that can infect domestic livestock, wildlife, and even people.

Wild boars have been reported in Belmont, Guernsey, Noble, Morgan, Hocking, Vinton, Washington, Gallia, Lawrence, Scioto, Butler, Preble, Logan and Champaign counties. The rangy-looking non-native members of the domestic swine family are increasing their distribution in Ohio, according to state wildlife biologists.

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.

The deer-gun season will be open from Monday, November 27, through Sunday, December 3, from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset. New this season, hunters will have an additional gun-hunting weekend to pursue deer on December 16 and 17, statewide.

Approximately 400,000 hunters are expected to participate in the deer-gun season and 250,000 during the four-day muzzleloader season, December 27 through 30.

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.