Roundup from the sky kills feral hogs in Missouri
| Thousands of dead hogs left to rot
| Jefferson City, Mo. (AP) – Feral hogs are a menace in parts of Missouri [and in many other states], so federal officials are taking to the skies to combat the wild animal that can destroy multiple acres of farmland in a single feeding frenzy.
A team with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service shot and killed 103 feral hogs this past week from a helicopter.
Ninety-three hogs were on federal wilderness and the other 10 on private land, killed with the owners’ permission.
Most of Missouri’s feral hog population is south of Interstate 44. The problem is most persistent in southeast Missouri.
The Missouri Department of Conservation, other agencies, and private landowners killed 7,339 hogs through September of this year, 778 more than in 2017.
The so-called “aerial gunning activities” are used as a last resort for hard-to-catch hogs hiding in rugged terrain. Agents often leave hogs shot in aerial operations on site to decompose to feed back into the ecosystem.
Iron County Presiding Commissioner Jim Scaggs said he tries to eliminate hogs on his 100-acre farm, but they reproduce quickly and have destroyed his crops at least three times.
“We replanted our crops, and they keep coming back,” Skaggs said, adding that the latest roundup “doesn’t even make a dent in them.”
The aerial operations are part of a multi-year strategy by state and federal wildlife officials to eradicate the hogs. Read more.
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