SWIFTMUD Opens Lands to Hog Hunts
The Southwest Florida Water Management District considers feral hogs an invasive exotic species.
TAMPA BAY – Southwest Florida Water Management District land managers plan to hold a series of hog hunts on district lands throughout the year to help reduce the wild hog population.
Wild hogs, which are not native to Florida, can cause damage with their broad snouts and can leave an area looking like a plowed field. They also prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for food and transmit diseases to other wildlife, livestock and humans. SWIFTMUD officials say. Additionally, hogs may facilitate the spread of exotic plant species by transporting seeds and/or providing germination sites through rooting.
The District will use a three-phase hunting system to alleviate and decrease these impacts.
The first two phases of hunts will have separate registration processes. Top producers from Phase 1 will be awarded free hunts for Phase 2; top producers from Phase 2 will be asked to participate in hog management activities for Phase 3.
All hunts will adhere to the hog-dog format. No still hunts will be available. The program works like this:
Phase 1 Hunts
• Registration will occur 9 a.m. Monday (Oct. 3).
• Includes six hunts that occur November through December.
• Permits are transferable.
• Top two producers on each hunt will be awarded a non-transferable registration to the same hunt location in Phase 2, free of charge.
Phase 2 Hunts
• Registration will occur 9 a.m. Dec. 19.
• Includes six hunts in January and February.
• Permits are transferable.
• Top two producers on each hunt of Phase 2 will be placed on the District’s “top producer” list and will be contacted between March and October 2017 to take part in feral hog management hunts on an as-needed basis, free of charge.
Phase 3 “As-Needed” Management Hunts
• Includes management hunts that may be scheduled March through October.
• Only those registrants that qualify as top producers following the Phase 2 hunts will be contacted to take part in management hunts during this period.
• Management hunts offered to top producers will be free of charge and non-transferable.
• All 12 Phase 2 top producers will be offered participation in a minimum of two management hunts throughout the non-hunting season.
The district-managed properties will be temporarily closed to the public during the hog hunts. Only permitted hunters will be allowed access.
Prospective hunters can purchase permits for Phase I hunts beginning at 9 a.m. Monday (Oct. 3). Permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until they are sold out. The cost is $75 for each permit. A complete list of hunts with locations and dates is also available online.
This is the eighth consecutive year for the hunts. Last year’s hunts removed 520 hogs on 12 different tracts of land throughout the district.
For permits and more information about the hog hunts, go to hoghunts.watermatters.org.
SWIFTMUD | Hog Hunt | Hunting | Feral Hogs | Wild Pigs | TB Reporter
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