The state of Tennessee modeled its feral hog hunting law after Texas, imposing no limits and no season dates (year-round hunting). Now the state has reversed itself.
It seems that instead of eliminating hogs in the state, the range of the animals was growing as enthusiastic hunters transported and released hogs in new locations.
From the state’s official announcement:
New regulations regarding wild hog management in Tennessee are now in effect . Changes to wild hog management in Tennessee came as a response to concerns from landowners, the Tennessee Legislature, the Farm Bureau, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency biologists.Wild hogs have been removed from big game status to a non-protected nuisance animal marked for eradication. Wild hogs cause extensive damage to farm crops, wildlife habitat, contribute to extreme erosion and stream pollution, and carry diseases harmful to livestock or other animals as well as humans.A primary reason for wild hogs’ rapid spread is illegal movement by those who wish to establish hog populations for hunting in areas that may have little or no wild hog populations. Therefore, in consultation with other states facing similar problems, the regulations have been changed to allow landowners great leeway to control hogs on their property while removing incentives to transport wild hogs to establish new or increased hunting opportunities, specifically for wild hogs.The TWRA recognizes two important factors in implementing these changes: (1) hunting is an inefficient way to control wild hogs and does not offset the high survival and reproductive rate of wild hogs (2) illegal transport and release is the leading contributing factor in the spread of wild hogs. In cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, measures have been implemented which make it illegal to transport or own an undocumented wild appearing hog.The TWRA is implementing a 5-pronged approach to wild hog eradication in Tennessee:Eliminate StatusWild hogs have been removed from big game status and placed in a nuisance category.Eliminate Hog HuntingSpecial provisions have been implemented for landowners and their designees to control wild hogs on their lands. However, sport hunting of wild hogs is legal on only specific wildlife management areas as a part of an overall eradication program for those WMAs. While the TWRA obviously supports hunting, data indicates that sport hunting for wild hogs only adds to the incentive to create new and expanding populations. Similar to the provisions used by many landowners, the TWRA will begin intensive eradication measures on WMAs by trapping, which has been shown to be a much more efficient reduction method.