Louisiana continues to loosen its hog-hunting restrictions, but that seems to be doing little to slow the spread of the noxious quadrupeds.
Bayou State hunters killed 183,600 feral hogs last year, an increase of 14 percent over 2012’s total, according to the state’s annual deer-harvest report. That number is higher than the entire deer harvest, even though the deer season is open for a maximum of four months and hogs are legal to hunt all year.
Louisiana hunters in the 2013-14 season shot 166,200 deer, according to the report.
As hog numbers rise, deer populations decline.
“Hogs continue to be a primary concern,” the report states. “Research shows that deer and hogs do not mix and that deer can be displaced by hogs. Research has shown that deer-detection rates can be … 49 percent less where hogs occur. Hog populations affect deer numbers through direct competition for food resources and fawn predation.
“There is little doubt that feral hogs are impacting deer densities in Louisiana at this time.”