Q: Why should I be concerned about wild
A: Wild hogs are the most prolific large mammal
in North America. Once wild hogs are established in an area, they
can spread rapidly and reproduce twice per year. They can be blamed
for at least $1.5 billion in damages in the U.S. every year. This
damage includes agricultural damage, levees, food plots, golf
courses, water quality degradation, wildlife population declines,
and damage to sensitive habitats such as wetlands and beaches. Wild
hogs can also spread a myriad of diseases to livestock, pets,
wildlife, and even humans.
Q: What are my options if I find wild hogs on
A: The best option to take care of the problem
yourself is to build or buy traps for your land. In general, one
trap per 1,000 acres of land is usually adequate for control. There
is a wealth of resources online through MDWFP, USDA, MSU Extension,
and many other sites. Visit the Additional Resources page to find
more material about trapping wild hogs. If you decide to pay a
private individual to remove wild hogs from your property,
make sure the individual is dispatching all wild
hogs on site before leaving your property.
Q: What do wild hogs eat?
A: Anything. They are classified as
opportunistic omnivores, which means they will eat just about
anything they come across. Most of their diet (about 90%) consists
of plant matter, but they also will not hesitate to eat live or
dead animal matter including fawns, reptiles and amphibians, birds
and bird eggs, small rodents, insects, and crustaceans.
Q: What is the reproductive rate of wild
A: Sows as young as 6 months or even younger
have been recorded as being able to breed. They average 4 - 6
piglets per litter, but can have as many as 12. Gestation for wild
hogs is about 114 days, which means females can breed two times per
year in ideal habitat.
Q: What are the differences between a wild hog
and a domestic hog?
A: Wild hogs are leaner and more agile than
domestic hogs with longer legs and snouts. Wild hogs appear more
hairy than domestic hogs as well. Sometimes, domestic hogs have
curly tails and flopped ears, while wild hogs have straight tails
and erect ears, but this depends on the breed of domestic hog or
the ancestry of the wild hog. In general, domestic hogs will have
solid-colored hair shafts, while wild hogs may have a grizzled
(multi-colored) appearance. The skull of a wild hog usually slopes
gradually to the top, while domestic hogs have a steeper incline
toward the top of the skull.
Q: Is wild hog meat good to eat?
A: Yes, however, it is important to make sure
you take appropriate precautions while dressing and cooking the
animal. Wear protective gloves while dressing and butchering the
animal, and properly disinfect all utensils and surfaces that have
been exposed, and make sure the meat reaches pasteurization
temperature (165° F).
Q: Is it legal to use bait to kill wild hogs in
A: From the last day of turkey season until the
first day of deer archery season, it is legal to hunt wild hogs
over bait with no distance restriction on private
lands. However, the feed must be in a covered,
above-ground container and cannot be placed directly on the ground.
Corn or other bait can only be poured or placed directly on the
ground inside a legally designed wild hog live-catch style trap.
For a complete description of the use of bait for the take of wild
hogs, visit the Wild Hog Regulations in
Q: Do I need a license to hunt wild hogs in
A: Yes. Hunting wild hogs requires a valid
Lifetime, All Game, Sportsman's license unless otherwise exempt.
Trapping wild hogs requires a valid Lifetime, All Game,
Sportsman's, or Trapping license, unless otherwise
In addition, persons hunting wild hogs with archery equipment or
primitive weapons during archery or primitive weapon season must
possess either a valid Lifetime, Sportsman's License, or an All
Game Hunting License AND the Archery/Primitive Weapon Permit,
unless otherwise exempt.
Non residents must possess a valid NR All Game Hunting
License or a NR-7-day All Game Hunting License.
Q: It is legal to transport wild hogs in
A: Yes, but only to an enclosure no larger than
500 square feet AND for the purpose of slaughter. The transporter
is also required to obtain a Live Wild Hog Transport Permit. A full
description of all transport requirements can be found on
the Wild Hog Regulations in
Q: Is it legal to use any type of poisons or
toxicants for wild hog control?
A: No, it is not legal to use any type of
toxicant or poison for wild hog control in the United
Q: What is the best way to control wild hogs on
A: Trapping. Large corral traps are the most
effective option for eliminating entire sounders (social units).
For more information about trap types, strategies, and materials,
visit the Trapping page on this site, or the other
sources listed on the Additional
Q: How do I know if I have hogs on my land?
A: Wild hogs leave a variety of tell-tale signs
that a landowner can easily recognize. Since hogs have no
functional sweat glands, they wallow in the mud to cool off and
deter biting insects. The "wallows" made from this activity will
appear as a mud or water-filled depression in the ground. Wild hogs
then rub excess mud off of their sides against trees or powerline
poles. Probably the most notable sign that you have wild hogs is
rooting. Wild hogs root under the surface of the ground to access
food buried in the soil. This rooting will be strips or large
patches of overturned soil that can be inches to several feet deep.
This rooting can occur in food plots, agriculture fields
(especially underground produce), forest floors, edges of water
bodies, or levees. For a complete guide of hog sign on your
property, visit the Recognizing Wild Hog Sign
Q: Can I hunt wild hogs at night in
A: On private lands, wild hogs can be taken
year-round with no weapons/caliber restriction at any time of the
day or night. However, if you choose to hunt wild hogs at night, be
sure to take these precautions:
- Contact your local sheriff's department to notify them of your
- Be familiar with the locations of all houses, roads, towns,
etc. in your area
- Be SURE to verify your target as a wild hog, shooting
non-target species such as bear or deer carry stiff penalties
- Be considerate of others; It is a good idea to notify neighbors
or adjacent landowners or your plans before shooting at night
Q: Can wild hogs transmit diseases to
A: Absolutely. There are at least 30 virulent
and bacterial diseases and about 37 parasites carried by wild hogs.
Many of these diseases and parasites can be transmitted to humans
through infected water, bodily fluids, and ingestion of the meat,
so always handle wild hogs with the following safety
- Always wear protective gloves when handling any part of a wild
- Keep pets and livestock away from any wild hog or parts
- Never eat, drink, or use tobacco products while handling any
part of a wild hog
- Always cook wild hog meat to at least 165° F before
- Disinfect all surfaces and utensils used during the butchering
and/or preparation of wild hogs with an anti-bacterial cleaner
- Properly dispose of all wild hog carcasses by burial or