Wild Hog FAQ's
Q: Why should I be concerned about wild hogs?
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 my property?
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 hogs?
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 Mississippi?
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 Mississippi page.
Q: Do I need a license to hunt wild hogs in Mississippi?
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 exempt.
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 Mississippi?
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 Mississippi page.
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 States.
Q: What is the best way to control wild hogs on my land?
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 Resources page.
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 page.
Q: Can I hunt wild hogs at night in Mississippi?
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 plans
- 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 humans?
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 precautions.
- Always wear protective gloves when handling any part of a wild hog
- Keep pets and livestock away from any wild hog or parts thereof
- 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 eating
- 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 incineration