Representative wants to get more hunters involved in the fight against feral hogs

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OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s a battle that wildlife officials say has been raging for years.

“If I could eliminate every feral swine in Oklahoma, I’d do it in a heartbeat because in my opinion, they’re the worst wildlife that we have here,” State Veterinarian Rod Hall told News 4 in 2018.

Feral hogs are known to wreak havoc on crops and property, which has led to state wildlife officials doing everything they can to reduce the population.

In 2011, officials say 2,400 feral hogs were killed in Oklahoma, compared to more than 32,000 in 2017. However, the feral hog population continues to grow.

Now, an Oklahoma state representative hopes to get more hunters involved in the fight.

Rep. David Smith, R-Arpelar, has proposed a bill that would create a new feral hog bounty hunter license.

Under the bill, landowners could register and pay 25 cents an acre to make their property open to feral hog hunters. As for the hunters, they would pay $35 to obtain a six-month license. Then, they would be able to submit the tails of hogs killed to receive a $10 bounty.

However, officials with the Oklahoma Feral Swine Control Association told the McAlester News-Capital that the Department of Agriculture already has a list of people willing to hunt hogs for free.

They also worry that the plan could exacerbate the problem.

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