The Wildlife Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) and partners in the battle against feral swine eliminated a record number of the destructive, invasive species in 2017. Feral swine populations have been identified in all 77 counties of Oklahoma at one time or another, and are currently present throughout the majority of the state.
The ODAFF’s intensive effort resulted in 188% more feral swine eliminated during 2017 than in 2016 when 11,2016 of the animals were taken out. In earlier efforts wild hog elimination actions totals ranged from 7,808 in 2015 and 2,426 in 2011. “The damage they do, not only affects agriculture, but personal property such as lawns and gardens and natural resources as well,” said Scott Alls of Oklahoma Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). “They provide direct competition to popular game species such as deer and turkey but also affect the environment in numerous negative manners.”
Jim Reese, Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, said ODAFF set a goal to eliminate 14,000 feral swine in 2017. In January, he announced the overwhelming success of the program, which included a wide group of partners.
The breakdown of the 2017 feral hog elimination program includes:
- 17,002 by Wildlife Services
- 2,742 by private aerial hunting
- 6,600 by sporting facilities
- 5,289 by buying stations for harvesting
- 604 trapped by Conservation, in less than five months.