From the Pennsylvania Game Commission
-- Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe today announced that he was retaining protection on feral swine in Bedford County in an effort to facilitate trapping by individuals permitted by the agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He did, however, lift the protection in Bradford, Fulton, Susquehanna and Wyoming counties. Under the order protection remains lifted on feral swine in the remaining 62 counties.
“This decision to lift protection in these four counties is based on a lack of recent reports of feral swine in these areas,” Roe said. “Also, we have not identified opportunities for trapping in these areas. Should these opportunities arise, we will reinstate the restrictions on swine hunting in particular areas of interest.
“Trapping is the most effective way to remove feral swine from the wild, because it limits their dispersal into new areas. If funding is not available for trapping, we may consider lifting protection in Bedford County, as well.”
The Commission has determined that the eradication of feral swine from Pennsylvania is necessary to prevent further harm to public and private property, threats to native wildlife and disease risks for wildlife and the state’s pork industry. The agency is not seeking to establish a hunting season, but is committed to rid Pennsylvania of this invasive species.
Roe noted that the Game Commission has launched a Feral Swine section on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), and includes links to the map delineating the counties in which feral swine may be taken incidental to other hunting seasons.
Licensed hunters, including those who qualify for license and fee exemptions, are eligible to participate in the unlimited incidental taking of feral swine in those 64 counties where feral swine are not protected. They may use manually-operated rifles, revolvers or shotguns, as well as muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows. All other methods and devices legal for taking feral swine must be conducted and/or used in compliance with the provisions of Section 2308 of Title 34 (Game and Wildlife Code), which can be viewed on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) in the “Laws & Regulations” section in the left-hand column of the homepage.
Additionally, the agency may issue permits to authorize individuals to engage in feral swine trapping operations, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. Feral swine trapping, by permitted individuals, will only be allowed from the close of the flintlock muzzleloading season in mid-January to the beginning of spring gobbler season, and from the end of spring gobbler season until the beginning of archery deer season.
Any person who kills a feral swine must report it to the Game Commission Region Office that serves the county in which the harvest took place within 24 hours. Agency personnel will gather samples to monitor for the presence of disease.
Roe encouraged residents who witness feral swine to also contact the Region Office that serves their county. For contact information, as well as list of counties that each region office serves, visit the Game Commission’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us), click on the Contact Us link in the left-hand column of the homepage and scroll down to Region Offices.