From Pennsylvania Game Commission
-- At the unanimous direction of the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners, and in response to a recent state Supreme Court ruling, Carl G. Roe, agency executive director, recently issued an order removing protection on feral swine in 64 of the state's 67 counties. Counties where protection remains in effect are Butler, Bedford and Cambria counties.
"We are maintaining protection on feral swine in Butler, Bedford and Cambria counties to facilitate trapping by the U.S. and Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture," Roe said.
"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 these three counties, as well.
"The Game 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. We are not seeking to establish a hunting season, but we are 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 executive order and a 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. They may use manually-operated rifles, revolvers or shotguns, as well as and muzzleloaders, bows and crossbows. All other methods and devices legal for taking feral swine much be conducted 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. and Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture. 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.
Roe noted that incidental taking of feral swine is permitted outside of trapping seasons in Bedford, Butler and Cambria counties.
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.
Roe encouraged residents who witness feral swine to contact the Region Office that serves their county. For contact information, as well as a list of counties that each regional 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."