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Want to shoot a wild hog? Opportunities abound in Arkansas

From the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

-- If you have a hankering to shoot a wild hog, it's understandable. They are overabundant in many parts of Arkansas. Don't hold back. Go ahead and shoot that wild hog. Better yet, shoot several.

Blake Sasse, the nongame mammal program coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, said wild or feral hogs can be killed year-round day or night on private lands across the state. Permission from landowners is required for hunters not on their own property.

Although recreational shooting does help to some degree, it won't control hog populations. Landowners experiencing hog problems should consider implementing a trapping program, Sasse explained.

"On public land like the wildlife management areas, hogs can be shot during coyote hunting season, and that is about 10 and a half months now," Sasse said.
Coyote season runs July 1-Feb. 28 and from the first day of spring turkey season through June 13.

For shooting hogs on private land, any weapon can be used. On public land like wildlife management areas and national forests, weapons for hog shooting are restricted to weapons legal for whatever season is open.

For coyotes, that means firearms no larger than .30 caliber. Using a .30-30 is legal on public lands, but a .44 Magnum is not. An 8mm Mauser is a tad larger than .30 caliber, so it is out, but a .308 rifle qualifies as .30 caliber. Caliber restrictions for coyote hunting have been removed on AGFC-owned WMAs and USDA Forest Service property unless a particular WMA has an exception.

But on other WMAs (such as natural area WMAs), coyotes (and hogs) must be shot in accordance with general restrictions on firearms. Rifles and pistols larger than .22 caliber rimfire, buckshot or rifled slugs may be used only during modern gun deer or bear seasons. Muzzleloaders may be used during firearms season, except for muzzleloaders larger than .40 caliber, which may not be used on any WMA unless a muzzleloader or modern firearm deer, bear or elk season is open.

Baiting for hogs can be done on private lands and is suggested for effectiveness. But baiting is not allowed on public lands.

Sasse said wild hogs tend to follow two patterns. Males (boars) usually are solitary. Females (sows) move in groups, often with their young. Several sows with small pigs may be together, making a group as large as 40 or 50. More common are groups of 15 to 20.

"Pick out the largest females first in a group and shoot those," Sasse said. "The piglets will run off. Wait a while, and those piglets may come back to the dead sow."
Dead hogs can be left where they fall on WMAs, or they can be taken away if a shooter wants to use them for food purposes. There are no checking requirements or limits on the number of hogs that can be killed.

If a wild hog is dressed out, Sasse strongly recommends the use of gloves and protective eyewear. Hogs can carry several diseases, but thorough cooking removes this danger.

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