Cattle producer pleased with feral hog eradication
A southeastern Missouri cattle producer is applauding efforts from Governor Mike Parson, USDA and the Missouri Department of Conservation to decrease the feral hog population.
Jeff Reed tells Brownfield more than 480 pigs had to be eradicated on his farm last year compared to seven this year.
“We lost approximately $140,000 dollars last year to pigs and this year, I’m going to say that number is going to be minuscule; probably less than a couple thousand dollars on the damage,” he said.
Reed said legislation signed by Parson last year, which made it a $2,000 fine to release feral hogs and a class E felony if caught twice within 10 years, has been a main reason for the dramatic shift.
“I’m not much on believing in coincidence so, I believe somebody was probably doing some releasing there,” he said.
Speaking to Reed on his farm near Williamsville, he said landowners, USDA, and MDC have had ‘great’ conversations in the last year and a half leading to what Reed calls an ‘all methods approach’.
“You couldn’t eradicate without trapping, you’re going to catch your vast majority trapping,” Reed said. “But there are times, like right now, [where] we’ve got a couple boars and shooting them with a rifle is about your only option. So, we’ve seen MDC change that mentality of like ‘yeah, go after those pigs with thermal scopes’.”
He said MDC has also coordinated well with landowners when organizing helicopter shoots. Reed said while he expects there always be some feral hogs, he’s optimistic about their control.