Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson announced the implementation of the department’s new Wild Hog Control Program supported by the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.
“We are excited to launch the first-of-its-kind state agriculture department-led invasive feral hog trapping initiative,” Gipson says. “After a full year of public education, research and outreach through the commissioner’s Wild Hog Challenge, MDAC is launching the Wild Hog Control Program, which will provide farmers, ranchers and landowners with the resources and training necessary to effectively combat the rise of destructive wild hogs in Mississippi.”
During the 2020 Legislative Session, MDAC was authorized to operate programs to fight nuisance wildlife species on private agricultural and forestry lands. The program will involve the coordinated trapping and control of feral hogs on private farm and timber land throughout Mississippi.
The program will include training and technical assistance for farmers on the most effective methods to trap and control destructive wild hogs on their farms. Following training, one or more Wild Hog Control Program “smart” trapping systems may be set up on the farm, and farmers or their designees will be trained on remote monitoring methods and best practices for effective trapping.
Remote Trapping Capability
MFBF provided key support to the program with the acquisition of additional traps that will be deployed across the state.
“In Mississippi alone, wild hogs cause more than $60 million in damages annually,” Gipson says. “As I’ve said many times, we already know the problem, and now we are taking meaningful action to curb the invasion of hogs on farmlands. The WHCP will fight the scourge of wild hogs on behalf of Mississippi farmers and ranchers.
“I want to thank Mike McCormick and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation for their indispensable support, and I want to thank Rep. (Bill) Pigott, Sen. (Chuck) Younger and the entire Mississippi Legislature for their support in this endeavor.”
The traps are powered by Mississippi-based HogEye Camera Systems, which allow for remote trapping wherever there is a cellular signal. They will be deployed across the state in concentrated focus areas determined by MDAC through the application process.
Trap rotation will occur about every 30-60 days, depending on use and success. MDAC will collect and analyze data that include trap locations, program effectiveness and number of wild hogs harvested.
Visit Website For Updates
Although the first application period has closed, interested parties are encouraged to visit www.mdac.ms.gov/whcp for updates on the next application period. Submitted applications will be evaluated based on the number of acres available for trapping, historical agricultural losses caused by wild hogs on the property and current trapping efforts on the property.
A cooperative application is encouraged for small acreage — adjoining land managers of small parcels should work together to submit one application. Traps will be available for one-month intervals, depending upon use and success. One trap per 1,000 acres is recommended, depending on landscape and land use.
MDAC and MFBF contributed information for this article.