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September 6, 2011

Southwest Florida Water Management District land managers plan to hold a series of hog hunts on District land this fall and winter to help reduce the wild hog population.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, prospective hunters can purchase permits for these hunts on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/HogHunt/. Permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 24, or until they are sold out. The cost is $50 for each permit.

All hunts will adhere to the hog-dog format. No still hunts will be available.

Wild hogs, which are not native to Florida, feed on roots, tubors and grubs by rooting with their broad snouts and can leave an area looking like a plowed field. They also prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for food and transmit diseases to other wildlife, livestock and humans. Additionally, hogs may facilitate the spread of exotic plant species by transporting seeds and/or providing germination sites through rooting.

The District allows hogs to be controlled through hunts when the damage they cause is at unacceptable levels. Damage from hogs is occurring more frequently and with increasing severity.

Here’s where and when the hunts will be held:

Upper Hillsborough Preserve–Alston Tract
Pasco County
Nov. 15–17

McGregor Smith Scout Reservation
Citrus County
Dec. 6–8
Jan. 24–26

Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve–Hampton Tract
Polk County
Dec. 13–15

Edward W. Chance Reserve–Coker Prairie Tract
Manatee County
Jan. 10–12
Feb. 7–9

Little Manatee River Southfork Tract
Manatee County
Jan. 17–19

Conner Preserve
Pasco County
Feb. 7–9

The District-managed properties will be temporarily closed to the public during the hog hunts. Only permitted hunters will be allowed access.

In addition to obtaining a permit online, maps and hunting rules of the areas where the hunts will take place are available on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/HogHunt/.

This is the fourth consecutive year for the hunts. Last year’s hunts removed 100 hogs from four different tracts of land throughout the District.

 
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