Disrict to Hold Series of Hog Hunts, Permits Will Be Available Online

News Release

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. 8, prospective hunters can purchase permits for these hunts on the District's website at "HogHunts.WaterMatters.org":http://HogHunts.WaterMatters.org. Permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, or until they are sold out. The cost is $75 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 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:

"Alston Tract at Upper Hillsborough Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/uh-alston_tract.html
Pasco County
Oct. 30-Nov. 1 (day hunts)

"Flying Eagle Nature Center":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/flying_eagle/gallery.php
Citrus County
Nov. 23-25
Dec. 14-16 (day hunts)

"Hampton Tract and Closed-Areas Tracts at Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/greenswamp-hampton_tract.html
Polk County
Dec. 4-6 (day hunts)

"Coker Prairie Tract at Edward Chance Reserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/edwardchance-coker.html
Manatee County
Oct. 30-Nov. 1 (day hunts)

"Little Manatee River Southfork Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/littlemanatee-southfork.html
Manatee County
Nov. 6-8 (day hunts)

"Conner Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/conner.html
Pasco County
Nov. 6-8 (day hunts)

"Lower Hillsborough River Wilderness Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/lowerhillsborough.html
Hillsborough County
Jan. 22-24 (night hunts)

"Starkey Wilderness Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/starkey-park.html
Pasco County
Jan. 8-10 (night hunts)

"Deer Prairie Creek Preserve and South Schewe Tract":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/myakka-deerprairie.html
Dec. 11-13
March 19-21 (night hunts)

"Deep Creek Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/deepcreek.html
DeSoto County
Nov. 27-29 (day hunts)

"Hálpata Tastanaki Preserve":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/areas/halpata.html
Marion County
Dec. 4-6 (day hunts)

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 HogHunts.WaterMatters.org.

This is the fifth consecutive year for the hunts. Last year's hunts removed 270 hogs from four different tracts of land throughout the District.