District land managers plan to hold a series of hog hunts on District lands throughout the year to help reduce the feral hog population.
Feral hogs, which are not native to Florida, can cause damage 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 has a three-phased hunting system. The first two phases of hunts will have separate registration processes. The single top producer from each Phase 1 and Phase 2 hunt will be asked to participate in hog management activities for Phase 3.
All hunts will adhere to the hog-dog format. No still hunts will be available. The program works like this:
Phase 1 Hunts
- Registration will occur 9 a.m. Oct. 2, 2018.
- Includes six hunts that occur October through December 2018.
- Permits are transferable.
- The top producer of each Phase 1 hunt will be placed on the District’s “top producer” list and will be contacted between March and October 2019 to take part in feral hog management hunts on an as-needed basis, free of charge. We no longer award free admission into Phase 2 for our top two producers of the Phase 1 hunt.
Phase 2 Hunts
- Registration will occur 9 a.m. Dec. 18, 2018.
- Includes six hunts that occur January and February 2019.
- Permits are transferable.
- The single top producer of each hunt of Phase 2 will be placed on the District’s “top producer” list and will be contacted between March and October 2019 to take part in feral hog management hunts on an as-needed basis, free of charge.
Phase 3 “As-Needed” Management Hunts
- Includes management hunts that may occur March through October 2019.
- Only those registrants that qualify as top producers following the Phase 1 and 2 hunts will be contacted to take part in management hunts during this period.
- Management hunts offered to top producers will be free of charge and non-transferable.
- All 12 Phase 1 and 2 top producers will be offered participation in a minimum of two management hunts throughout the non-hunting season.
The District-managed properties will be temporarily closed to the public during the hog hunts. Only permitted hunters will be allowed access.
Prospective hunters can purchase permits for Phase I hunts beginning at 9 a.m. Oct. 2 on the District’s hoghunts.watermatters.org. Permits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis until they are sold out. The cost is $75 for each permit. A complete list of hunts with locations and dates is also available online.
This is the 10th consecutive year for the hunts. Last year’s hunts removed 474 hogs on eight different tracts of land throughout the District.