Feral Swine Issues Persist in OK - ODAFF's Kenny Kellett Shares His Expert Advice on Hog ControlFri, 22 Feb 2019 13:01:06 CST
Feral hogs have been a constant nuisance and in some cases a very serious issue for many farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma. While state-led extermination efforts continue, the problem persists in many areas. During the recent All Crops Conference in Norman, Okla. hosted by Oklahoma State University Extension, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry’s Wildlife Services’ Northeast District Supervisor Kenny Kellett, spoke with producers in attendance about the most effective methods and tools being used currently to control the feral swine population in the state. He spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn afterwards to share some of his professional advice on the best methods of control. You can listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“I like to use the corral-type of cage traps. I believe that’s the No. 1 way to catch a hog,” he said. “As long as you free bate an area for maybe a week… week and a half before you put a trap out, the hogs will get used to the area having feed there. But, pretty much any trap you can do real good with.”
Another effective tool that has been used in the past, is toxicants. However, there is currently a ban in Oklahoma on the use of these substances stemming from wider environmental concerns. But, Kellett is optimistic that within the next four to five years, the proper authorities will arrive at a system that addresses and handles those concerns and also permits the use of toxicants again.
In addition to trapping though, Kellett is also fond of the aerial services his office offers landowners. Producers that cooperate with ODAFF can take advantage of the department’s aircraft resources to target large and elusive sounders located in heavily wooded areas. Kellett recommends opting for more maneuverable helicopters rather than fixed-wing planes.
For particularly sensitive or problematic areas - Kellett recommends landowners invest in electrified hog-wire fencing as a preventative measure, swearing by its efficacy in deterring hog intrusion.
While most people are aware of the damage hogs cause, some are not familiar with the threat of disease they carry with them as well. Both livestock and humans are susceptible, too. Kellett warns anyone handling feral swine to practice caution in any situation that exposes them to hog-blood or reproductive organs as this can result in the transmittal of infectious diseases. Livestock that encounter hogs and engage in nose-to-nose contact or feed after hogs can potentially contract diseases such as pseudorabies or swine brucellosis.
Funding has been an issue that has limited Kellett’s and his colleagues’ efforts. However, Kellett says the new Farm Bill is expected to provide new resources that will help bolster their capabilities.
If you are experiencing feral swine related issues and wish to engage the services of ODAFF, Kellett directs you to contact Wildlife Services at 1-800-580-2427.
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