Louisiana hunters harvested more feral hogs than deer during last year’s hunting season.
During the 2013-14 season, Louisiana hunters bagged 183,000 feral pigs and 166,200 deer, according to a new Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries report. That’s not surprising, considering feral pigs have become a pervasive pest problem in Louisiana and other southern states.
Louisiana allows hunters to take feral hogs year round. But pig populations continue to boom and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. As they spread, feral hogs are having a negative impact on the state’s deer populations in a number of ways.
“Research shows that deer and hogs do not mix and that deer can be displaced by hogs,” the report states. “Deer detection rates can be up to 49% less where hogs occur. Hog populations affect deer numbers through direct competition for food resources and fawn predation. Hogs carry infectious diseases such as Leptospirosis, brucellosis, and pseudo-rabies.”
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Deer and hogs don’t play nice with each other, either.
“Deer don’t tolerate hogs very well,” Deer Program Manager Scott Durham, told WWL news “They kind of run them off. They just don’t like to be around hogs. So they compete for space.”
Deer aren’t the only animals affected by feral hogs. “They’re impacting food resources for turkeys, quail…they impact everything because of their presence and their predatory nature as ground scavengers, said Durham”
Feral hogs also cause millions of dollars worth of damage to agriculture and livestock in the southern US.