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Wild hog regulations change
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These animals have been removed from big game status to a non-protected nuisance animal marked for eradication.

Regulations related to wild hogs have changed drastically in the last year. In response to concerns from landowners, the Legislature, the Farm Bureau, and TWRA biologists, there have been major changes to the management of wild hogs. These animals have been removed from big game status to a non-protected nuisance animal marked for eradication. Wild hogs cause extensive damage to farm crops, wildlife habitat, contribute to extreme erosion and stream pollution, and carry diseases harmful to livestock or other animals as well as humans.

Here’s a reminder about the new regulations regarding wild hogs, from the TWRA website:

As a non-protected species, private landowners and their family members or tenants that are exempt for purchasing a license for that property may freely take wild hogs with methods legal for taking big game or small game without license or permission from the TWRA. Landowners may now trap wild hogs without permit but no live hog may be removed from the traps.

Landowners wishing to get a method exemption (e.g., shooting at night, shooting over bait) may contact their local TWRA office and they will immediately be issued an exemption once they provide their name and location of property. Landowners may have up to ten designees on the exemption form to assist with the wild hog eradication on their property. There is a special eradication program in Cumberland, Overton, Fentress and Pickett counties that allows landowners to use dogs under the methods exemption.


Frequently Asked Questions about wild hog regulations:

Can I kill a wild hog that is damaging my property? Yes. As a landowner you can use methods above and beyond normal hunting means to eliminate wild hogs. Landowners may also identify up to ten individuals (designees) who can assist with the removal of wild hogs on their property. You must contact TWRA to obtain a wild hog exemption before allowing others to assist with removal efforts.

Can I hunt free-ranging wild hogs in Tennessee? No. However, under exemptions, landowners and their designees as defined above may kill a hog at any time. There are also some East Tennessee and Cumberland Plateau WMAs that allow the incidental take of hogs during other big game seasons (see WMA regulations for details.)

Why did the Agency eliminate wild hog hunting if it results in more dead hogs? Not only have historic hunting seasons proven to be ineffective at controlling hog populations but they have inadvertently led to the increased spread of the wild hog range. Illegal transport and release of wild hogs into new areas has played a significant role in the spread of wild hogs statewide. Removing the incentive to hunt hogs will hopefully slow their spread across the state.

Who do I contact to obtain a hog exemption? You may call or visit a regional office during regular business hours to obtain a methods exemption.  If you would like technical assistance in dealing with hogs on your property, you can request a site visit for TWRA or cooperating agency/organization personnel to assist with education and management guidance.

Are there requirements for obtaining an exemption? You must be the legal owner of the property.  All exemptions expire on December 31 and in order to renew a permit the landowner must submit a report of their activities under the previous exemption.

How long does it take to get a methods exemption? Methods exemptions are issued immediately over the phone by calling your TWRA regional office.  After providing basic information about you and your property, a methods exemption number is given that will act as your methods exemption until a paper copy is mailed. 

Who can be listed on my hog exemption? There are no restrictions on who may be listed on a methods exemption.  However, no more than ten (10) people may be listed on the exemption in each calendar year. 

I hunt on a lease and we have hogs, can I call up and get an exemption?Only the landowner get obtain a methods exemption.  If the landowner calls the regional office to request a methods exemption, they may designate 10 others to assist with eradication efforts. 

Can family members and tenants assist the landowner with a methods exemption? Family members and tenants that qualify to hunt a property without a license (Farmland Owner License Exemption, see current hunt guide for more information) may assist the landowner without being listed as a designee on a methods exemption.

I know there are certain diseases that hogs can carry, if I kill a hog on my property is there any disease concerns I should be aware of? Wild hogs carry many diseases capable of spreading to humans, wild animals and domestic animals.  The most prominent are swine brucellosis (also known as undulant fever) which may spread to humans.  The other disease is pseudorabies which is not harmful to humans but can kill domestic livestock and other animals.  When butchering a wild hog please take precautions to avoid contact with wild hog bodily fluids.  The TWRA recommends single-use rubber gloves for processing the meat.  Destroy the gloves immediately and wash your hands and other skin that contact the wild hog bodily fluids.

Does the state offer assistance for the removal of hogs? The TWRA and other partner agencies provide technical assistance to get landowners familiar with methods to eradicate wild hogs on their property.  At this time, there is no opportunity for state employees to directly remove hogs from private property.

Who do I contact to report illegal activities such as the release of wild hogs? Please report illegal activities to the regional office.  This includes illegal killing of wild hogs and especially illegal movement and release of wild hogs.  Transportation of wild appearing hogs is illegal unless they have paperwork from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture stating the hogs came from a domestic source.  The TWRA offers a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons illegally transporting and releasing hogs.

Is there a website that can show me how trap or kill hogs? Yes.  Mississippi State University compiled a website dedicated to wild hog eradication and information.   This website is http://www.wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/index.html

How can I help TWRA with their hog eradication program? The best help for TWRA is for landowners to eradicate all wild hogs on their property and provide the agency with any information about illegal activities associate with wild hogs.

If I’m baiting for hogs on my property can I continue to hunt deer and turkey on my property? In some cases hunting away from bait sites can continue on large properties.  The agency strongly recommends you request an officer visit to identify areas that may be legally hunted.

What do I do with the hogs once I kill them? All wild hogs must be killed before removing them from the trap.  You may eat the wild hogs, give them to another recipient, or dispose of them on your property. Keep in mind that some wild hogs carry disease such as brucellosis and pseudo-rabies so use caution.

 

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