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February 19, 2012

State trying to eliminate wild-boar infestation

â State DEC asking hunters to stay away

PERU — Wild boars continue to roam the land near Rulfs Orchard in Peru, but landowners and state officials are asking hunters to stay off the property while attempts are made to trap the unwanted animals.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation has set up large traps on the property in hopes of capturing several swine at one time, a process officials believe will be more efficient than trying to hunt the elusive creatures.

SMART

"They are very wary, very smart animals," said Ed Reed, wildlife biologist for DEC in Ray Brook. "They're very difficult animals to catch. They stay in thick cover and are not usually seen in open fields during the day.

"We're asking folks not to call up the landowners to ask if they can come on the property to hunt. They (landowners) are not allowing anyone on the property at this time."

LURING THEM IN

Officials also have to be patient in setting up traps. They will first place food at a specific location, and as the boars become familiar with that site, officials will set the traps. The devices allow the swine to enter through a swinging door but prevent them from exiting.

"These are big traps, about a 30-foot circle when set up," Reed said. "If we can get them all in the same trap at one time, we can eliminate a whole bunch fairly quickly."

YEARS-LONG PROBLEM

DEC received its first report of wild boars in the area two years ago following a road kill on Bear Swamp Road.

The severity of the situation escalated last summer when landowners who suspected deer were damaging their sweet corn came across 18 wild boars grazing in the cornfield one night.

"Since that time, we've been trying different methods to eradicate all of them," Reed said. "We've taken some by trapping, some by shooting, but we're hoping our trapping efforts will prove successful. We hope to be wrapped up by planting season."

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