Press-Republican

Outdoors

May 18, 2014

Wild boar hunting now prohibited in New York state

New York state is taking decisive action on how to cope with wild boar infestations, past present and future.

Hunting and trapping of free ranging swine, aka Eurasian boar, is now banned everywhere but on enclosed hunting preserves. By September 2015, it will not be allowed there, either.

Often referred to as “wild boar,” swine in the wild are considered Eurasian boar or feral swine. Eurasian boars are native to Europe and Asia and imported to this country.

In October 2013, it became illegal to import, breed or release Eurasian boar in New York. Now hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boar is prohibited statewide.

The regulation took effect in late April, as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation works to eradicate wild boar, or at least contain their spread. In New York, six counties, including right here in Clinton, have confirmed wild boar infestations, but encounters have been reported in numerous others.

According to a recent press release, more than 150 animals have been captured and destroyed in the infested counties. It’s been a joint effort by the DEC and USDA, which the press release stated is “expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower.”

The number of wild boar in southern states is estimated in the millions and the damage nationally is estimated at $1.5 billion. Wild boar have cost one Clinton County farmer more than $30,000.

While the new regulation will affect outfitters, it is geared more toward the average hunter. Most of us are more than willing to shoot a boar if the opportunity presented itself, which up until now was the basic idea.

However, the elusiveness of boars, especially once they’ve experienced being pursued, has become one of the key factors in their future management.

Trapping efforts by the USDA and DEC always seek to capture the entire “sounder” group of wild boar in an area. This involves surveillance and setting up traps, which are not sprung unless the entire sounder group is in the trap. The idea is to not spook or otherwise alert the wild boar or they’ll scatter.

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