Wild hogs, also called wild boars, wild pigs or feral pigs, are the second most popular large animal hunted in Florida next to white-tailed deer, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Although wild hogs are not native to Florida, they have existed in Florida for many years after being brought in by Spanish settlers in the 1500s. There are approximately 1 million wild hogs in Florida as of the date of publication. In fact, the state encourages wild hog hunting to eliminate some of the many hogs that can cause damage to Florida's natural environment.
Private Land Hunting Rules
On private property, wild hogs can be hunted all year as long as the hunter has permission from the landowner. A variety of private parks in Florida such as Florida Dog Hunting Guides (floridahoghuntingguides.com) and Hawg Wild Ranch (hawgwildranch.net) offer guided hog hunting tours. Hunters can use any type of hunting weapon when hunting on private property including rifles, shotguns, crossbows, bows and pistols, according to FWC (myfwc.com). No hunting license is required for hunting hog on private land or private parks.
Wildlife Management Area Hunting Rules
Wildlife Management Areas in Florida are public hunting parks. Although hunters do not need a license to hunt wild hogs on private land or private parks, hunters must have a license and a management area permit, as well as follow certain rules to hunt on these public areas. Hogs can be hunted during most seasons in Florida, but hunters must follow the seasonal guidelines as to the hunting weapon used. For instance, if it is archery season, wild hogs on WMAs must be hunted with a bow.
Wildlife Management Area Locations
There are close to 200 WMA locations across Florida that may be used for hog hunting, most of which are in the northern part of the state. A full list of the WMAs, including rules and regulations specific to each area, can be found at the FWC (myfwc.com). According to FWC, Green Swamp, Dinner Island Ranch, Tosohatchee, Aucilla and Andrews are some of the best public areas for hunting wild boar because the areas are highly populated with the hogs.
Wild hogs in Florida can carry diseases such as Swine Brucellosis, Pseudorabies, Leptospirosis, Trichinosis and Classical Swine Fever. These diseases can be transmitted to other animals and humans if people who handle wild hogs are not careful. The FWC warns hunters or anyone handling wild hog carcasses or raw hog meat to use latex gloves, avoid using tobacco and avoid direct contact with blood, organs and fecal matter. It is also important to clean and disinfect knives, surfaces, clothing or anything exposed to a wild hog.
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