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Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:01 am

Wild hog hunting

 The Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants to eliminate “feral swine,” or wild hogs, in the state.

The department has established new rules regarding hog hunting. Hogs may now only be hunted during Illinois’ firearm deer seasons.

“Feral swine are detrimental to wildlife and wildlife habitats and can spread disease,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said.

According to information from IDNR, there were once more than 400 wild hogs in Illinois, but now that number is estimated at fewer than 20. IDNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are hoping to see the population completely eliminated within the next several months.

IDNR reported wild hogs cause more than $1.5 billion each year in damage and management costs across the country. “Feral swine have a high reproduction rate, eat just about anything they can find, and are extremely smart,” a press release states.

Previously, people could hunt hogs year-round in Illinois. IDNR hopes the limit will deter hunters from bringing hogs into Illinois and illegally hunting them at other times.

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