The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are enlisting the help of Illinois hunters in efforts to track feral swine and assist in slowing the population and expanding range of the invasive animals in the state.
Feral swine – often referred to as feral hogs and wild pigs – are defined as free-ranging animals that are not under domestic livestock confinement. They are an invasive species competing with native wildlife for food resources and damaging soil through their rooting and feeding activities, increasing soil erosion and damaging crops, plants and water quality. Feral swine also are known to carry at least 30diseases that pose serious implications for people, pets, wildlife and livestock.
Hunters, landowners, and others who see feral swine in Illinois are asked to report the sightings to the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources at 217/785-2511. Hunters in the field who observe feral swine and possess a valid Illinois FOID card can – with the permission of the landowner – legally shoot the wild hogs.