The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) will begin accepting a second round of applications for its Wild Hog Control Program (WHCP) today, Wednesday, January 6, 2021.
The application period will close on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Eligible counties for the application period will be Adams, Amite, Claiborne, Copiah, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pike, and Wilkinson.
Through the WHCP, MDAC provides “smart” wild hog traps to landowners and managers for the control of wild hogs on private agricultural and forestry lands in Mississippi. MDAC will provide the training necessary to use the “smart” traps and technical guidance regarding the most effective methods to trap and control wild hogs on private lands. During this upcoming trapping effort, MDAC will partner with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services to expand wild hog disease surveillance into Southwest Mississippi.
“We are excited to begin working with Wildlife Services to monitor wild hog diseases that can impact agriculture,” said Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson. “Southwest Mississippi has a rich history of livestock production, and diseases carried by wild hogs pose a great threat to cattle herds. At this time, Wildlife Services has limited resources to expand its disease surveillance efforts into the southwest portion of the state. With our agency’s equipment and relationship with landowners and farmers in the region, we can help track deadly diseases that can impact our livestock industry. This will be a great opportunity for a state agency, federal agency, and farmers to work together.”
Applications must be completed and submitted online at www.mdac.ms.gov/whcp.
Submitted applications will be evaluated based on the number of acres available for trapping, historical agricultural losses caused by wild hogs on the property, and current trapping efforts on the property. A cooperative application is encouraged for small acreage (i.e., adjoining land managers of small parcels should work together to submit one application). Traps will be available for one-month intervals, dependent upon use and success. One trap per 1,000 acres is recommended, depending on landscape and land use.
The WHCP is the result of legislation passed during the 2020 Legislative Session. The legislation authorized Commissioner Gipson to operate programs to fight nuisance wildlife species on private agricultural and forestry lands. In Mississippi alone, wild hogs cause more than $60 million in damages annually. The WHCP provides the equipment and technical guidance needed to control wild hogs across the state. The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation provided key support to the program with the acquisition of additional traps that are deployed to help control wild hogs on private lands.
The first round of WHCP trapping efforts has been a success with properties in 12 counties participating and more than 200 wild hogs captured to date. The WHCP has provided a great avenue for MDAC to expand working relationships with farmers, ranchers, and other land managers across the state.