Manage Feral Swine
An integrated approach
The best strategies for managing wildlife damage involve using a comprehensive, integrated approach. Effective feral swine management uses a variety of techniques to remove pigs and prevent damage from occurring in the first place.
In addition to addressing pigs and damage directly, feral swine management is most effective when it involves stakeholders in the process - providing opportunities for education and communication among interested groups.
A single feral swine caught in a corral trap.
Feral swine are remarkably intelligent and quickly learn to avoid hazards in their environment. For this reason, removal of the entire sounder at once via corral trapping is usually the most practical and effective method for removing swine from an area.
There is no closed trapping season and no bag limits for take, but a free, NCWRC-issued Feral Swine Trapping Permit is required to trap feral swine. Individuals that wish to trap feral swine on their lands for depredation purposes can use the Feral Swine Trapping Permit to conduct those activities.
Watch this 5-minute feral swine trapping video to learn how to get started. You can also check out this 10-minute video on the pros and cons of different types of swine traps.
Shooting can be an important part of an integrated management approach, but hunting does not impact feral swine populations. Sport hunting of feral swine promotes release of live swine to new areas, and often focuses on boars rather than sows and piglets. Though hunting feral swine can be used to frighten or take individual animals, remaining animals quickly learn to avoid hunters and become more difficult to remove. Control efforts in areas outside of North Carolina have shown that recreational hunting has little to no effect on the feral hog population. Effective control methods target all individuals in a sounder.
Integrated management can also include non-lethal techniques like fencing and harassment. For a detailed explanation of the methods used for feral swine control, read the Technical Guide to Integrated Feral Swine Management.
You've harvested feral swine. Now what?
Report your harvest and any related damages to help us better understand how feral swine are impacting NC landowners.
Use a free test kit to collect a blood sample from each animal and submit it for testing. Remember to use safety measures such as wearing gloves and sanitizing all equipment after handling and disposing of the carcass(es).
Biosecurity is the first line of defense against the spread of disease and should never be ignored. Several diseases carried by feral swine can be transmitted to humans and other animals, so care should always be taken when handling feral swine carcasses. Recommended methods for carcass disposal include incineration, burial at a landfill, or burial on the property the animals were captured.