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Michigan Declares Feral Pigs An Invasive Species

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If they don't get this problem under control Michigan could look like Tennessee in a few short years. Feral pigs down there are hunted year round now no limit because of how polluted the state is with the animal.


fyi; They grill up real tasty and even better roasted in the ground.




With thousands of feral pigs threatening farms and native species, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment has declared the bristly swine an invasive species and given the Legislature until July 8 to come up with regulations on breeding and confining the tusked animals or ownership of them will be banned.


The agency estimates there 3,000 to 5,000 feral pigs in more than 65 of Michigan's 83 counties. Many of the animals are the offspring of imported Russian or Eurasian boars that escaped from area game preserves, The Detroit News reported Saturday.


Feral pigs eat anything and everything, including endangered wild plants, the eggs of game birds, young deer or lambs, reptiles and farm crops. Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates they cause about $800 million in damage each year to agriculture. The pigs also can carry diseases including bovine herpes virus, swine fever, foot and mouth disease, influenza, anthrax and swinepox virus.


"They will really rip up a farmer's fields," DNRE spokeswoman Mary Detloff said. "Overnight, they can destroy acres of corn and wheat. They dig wallows 3-feet deep and 5-feet wide, which are a real danger to farming equipment."


The agency has essentially approved shooting the animals on sight.


"Basically, our policy is shoot first and ask questions later," Detloff said.


Russian boars average about 100 to 200 pounds, but if they interbreed with domestic hogs their offspring can grow up to 300 pounds. Females can produce two litters of eight to 10 piglets a year.


The majority of the 289 swine sightings since 2001 have been in the Lower Peninsula, with the highest numbers in Gratiot, Midland, Roscommon and Mecosta counties.


But game preserve owners say the numbers are exaggerated.


"Feral hogs do exist, but there are so few incidents of them in the wild," said Salvatore D. Palombo, owner of the 320-acre County Line Game Ranch in Beaverton and president of the Michigan Animal Farmers Association.


Palombo admitted some pigs may have escaped over the years, but none from his ranch.


"I have a double fence around the ranch plus a 10-foot wide road in the middle," said Palombo, who keeps about 40 hogs for breeding. "If a hog were to escape, it would be the same as if I set fire to a $500 bill."


"I've talked with hunters from all over the state, and I've never met one that's seen one wild in the woods," added Ron McKendrick, who owns the 320-acre Renegade Ranch in Cheboygan. "I'm not saying they're not there, but I think the numbers are a lie."


But Ric Buikema, 37, and his father, Ken, 62, said they have killed nine feral hogs in western Michigan since July.


"They are nasty looking animals," Buikema said.


State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, said some legislators want to regulate the swine preserves rather than close them down.


"If we shut them down, we'll be taking everything away from them," said Casperson, chairman of the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Policy Committee. "I've been told there's a problem, but so far, I really haven't seen a lot of evidence of it."


Casperson said lawmakers handled a similar situation with game preserves for deer and elk.


"We came up with regulations about raising and confining the animals," he said. "I see a real similarity between what we did for deer and elk and what we can do for swine."


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I'm down with a group hunt come this spring... lemme know when. I always love me some wild woodland critter to BBQ on the backyard fire, nothing like SQUIRREL covered in brown sugar and red pepper paste.


Have there been any reported sightings in the Lower Lower Peninsula? Van Buren State Park? Manistee National Forest is about the furthest North I will go for some pig.


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Sheet when i was living in roscomon county i thought you could shoot them with a fishing liscense! they are a mennace if you ever went across a spot in the woods ware a pack of em been,(i dont know what a flock of pigs are called sorry) you wouldnt beleive the complete destructin they do to small trees the ground and anything with any kinda food in it, and them suckers is mean!


Most of em got out of private clubs that were supposed to be fenced in, they have rules for them, they gotta gettem inside stored i beleive in the winter so they cant get under the fences, a big process i hear, and they reproduce 3 times a yr from what i remember and 2 or 3 piggies, or more man thats almost like rabbits, yea they are spreading and they are realy good eating!


I Believe farmers can shoot them, Im pretty sure most farmers take care of there own land and dont worry much about the authoritys! thats pretty much how it is where i live, you dont mess around on a farmers land w/o permission or you gonna be getting sand baged if not worst!






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Should we be afraid of them?


Hogs Gone Wild



I aint heard of any that big here! but they are mean as hell, a buddy and his dad have gotten 2 so far in roscomon county! in the 300 to 350 lb range, there fricking good eating!


I love wild game though, snappin turtles, sheet we ate a porupine last yr out camping and always eat lots of cray fish!


we was going to eat a big garner snake but not enough meat!





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Guest finallyfree09

I know a couple of people that claim to have seen a few hogs runnin around. Personally I've never seen 1 but that doesn't mean they aren't here.


Something I HAVE seen a few times are bear. I have also seen no less than 3 cougars, yes cougars, running around the area. 1 of them crossed the road from my dads place a couple years ago when we were hayin.


Don't let anybody fool ya... There's all kunds of critters runnin around this state!

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We could always donate the meat to families in need and food pantry's if they'd accept it after it was smoked and cured in the name of the medical marijuana community.


We may even get "Deadly Teddly" on our side with killing animals and helping the poor. He's a big right wing ultra conservative....strike that about inviting Ted.



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And to think I used to go to Tennessee to whack some hogs! Now all you need is a small game license. I can't wait to run across one in our woods!! And yessirr--they are awesome eating. Just carry a big enough pistol/long gun to put one down, because they are mean as all get out

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