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In an effort to combat invasive species, Arkansas provides incentives for trapping



Stone County, Arkansas – Landowners are being offered incentives by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to get rid of invasive feral hogs that damage crops and other types of land.

Landowner Jason Kocher of Stone County said that he has been coping with a wild hog problem on his acreage for many years.

Yes, they are a major problem,” said Kocher. “They tear up the ground to where you can’t get over it with a tractor.”

According to Kocher, they have trapped more than 250 hogs over the previous three years and they plan to keep doing so in order to maintain their cow pastures and hay fields.

“They dig holes that are two feet deep,” he said. “If you hit holes like that with the front tractor tire and you are not ready for it, it could throw you off the tractor. You have to start back from square one, plow it up, reseed your grass, and roll it to get it smooth enough to cut hay on or anything else.”

In addition to being an invasive species, feral hogs are also known to harbor 45 different bacteria, illnesses, and parasites, according to the AGFC.

According to studies, 66% of the population must be eliminated annually to stop the population from growing. Only 8% to 50% are eliminated by hog hunting.

To encourage landowners to engage in trapping as a method of eradication, the state commission has set aside $1.2 million to pay qualified landowners or cooperatives back for seventy-five percent of the cost of a feral hog trap.

According to Kocher, the traps are camera-monitored, and the gate may be remotely closed to keep wild hogs out of the cage.

It can’t just be us, everybody has to do it to maintain what we have,” he said. “If we want to really get rid of them, it has to be a big effort.”

Applications for reimbursement will open starting Jan. 2.


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