Feral Friday: Shoot on Sight!

by Lia Biondo, MUCC Policy Intern
If you’ve been following our series on feral swine in Michigan, theFeral Swinen you’ve already been introduced to the damage these species can inflict on both private and public lands. Feral swine are bad for agriculture, terrible for natural resources and even worse for our native species.
Fortunately, our Michigan Department of Natural Resources has recognized the presence of feral swine as a problem and has offered some guidelines to eradicating the species.
Shoot on sight.
On public land--If you see a feral swine while legally hunting game during an open season, you are allowed to pursue it, as long as all the regulations for that open season are followed. This means that at any time during regular hunting hours - as well as when actively night-hunting raccoon, opossum, fox, and coyote -you may legally shoot a feral swine. It is important to note that Michigan has an open season of some species 365 days of the year.
You do not need a special license or permit to shoot feral swine. Any type of valid hunting license will allow you to be in possession of feral swine on public property. Additionally, a concealed pistol permit (CPL) may be used in place of a hunting license on public property for the taking of feral swine.
For private landowners or under the permission of a private landowner, you may shoot feral swine at any time, regardless of whether or not you possess a CPL or valid hunting license.
Call before you cut!
Call USDA Wildlife Services (517-336-1928) as soon as possible after killing a pig! Wait to gut the animal and someone will be out as quickly as possible to take blood sample and check for diseases. Wildlife Services can also dispose of the pig for you if you don’t want to keep it.
Under Public Acts 69-71 of 2010, the State of Michigan recognized that feral swine are an exotic, nuisance species that we must work to eradicate before they become established in Michigan. The law did not establish a season for feral swine, but rather allowed for the opportunistic take of any free-ranging pig running at-large by private landowners, public hunters or persons in possession of a CPL, animal control and law enforcement officers. Recognizing that the species is present in Michigan is a crucial step in working to remove them from our natural environments.
So if you see feral swine, it is legal to shoot. Just be sure to consult the current rules and regulations for your region and the open season through the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digests! (Click Here)
You can report all signs and sightings to Nate Newman at USDA Wildlife Services (517-336-1928 ext 23) or online to the Michigan DNR 

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