Feral Hogs in Oklahoma

Controlling Hogs

Feral Hog Corral Trap

State agencies and landowner groups are highly interested in what can be done to control the feral swine problem. Experts have determined that the best methods are trapping ­-- especially whole sounder trapping -- and aerial gunning. Other forms of control are largely ineffective and can actually reduce the effectiveness of trapping.

Landowners who have experienced depredation due to feral swine can contact the state Agriculture Department's Wildlife Services Division at (405) 521-4039.

Jeff Pennington, a biologist with the Oklahoma Wildlife Department, said eradication is not realistic on a landscape level. A realistic landscape goal is to slow the spread and reduce the density of feral hogs by the use of trapping and aerial gunning.

People who are having problems with feral swine without a depredation issue are encouraged to use the most effective methods including trapping. A secondary, less effective option is night shooting of feral swine, which the Wildlife Department believes should be a method of last resort because of the issues it creates that affect safety.

In response to Gov. Mary Fallin's executive order in May 2016, the Wildlife Department has instituted a procedure to allow people to obtain exemptions from existing hunting regulations that prohibit night shooting. The new procedure became operational Nov.1, and its goal is to provide landowners relief from feral swine while also protecting wildlife.

The OK Dept. of Food, Forestry & Agriculture has created a Directory of Hunters who are willing to remove hogs from private property: 

Feral Swine Directory to Assist Landowners

The OK Feral Swine Control Association has information to assist landowners with hog problems: 

https://www.facebook.com/OklahomaFeralSwineControlAssociation/


The Wildlife Department supports the Agriculture Department's creation of a "swine free zone" where feral swine cannot be transported, along with measures to require accountability from anyone who transports feral swine in other parts of Oklahoma.


Trapping Information


Feral Hog Corral Trap
Feral Hog Corral Trap - Image Credit: Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Mississippi State's Landowner Guide for Wild Pig Management

Have questions?  Visit our Feral Hog FAQ


Night Shooting Exemptions

    Only a deed-holding landowner (or a designee with written landowner permission) can register a property for a night-shooting exemption. The exemption procedure provides immediate approval for a landowner (or a designee with written landowner permission) to shoot feral hogs on the property at night.

    A landowner shooting feral swine on his property at night must carry his exemption number. Anyone else shooting feral swine at night is required to carry the property's exemption number and written permission from the landowner or the landowner's single designee. Rules are more stringent during the 16-day deer gun hunting season, limiting eligible shooters to the landowner, members of the landowner's family, or the landowner's single designee.

    Feral hog night-shooting exemptions are available in several ways:

  • Filling out information on the Wildlife Department's website, www.wildlifedepartment.com.
  • Downloading the "OK Hog Shooting Exemption" mobile app for Apple or Android.
  • Calling, e-mailing or texting the game warden based in the county where the property is situated, or the game warden in an adjacent county.

    Read the complete feral swine night-shooting exemption rules at  www.wildlifedepart ment.com/sites/default/files/Feral%20Swine%20Emergency%20Rule%20%2716_0.pdf.

Obtaining your Exemption

Please select the best option

 

You can also utilize this form: To obtain an exemption please CLICK HERE

Game Warden Directory for Private Land Night Hunting Exemption

For questions or concerns relating to a night hunting exemption contact: Bill.Hale@odwc.ok.gov

Hunting Hogs

 The Wildlife Department views feral swine as vermin and maintains they should not be glamorized in any way, even though feral hogs are desired by some people as target animals on hunting lands. Last year, the Wildlife Department declared it illegal to take feral hogs alive from wildlife management areas.


Image Credit: Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

Image Credit: Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

 

Learning about Hogs

Feral swine have become a concern across Oklahoma because of their expanding numbers and the damage they inflict to the landscape. Feral swine have been detected in 70 of the state's 77 counties, but they are most prevalent across the southern parts of Oklahoma. They are also most active at night.

Feral hogs congregate in "sounders," as the large groups are called. Each sounder can tear up several acres every night looking for food, which can include cropland, pastures, golf courses and even residential lawns. They will eat about 4 percent of their body weight daily.

    Besides destruction of property, other concerns about feral swine are:

  • Population growth. Feral swine have high reproductive potential, and piglets become sexually active at about 6 months old. An estimated 600,000 to 1.5 million feral swine are in Oklahoma.
  • Disease transmission. Feral swine can be infected with brucellosis and leptospirosis, which can be passed to people. Pseudorabies is found in about one-third of the feral swine population. This disease can spread to dogs, cattle, goats and sheep. Feral hogs also can carry and transmit many other diseases.
  • Threat to wildlife: Native species are being stressed by the activities of feral swine. They compete for food resources that also support deer, raccoons, black bears and opossums. Wildlife can contract many diseases from feral swine. Feral swine have few natural predators, and in some cases, the feral swine have begun pursuing wild animals as prey items.

The Feral Hog in Oklahoma: Table of Contents

 

References
Organizations
Online Resources

The Feral Hog in Oklahoma
R.L. Stevens
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Feral Hog Regs FAQs

What kind of hunting license do I need on private land?

No hunting license is required.

However, if you are hunting during one of the following seasons with a shotgun and rifled slug, or any rifle or handgun larger than .22 caliber rimfire, you must possess a filled or unfilled license appropriate for the current season, unless otherwise exempt.

youth deer gun

bear muzzleloader (in open counties),

deer muzzleloader,

deer gun,

Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun (in open zones),

elk gun (in open counties)

antelope gun (in open areas)

What if I am hunting with archery equipment or knife?

No hunting license needed for private land, but a hunting license is required for public land.

A filled or unfilled license (deer, elk, antelope, bear) is not required when you are not hunting with a shotgun and rifled slug, or any rifle or handgun larger than .22 caliber rimfire. You can not use dogs or a knife during any open big game seasons.

How about Hunter Orange? Do I have to wear it?

You must wear a head covering or upper garment while hunting pigs during the day on public and private lands during any open big game season.

What is free hog control permit and how do I get one?

Landowners may obtain a free hog control permit from the local game warden allowing them to harvest hogs during antelope, bear, deer and elk firearm seasons without purchasing the corresponding big-game license (night shooting exemptions are also available, see below). Landowners must always call the Game Warden to obtain the permit.

Can I release hogs?

No. Unless it is a Judas Pig. This is a population control technique in which a feral swine is caught, radio-collared and released at the trap site, then tracked down after it joins other feral swine so that those swine can be removed. The feral hog must be released onto the same private land on which it was caught within 24 hours of its capture. For more details, go online to www.ag.ok.gov/ais/feralswine.

What about non-residents hunting?

Same license requirements as for residents as it relates to hogs (both private and public land).

Can I use buckshot?

Yes, any time but only on private land.

What can I use to hunt pigs on private land?

You can use any type of weapon you want to use on private land.

What licenses are required for trapping pigs on private lands?

No licenses required for trapping pigs on private lands and no rules relating to trap size, posting, etc…

Is there a daily limit for feral hogs?

No, there are no limits for feral hogs.

Do I have to tag or check the animal in at a check station?

No, there are no tags or check stations for feral hogs.

Can I take my feral hog to a local meat processor?

Contact your local meat processor to see if they are licensed to process wild hogs. Many hog hunters process their own meat, so your best bet for “do it yourself” tips may be to visit with other hunters who have processed their own animals.

Where can I find a list of state trappers?

Call ODAFF (405) 521-3864 and ask for Wildlife Services (also see OFSCA next)

Who is the OFSCA?

The Oklahoma Feral Swine Control Association is comprised of hunters, trappers, hunting ranches, farmers and ranchers united in the common goal of eradicating feral swine from the State of Oklahoma. You can find more info about the group at  https://www.facebook.com/OklahomaFeralSwineControlAssociation

I want to transport pigs and/or keep them on my property?

Under the Feral Swine Control Act, The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry (ODAFF) administers the licensing program for feral swine transporters and handling/hunting facilities.

Regulations require a “Transporter” license for any person transporting any number of live feral swine any distance. The feral swine transporter license is free of charge, and those licensees may maintain live feral swine in a holding pen for up to 7 days.

If a person intends to maintain live feral swine for a period longer than 7 days, a “Handling” facility license is required. Live feral swine may only be sold to a licensed handling or hunting facility.

If for any reason a person handles live feral swine, it is strongly recommended that he or she become familiar with the Feral Swine Control Act and administrative rules. These regu- lations, applications, management guides, lists of licensed handling/hunting facilities, and more can all be found on the ODAFF Feral Swine web page, www.ag.ok.gov/ais/feralswine. For more information, contact Dr. Justin Roach of ODAFF at (405) 522-6124 or e-mail justin. roach@ag.ok.gov.

Can I chase pigs at night with dogs on private lands?

Yes, year-round. However, you can not kill them with a firearm unless you have obtained an night shooting exemption and written landowner permission.

What if I want to shoot pigs at night without pursuing with hounds?

Only on private land and you must have an immediate exemption obtained through web site, app or through a game warden. Plus you must possess written landowner permission.

What are the different types of exemptions?

Landowner Exemption – held by the deed holding landowner

Landowner Designee – The deed holding landowner can designate one person annually to hold his/her exemption.

Hog hunter – a hunter who does not own land or who has not been named the landowner’s designee can hunt at night shoot pigs “under” the exemption of the landowner or his/her designee.  With a copy of the exemption and written landowner permission on their person.

What is required inside and outside of the deer gun season as it relates to night shooting?

Outside of the 16-day deer gun season:

- Everyone night shooting pigs must carry written permission from the landowner or landowner designee.

- At least one person in the group must have a copy of the exemption (from either the

landowner or his/her designee).

- Encouraged, but not required, to provide notification of night shooting activity to local game warden.


During the 16-day deer gun season:

- Only the landowner or the landowner designee (who has obtained the exemption) may night shoot.

- Family members (parents, kids, grandkids, sons/daughters-inlaws) of the landowner or the landowner designee can assist, including shooting.

- At least one person in the group must have a copy of the exemption (from either the landowner or his/her designee).

- The exemption holder (landowner or landowner designee) must be present.

- Some type of advance notification to the local game warden is required.

- If you are not the landowner, the landowner designee or family member (see above) you can not night shoot.

What’s legal for night shooting pigs under this exemption?

Persons shooting hogs at night on a night shooting exemption may not shoot from, to, on, or across any public roadway.

The following is legal when night shooting with this exemption:

Night vision

Thermal imaging

Infrared technology (night scopes)

Spot light including those mounted on firearms

Vehicle headlights or vehicle mounted lights (not on public roads)

Pursuit with vehicle such as an ATV (not on public roads)

Are there firearm restrictions when night shooting for pigs under this exemption?

No firearms restrictions.

How do I get a night shooting exemption?

Exemptions are available through an app, online or through the game warden in your county or adjoining.

To get the app through the app store on your Apple or Android by searching for Oklahoma Hog (the official name is OK Feral Hog Night Shooting Exemption App).

Exemptions are available online at wildlifedepartment.com

Fill out your basic information a copy of the exemption will be emailed to you or you can print one off.

If you choose not to use the app or the website you can call, text, or visit in person with your county game warden or adjoining county who will provide you an exemption.

What is the feral swine control act?

This is law established by the Oklahoma State Legislature as it relates wild pigs you can see the full law here: http://www.oda.state.ok.us/ais/rules-feralswine.pdf

What is the feral swine free zone?

Cimarron, Texas, Beaver, Harper, Woods, Ellis, Woodward, Garfield, Grant, Alfalfa counties make up the  feral swine free zone.
Transportation of live feral swine into, through, or within a feral swine free zone is prohibited.
Feral swine facilities are prohibited within the zone and licenses for existing feral swine facilities in the zone will not be renewed.
People can hunt or trap hogs in the zone and are required report any feral swine activity to the ODAFF, to include but not limited to any observation, capture, or kill.

What about “guided” hog hunts?

There are two options:

Hunt on private land

Hunt at a sporting facilities licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

Where can I find a list of licensed sporting facilities?

http://www.oda.state.ok.us/ais/feralswinefac.pdf

What are the rules at sporting facilities?

Same as on private lands. Additionally, hunters must have a $25 license from ODAFF. You can get that license here: http://kellysolutions.com/ok/swinehunter/newapplication/applynow.asp

What about Commercial Hunt Areas?

Commercial hunt areas are licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. These areas can not sell hog hunts, but hunters may shoot hogs if they are encountered on the area if allowed by the commercial hunt area. Hogs may be shot year round in commercial hunt areas.

Where can I find a list of hunters/trappers to remove hogs from my land?

The Oklahoma Feral Swine Hunter/Trapper Directory was developed by ODAFF to help connect landowners who want help controlling feral swine with feral swine hunters and trappers. The hunter/trapper directory will list contact information that will allow landowners to extend hunting offers to them. Landowners may contact listed feral swine hunters/trappers and arrive at mutually agreeable terms for hunting or trapping feral swine. You can see the directory here: http://www.oda.state.ok.us/ais/feralswinehuntersdir.pdf

Is it true that some feral hogs have rabies?

Hogs, like all mammals, can get rabies but it isn't very likely.

Is hunter safety required for hog hunting?

Hunter safety certification is not required specifically for hunting hogs. However, if you are hunting on public land or if you are hunting on private land during any firearms big game season, a hunting license and/or appropriate big game license is required, and these licenses may require proof of hunter safety certification to purchase.

If I shoot a hog and it runs onto someone else’s property, do the same rules apply as deer?

Yes, you will need to obtain landowner permission to retrieve the animal.

What will be the penalties for hunting hogs out of season or violating other hog hunting rules?

The fines will be similar to those for other game law violations. 

Do you have a list of hog hunting guides? 

The Department does not license guides and therefore does not maintain a list of guide services. You may be able to find a hog hunting guide by looking in the newspaper, on the Internet or at one of the state’s outdoor/hunting shows. 

 

 

Public Land

What kind of licenses do I need on public land?

A hunting license is required for hunting hogs on public land, unless exempt.

Additionally, if you are hunting during one of the following seasons with a shotgun and rifled slug, or any rifle or handgun larger than .22 caliber rimfire, you must possess a filled or unfilled license appropriate for the current season, unless otherwise exempt.

youth deer gun

bear muzzleloader (in open counties),

deer muzzleloader,

deer gun,

Holiday Antlerless Deer Gun (in open zones),

elk gun (in open counties)

antelope gun (in open areas)

What can I use to hunt pigs on public land?

Consult the Oklahoma Hunting Guide for most areas. However during any open deer and/or turkey season, only appropriate methods, hunting hours and legal equipment for that deer and/or turkey season are authorized for taking or pursuing feral hogs.

For instance you can not shoot at a pig:

with a .22 rifle if you are rabbit hunting on Oct. 15

with a shotgun if you are duck or quail hunting on Dec. 10

with a concealed carry gun while check traps or setting up tree stand on  or waterfowl hunting from Oct. 1-Jan 15 (deer archery season).

With a rifle while predator calling on Jan. 10

Can feral hogs may be removed alive from a WMA?

No, under no circumstances.

Can I trap hogs on WMAs?

Yes, but you can not use bait.

Can I shoot pigs at night on public lands?

No, under no circumstances (including while hunting furbearers).

Can I chase pigs at night with dogs on public lands?

Yes, but only outside of any open deer or turkey seasons. You can not shoot pigs at night on any public lands.

Can I run them with dogs for sport only on WMAs (during daylight hours)?

When there is a deer and/or turkey season open, hogs may not be taken or pursued with dogs on WMAs. Outside of deer and/or turkey seasons, you may utilize dogs to hunt hogs when there are other open seasons that allow for the use of dogs as a means of hunting.   

Can I hunt hogs on a WMA if  my hunting license is suspended or revoked?

No, you cannot hunt hogs on a WMA if you have a suspended or revoked license.  

If coyote season is open year-round on a WMA, does that mean that hog hunting is open year-round?

When there is a deer and/or turkey season open on the WMA, only appropriate methods, hunting hours, and weapons for that deer and/or turkey season are authorized for taking or pursuing feral hogs. Also, during the firearms deer seasons (muzzleloader, modern gun and special antlerless seasons) you must possess a filled or unfilled deer license for that appropriate season, and you must comply with other regulations that apply to that season (blaze orange requirements, for example).

Is hunter safety required for hog hunting?

Hunter safety certification is not required specifically for hunting hogs. However, if you are hunting on public land or if you are hunting on private land during any firearms big game season, a hunting license and/or appropriate big game license is required, and these licenses may require proof of hunter safety certification to purchase.

What if I am hunting with archery equipment or knife?

No hunting license needed for private land, but a hunting license is required for public land.

A filled or unfilled license (deer, elk, antelope, bear) is not required when you are not hunting with a shotgun and rifled slug, or any rifle or handgun larger than .22 caliber rimfire. You can not use dogs or a knife during any open big game seasons.

What is the best public land in the state to hunt hogs on?

Hog populations are variable and it is hard to determine the best public land on which to hunt hogs. Contact other hunters and area managers of public land for more information.