Workshop aims to tackle feral hog problem

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MONTICELLO -- Feral hogs have long run wild in Arkansas, and a control workshop slated for Feb. 23 at the Drew County Farm Bureau office aims to tackle the problem.

Drought drove feral hog populations in Arkansas closer to humans in 2011, and property owners are looking for methods to control the beasts, who can uproot gardens, lawns and crops, eat most anything and may spread disease to livestock and waterways.

The goal of the workshop is to educate and inform while providing control methods. On the agenda:

* Natural history and biology, including facts, range, habitat and reproduction, by Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County extension staff chair, U of A System Division of Agriculture;

*Disease and damage issues, by Becky McPeake, professor and extension specialist-wildlife, U of A System Division of Agriculture or Clint Turnage, wildlife disease biologist, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service;

* Hunting and trapping methods, including viewing of traps and a trapping demonstration, by Scott Crabb, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC);

*Hunting and trapping regulations, by Doug Pearce, retired AGFC wildlife officer;

*Field dressing and disposal, including meat prep and recipes, by Pearce;

*Control resources, including publications, websites and videos, by A.J. Hood, Desha County extension agent, U of A System Division of Agriculture.

The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. after a catered lunch. For more information, contact Wes Kirkpatrick at (870) 222-3972 or wkirkpatrick@uaex.edu to register by Feb. 21.

For more information on feral hogs, visit www.arnatural.org/feralhogs, www.uaex.edu or contact your county extension office.

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