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Feral hog elimination efforts led by Missouri partnership
Missouri Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

Kevin Crider, a former state trooper and park ranger, now works as a feral hog outreach educator in Missouri, where he is part of the Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership.

This initiative, funded by the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill and managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, involves over 15 federal and state entities working together to eliminate feral hogs on public and private lands. Crider and other educators collaborate with landowners to address the feral hog problem, which threatens Missouri's hay, beef, and forestry industries.

Despite making progress and reducing feral hog numbers by almost 65% in Missouri watersheds since 2016, challenges remain due to the animals' rapid reproduction rates and the diseases they can carry. These invasive hogs not only harm agriculture and forestry but also pose risks to humans and livestock through disease transmission.

Additionally, their behavior, such as creating roadway hazards and causing damage to ecosystems, makes them a problem that needs ongoing attention. Trapping feral hogs is a complex task, as they can become trap-shy and scatter when threatened. The animals tend to hide in dense forests, travel at night in groups called sounders, and root up the ground while foraging for food.

The Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership employs various methods, including drone surveys and traps hoisted off the ground into trees, to capture the animals. Eliminated feral hogs on public lands cannot be processed for human consumption due to disease concerns. The partnership also works to repair the damage caused by feral hogs, providing equipment like no-till drills, cultipackers, and harrows for land restoration purposes. Although progress has been made in combating feral hogs in Missouri, the ongoing efforts of experts like Kevin Crider are crucial to protecting the state's agriculture and environment.

To report feral hog damage or receive assistance, call the Missouri Department of Conservation at 573-522-4115 ext. 3296 or visit

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