Hunters with a valid hunting license of any type are encouraged to shoot feral swine (free-ranging wild pigs) in counties shaded in gray on the map below. All prevailing hunting rules and regulations apply. In states where feral swine have become established, they have caused crop damage, pose a serious threat to the health and welfare of the domestic swine, endanger humans, impact wildlife populations, and impact the environment by disrupting the ecosystem.
Officials from the Michigan Departments of Agriculture (MDA) and Natural Resources (DNR) encouraged hunters with a valid hunting license of any type to shoot feral swine (free-ranging wild pigs) in all lower Michigan counties except Leelanau, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Manistee, Kalkaska, Muskegon, VanBuren, Missaukee, Huron and Macomb.
In states where feral swine have become established, they have caused crop damage, pose a serious threat to the health and welfare of the domestic swine, endanger humans, impact wildlife populations, and impact the environment by disrupting the ecosystem.
Because state law protects livestock that may be running at large, special precautions are necessary to guard the rights of farmers. The following locations have had at least one feral pig reported: Arenac, Bay, Baraga, Clinton, Cheboygan, Gladwin, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Isabella, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Roscommon, and Saginaw counties. County prosecutors are aware that shooting feral swine in these counties is permitted and any potential owners of the feral swine have been contacted and do not claim ownership.
"Hunters, as always, have to be certain of their targets before shooting," said Alan Marble, Bureau Chief of the DNR Law Enforcement Division. "Feral Swine are unfamiliar targets to most Michigan hunters, and sports persons need to make sure they are shooting at hogs and not black bear, dogs, or any other animal."
While there is no indication that these animals are carrying pseudorabies or any other disease, precautionary testing will be conducted. Feral swine may also transmit diseases such as brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis (TB) and trichinosis to people and other livestock.
A person field-dressing swine, especially in the Northeastern Lower Michigan TB area, should wear gloves. If the lungs, ribcage or internal organs from wild pigs look abnormal (multiple tan or yellow lumps), the meat should not be eaten. The carcass should, however, be removed from the environment and brought to a DNR field office to prevent disease transmission to other animals.
To help eliminate these pests, the DNR encourages hunters to take any legal opportunity to shoot feral swine. They can be unpredictable when and where they show up. Hunters may not easily get a second chance. (Tip) When shooting a pig, aim for the shoulder or slightly ahead of the shoulder. The vital area of a pig is more forward than a deer.
Written By: Mike Girolami, President of WorkWear1, www.workwear1.com, a Local Distributor of Carhartt Clothing, Redford MI