Feral hog kills now outstrip annual deer harvest, LDWF says
While loss of habitat is likely a main driver in Louisiana’s falling deer populations, biologists say feral hogs “continue to be a primary concern” even as the number of hogs killed is skyrocketing.
A mail survey of hunters indicates 299,500 hogs were killed during the 2014-15 hunting season, according to the 2014-15 Louisiana Deer Report.
That’s a staggering 63-percent increase from the 183,600 hog kills reported in the 2013-14 deer report.
And, even more telling, is the comparison of hog kills to last season’s deer harvest.
“The mail survey hog harvest estimate was … over twice the current deer harvest estimate and higher than any recorded deer harvest estimate,” the 2014-15 report states.
The report attributed the transport of hogs from region to region as being one of the “areas of concern.”
Those who move hogs around in the belief that they are simply increasing their hunting options should understand that hogs aren’t a benign addition — the species actually impacts the ability of deer to survive.
“Hog populations affect deer numbers through direct competition for food resources and fawn predation,” the report sated. “Hogs carry infectious diseases such as Leptospirosis, brucellosis and pseudo-rabies.”