Feral hog population grows in Bourbon County

Feral hog population grows in Bourbon County
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While not native to Kansas, a large population of feral hogs live in Bourbon County; and they’re causing problems.

One Bourbon County commissioner is frustrated with the statutes in place that govern how land owners can handle hogs on their property.

“The problem is we don’t have enough people on the ground to hunt these hogs out, the statutes are very clear that they can’t be hunted for recreation, you cannot keep them on your property for sanctuary or sport hunting, so you know there’s a very clear line where these statute goes which is absolutely no enforcement,” commissioner Lynne Oharah said.

Landowners can allow private hunters or USDA government hunters on their property to kill the hogs, but the population bounces back fast. A single feral sow can give birth to three litters of ten hogs apiece in one year.

Feral hogs tear up land, river banks, uproot crops and can pollute water supply.

“One of the problems we’re running into with hogs is they’ll go across the property we don’t have access to, and we can’t cross that property,” Oharah said.

These hogs are costing farmers thousands of dollars. Oharah said feral hogs will eat anything they can gain access to that has a calorie.

Oharah served as a state representative from 2005 to 2007 where he tried to induce stricter statutes. Because hogs are only a problem in limited areas in the state, the issue doesn’t get the attention Oharah thinks it deserves.

“Bourbon County’s not gonna be unique, they’re gonna actually spread if we can’t control them,” Oharah said.