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Hog Wild - Hunting Feral Pigs on Alabama's WMAs
By Gene Carver, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Hunting feral hogs has become very popular with some Alabama hunters. Feral hogs can provide a thrilling hunting experience and tasty eating afterwards. Several Alabama Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) provide opportunities to bag a wild pig.
Feral hog populations have greatly increased in Alabama since the 1980s. Before that time, feral hogs were located mostly in south Alabama with highest numbers found along the lower Tombigbee and Alabama rivers. Hogs have spread to northern portions of the state as a result of individuals illegally relocating feral hogs into new areas and some natural dispersion. The human relocation of hogs has resulted in feral hogs on many of Alabama’s WMAs.
Hog population densities on WMAs vary greatly, as does hunter success. Most hogs killed on WMAs are a result of one hunter disturbing a hog and it running by another hunter. But, a few WMAs have populations high enough to provide better hunter success.
Alabama has 35 WMAs located in five management districts throughout the state. Each district has WMAs with huntable numbers of hogs. Remember, each WMA has a separate map permit and may have different hunting season dates and regulations. Check out the available information before you go. Feral hogs may be killed during any scheduled hunt with any weapon legal for that type hunt.
In northwest Alabama, Freedom Hills, Seven-mile Island and the northwest corner of Black Warrior WMA provide the best opportunities. Some northeast Alabama WMAs have small numbers of hogs. These include James D. Martin-Skyline, Little River and Choccolocco.
In west central Alabama, Oakmulgee WMA and the surrounding Talladega National Forest have the highest populations with lower numbers on Wolf Creek and Mulberry Fork WMAs.
East central Alabama’s Lowndes WMA has the highest number of feral hogs per acre. Smaller hog populations can be found on Coosa and Hollins WMAs.
In southwest Alabama, the best opportunities are found on the Upper Delta, Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and the W.L. Holland WMAs. Scotch, Frank W. and Rob M. Boykin WMAs have smaller populations. Southeast Alabama has small hog populations on Blue Springs and Covington WMAs.
Transporting live feral hogs from one property to another is illegal in Alabama. Do not move live feral hogs! Feral hogs are carriers of diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis, pseudorabies, and tuberculosis. Many of these diseases can be transmitted to humans and can pose serious problems for domestic livestock. Feral hogs cause severe damage to foraging and nesting habitat for native birds and mammals. DO NOT MOVE LIVE FERAL HOGS!!!!
Hunting Alabama’s WMAs for feral hogs is more popular today than ever before. With a little research, field work, and luck, you may be able to sample some of Alabama’s WMA wild hogs.
For more information, contact Gene Carver at P.O. Box 27, Hollins, AL 35082.