Wild Hogs Taking Over Tennessee Counties - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Wild Hogs Taking Over Tennessee Counties

Posted: Updated:

By Adam Ghassemi

LEWISBURG, Tenn.  – Tom Tindell should be getting ready to harvest crops that straddle the Maury and Marshall County line.

Instead, in all his years as a farmer, he has never seen anything like this.

"It'll blow your mind," Tindell said.

Acres of corn are gone.

"You can tell how they've pretty well just devoured it," he said walking through his field.

The problem started last year when Tindell lost a quarter of his crops not to disease, weather or deer, but wild hogs that attack an entire corn field one stalk at a time, taking every ear and leaving nothing behind.

Tindell's son, Thomas, has killed a handful of hogs, including a 400-pound boar.

"It looked like Hogzilla," Thomas Tindell said.

The family is working with the state to bait and trap as many as they can.

Maury County Wildlife Officer Mark Ventura calls it a crisis created by people who released the hogs for hunting. One sow can have as many as 20 piglets a year, quickly multiplying this into millions of dollars in damage.

"There's counties south of here where the hogs are so well established that we just try to manage them now, we can't eradicate them. We don't want to get to that point," said Ventura.

Earlier this year, the state reclassified wild hogs as nuisance animals allowing Tindell to recruit up to ten people to kill them year round.

"If we can stay on top of it I think we can keep them at bay," Tindell said.

Now they have to keep fighting a problem -- believed to be created by hunters -- before counties across Tennessee are overrun.

"They're here, and I imagine the rest of my career I will be fighting them here in the county," Ventura said.

Wild hogs are a non-native species that state wildlife officials want to eradicate. In East Tennessee, hunters upset the animal can no longer be hunted for sport are believed to have sabotaged traps and state vehicles.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is working to increase penalties for anyone caught releasing hogs into the wild.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
Facebook: facebook.com/NC5AdamGhassemi
Twitter: twitter.com/NC5_AGhassemi

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.