The state Department of Conservation has agreed to ban feral hog hunting on federal land, including the Mark Twain National Forest. Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe says he understands the problems feral hogs are causing farmers in southern Missouri. Twelve years ago, Kehoe had 80 feral hogs on his farm – where they trapped 32 and killed 32.

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City). Photo courtesy, Missouri State Senate Communications.

“They can destroy property overnight,” he says.

Kehoe says he also understands the federal government has concerns about hunting feral hogs on public lands. He says it’s a fine line and an emotional discussion.

“How much of these are people who want to hunt (feral hogs) for the sport and how many of these people interested in this issue are farmers trying to protect, in my case, hay fields? Other cases might be soybeans, corn, etc,” says Kehoe.

Farmers who border the national forest are upset about the ban but Kehoe says everyone needs to give the Conservation Department a chance to see if its new plan of stepping up trapping and hunting works.

“They (Conservation) feel like they have a solution that might work. The average rural Missourian who understands what wild hogs are like feel like their solution will never work,” he says. “And that’s where the rub is right now.”

Kehoe says government should show the data and be held accountable if it doesn’t.

By Julie Harker of Brownfield Ag News