Sunday, November 2, 2014

One solution to state's wild pig problem: Eat them - Times Union

Click title for link to article. All 67 Florida counties have this problem. From Laura Reily at the Tampa Bay Times we have this piece about a big problem and the solution:
When life hands you nuisance pigs, make pork chops.
And since Florida has an estimated 1 million feral pigs — the most in the country per square mile — Charlotte County rancher Keith Mann saw an opportunity to capitalize on that idea in a novel way.
He has established a working relationship with trappers, USDAinspectors and the restaurant community to bring this new "naturally raised," ''free-range," ''sustainable" and "local" food source to market. Already presiding over Florida's largest bison herd at his Three Suns Ranch, Mann launched his feral pig program this spring, a win-win for homeowners, trappers and restaurant patrons alike. The only losers are the pigs.
Opportunistic omnivores, the pigs breed swiftly, squeeze out other wildlife and wreak havoc on golf courses, agricultural land and even backyard sod. Roaming in all 67 counties of the state, they have been trapped and hunted for decades. There is no season, no size or bag limits or restrictions on harvesting either gender — all this has made wild pigs the second-most popular hunted wildlife in the state behind white-tailed deer.