CA Considering Removing Feral Hogs’ “Game Animal” Status?
May 5, 2014
That may be a misleading headline since it’s apparently pretty early in the game here, but according to a revised bill, AB2268, from Anthony Rendon, this may be part of new laws and regulations intended to get a grip on the booming, CA hog population.
The full text of the bill can be read online, at the LegInfo website, but here’s a quick summary of what I read.
First of all, the bill calls for the CA DFW to conduct a study on the population of the CA wild hogs in order to get a realistic, current picture of the extent of the animals and their impacts on habitat and agriculture. While the original justification of the wild pig tags was to cover the costs of this kind of research, it’s apparent that there are more questions and speculation than there are empirical facts. More research needs to be done, and realistic (science-based) management plans need to be drafted.
Among other recommendations in the bill are the suggestions that wild pigs should no longer be classified as game animals (a designation they’ve held since 1957). This classification imposes limitations on hunters, such as the requirement to buy a tag for each pig killed. These limitations, in turn, reduce the wild pig harvest. The game animal status also puts limitations on landowners by restricting depredation efforts.
Personally, I think it’s about time someone stepped up and took a hard look at the way CA is managing the wild pig population. I’m sure that someone, somewhere in the DFW, saw the popularity of pig hunting as a potential cash cow for the Golden State’s coffers, but with pig tags running about the same price as deer tags, the number of pigs being killed (legally) by sport hunters will be limited.
AB2268 is definitely worth keeping an eye on, and as I keep saying… CA hunters, step up and make your voices heard. Get educated and get involved if you want to see positive change in your state.