Oklahomans can remove feral hogs from their land without any restrictions, under a bill unanimously approved today by the Oklahoma Senate. SB 1142, by Sen. Nathan Dahm and Rep. Sean Roberts, allows Oklahomans to remove feral hogs at any time of day without a permit.
“(The bill) allows for the hunting of feral hogs on land, at night specifically, without having to get the permission in advance,” Dahm said, while explaining the measure on the Senate floor. “This will help us to eradicate more of the feral hog population in Oklahoma.”
Feral hogs are an invasive species that cost U.S. property owners an estimated $1.5 billion in damage per year. Seventy percent of the population must be removed each year to control the species, according to the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.
“Feral hogs are costly and harmful to Oklahoma farms, ranches, private and public land, and ecosystems,” Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan said in a statement. “SB 1142 gives our farmers, ranchers and landowners the ability to further protect their property from the species.”
Hunting results in the removal of less than 5 percent of the species, but Buchanan said OKFB is supportive of any measure to help eradicate feral hogs.
“They are 300-pound rats,” Roberts said, discussing the bill on the House floor April 21. “They are an invasive species and need to be taken out. By removing the restrictions, if it helps reduce (the population) even a little bit, then we need to do it.”
The bill originated in the Senate as a game warden bill, but was amended by the House in late April. The House amendments were approved by the Senate today and sent to Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk for approval.