Last week, we discussed some of the challenges that feral swine have brought to the Southeastern U.S. and why the feral swine population has become such an issue. It’s clear that this nuisance species is not going anywhere, so what can we do about them? Unfortunately, control and management of feral swine is not an easy task, nor is it one and done – it will take a lot of ongoing collaboration between homeowners, farmers, and other stakeholders.

            First and foremost- it’s important to recognize that our goal is management and reduction of population, not eradication. Eradication, or completely removing every feral swine within the state of Georgia, is simply not practical and is, quite frankly, impossible. Managing and reducing populations however, is possible and encouraged. As I mentioned, control and management are a long-term effort, not something that can be done once and forgotten about. Methods of population control include shooting, exclusion and fending, aerial control, chemical means, and trapping.

            Some methods of control are better than others. Feral swine can be excluded from an area with solid fencing such as electric or wire mesh, which need to be a minimum of 48-60” tall. Fencing can be expensive, hard to maintain, and is not the most practical method of control for most landowners.  Aerial control can be an effective method of feral swine management, but only on large acreages – several thousand acres. It is not effective or practical for small acreages. Shooting, which use weapons to remove individual animals from the sounder, can be effective for immediate results – such as removing pigs from a golf course or cemetery, or frightening them from a newly planted field. Unfortunately, shooting feral pigs is not very effective for long-term management. It only harvests a few of the pigs in the group and often teaches other pigs in the sounder to avoid bait. Every pig that is not harvested via shooting is free to go reproduce and replace those that were. Chemical controls such as poison bait or reproductive intervention are not recommended means for controlling or managing feral swine populations at this time.

            The best option for feral swine management is trapping, typically with large, corral style enclosures. Trapping allows the landowner to capture the entire sounder of pigs at once – if you have 12 coming on a game camera, you want to be sure to trap all 12 at once. If you trap 11 of them, that free pig can contribute 24 offspring in the next 12-14 months, and you’re back at square one. Trapping requires that land be scouted to determine where the sounder of pigs is traveling and spending time, then pre-baiting the area. Pre-baiting encourages pigs to gather in the trap area and reduces apprehension and fear. As the site is pre-baited, the trap can slowly be built around the feed location a piece at a time – this takes time and patience to do right. Once the trap is fully built and set, the sounder should come to feed, and the trap can be sprung when all animals are inside. After trapping, the entire sounder should be humanely euthanized and disposed of following state and local regulations.

            The Georgia Feral Swine Partnership has a great website with further information available at If you need additional resources, please contact us at or 706-359-3233.

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