In an attempt to reduce the population of feral swine in the state, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now regulating the release, transportation and harvest of the animals. Chris Young with the IDNR told us the new rule makes it illegal to hunt or shoot feral swine outside of the firearm, muzzleloader, later-winter antlerless and CWD deer seasons. During those seasons, if a hunter is legally hunting deer and sees a wild hog, they are allowed to shoot it.
“We are trying very hard to control the numbers of wild pigs—or feral swine—that are found in Illinois because they’re very destructive to wildlife habitats. They breed prolifically, and they eat just about everything and by rooting, they’re very destructive to habitats,” Young told WGEL. “So we don’t want them spreading in Illinois, we don’t want to create a demand for the animals if people think they come here to hunt them. We don’t want to create a business that’s around hog hunting.
“So the idea is, yes, we want our hunters to help us control the population, but we want them to do it during the firearm deer season, that way we can hopefully keep a culture of wild hog hunting from developing in Illinois.”
Hunters who encounter wild hogs when deer hunting are required to report the harvest of feral swine. They will then be allowed to keep the meat if they desire. Landowners who see wild hogs on their property are asked to call the IDNR staff for assistance in removing the swine at no charge. To report feral swine, call Doug Dufford at 815-369-2414.