The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is reminding deer hunters that the Division has issued a Special Wildlife Management Permit to control feral hogs in Deer Management Zones 25 and 65. Feral hogs compete with wildlife for available food sources, prey upon ground-nesting birds and small mammals and may carry disease. The increase in the population of feral hogs has also resulted in damage to lawns, golf courses, farm crops and forests in Gloucester County.
Feral hogs may be pursued during the season dates prescribed for Deer Management Zones 25 and 65 only. Sportsmen and sportswomen will be permitted to shoot free-ranging feral hogs of either gender and any age while deer hunting during the all deer seasons, provided they have not reached the season bag limit for deer and have the appropriate permit for DMZ 25 and/or DMZ 65 during permit seasons.
The bag limit for feral hogs is unlimited. Shooting is permitted only Monday through Saturday during legal deer hunting hours. Archers may pursue feral hogs on Sundays during the fall bow, permit bow and winter bow seasons, while pursuing deer on Wildlife Management Areas and private properties. Only weapons authorized for deer hunting may be used to take feral hogs. Hogs may be harvested anywhere in these zones. Written permission must be obtained from the landowner to pursue feral hogs on private property.
Sportsmen who harvest a feral hog must call the Division’s Nacote Creek Office at 609-748-2044 to schedule an appointment to check in their hogs. Feral hogs must be checked to be legally possessed. Harvested feral hogs may be retained for personal consumption. Sportsmen are responsible for the butchering and disposal of the carcass.
Deer hunters are advised that people can contract diseases from infected feral hogs. Plastic or rubber gloves should be worn while field-dressing feral hogs. Unwanted entrails should be burned, buried or disposed of to prevent access by animals. Work surfaces and utensils used to field-dress and butcher hogs should be cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of disease. Feral hog meat should be thoroughly cooked before it is eaten.
The special permit offers sportsmen and sportswomen a unique opportunity to assist the Division of Fish and Wildlife in protecting New Jersey’s natural resources and species biodiversity. Though the known population of feral hogs in New Jersey is currently small, hunters can help eradicate them before they become well established and negatively affect the state’s natural heritage.