North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Feral Swine

Scientific Name: Sus scrofa
Classification: Nongame
Abundance: Disjunct populations statewide.

   
 

North Carolina Wild Boars/Feral Swine

In the early 1900’s, wild boar were introduced from Europe to a private game reserve in Graham County, North Carolina.  Some animals escaped and thrived, spreading to other mountain counties and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The wild boar persisted in western North Carolina and some interbreeding with domestic swine occurred due to free-range farm practices, releases, or escaped domestic stock.  In1979 the wild boar was given the status of game animal by the N.C.Legislature.  Wild swine have appeared in other areas of the state due to free-range farm practices and intentional stocking by private individuals.  Populations of free-ranging feral swine continue to grow and spread in North Carolina.  

Feral swine can significantly impact plant communities and wildlife habitat because they root through the ground’s surface in search of food.  Feral swine destroy agricultural crops and other property and pose a substantial disease risk for both domestic swine and wildlife.  Due to these factors and the invasive nature of feral swine, they are considered to be an undesirable species on North Carolina’s landscape.

“Wild boar”, “feral hogs”, feral swine, and domestic swine are all the same species (Sus scrofa).  In 2011 the status of all free ranging swine (including “wild boar” in the historic counties) was changed from a game animal to a nongame animal with no closed hunting season.  Thus the recognition of wild boar as a big game animal ended.  NCWRC biologists no longer tract the harvest of these animals thorough the big game harvest reporting system.  The harvest of feral swine is monitored through our annual hunter harvest survey that provides biologists with an annual estimate of harvest.

In counties of North Carolina where “wild boar” historically existed, many people still hunt the feral swine using traditional methods like hunting with hounds.  However, across NC people hunt using various methods and at all times of the year.   As the range and destructive nature of feral swine has expanded,management efforts have changed from managing a game species to attempting to contain and control the spread of a destructive species across the landscape.  

Historic records of harvest (prior to 2011) can be found at “Harvest Reports as of 2010” tab.

Annual harvest estimates after 2010 can be found at “Survey Results” tab.

 All persons hunting feral swine at any time must have a valid hunting license or must be exempt from having a license pursuant to GS 113-276.

Feral swine may be hunted year round.  There is no closed season and there is no bag limit. Hunters may hunt feral swine at night with lights. Hunters may use electronic calls for hunting feral swine.

Hunters should reference the N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for all rules associated with hunting feral swine.

The goal of recent legislative changes and rule modifications is to make it easier to remove feral swine from the landscape and to prevent relocation and establishment of feral swine in areas they do not currently exist.  These exotic non-native animals compete with native wildlife and pose significant threats to the environment and agricultural operations.  The WRC will continue to evaluate opportunities to facilitate aggressive removal of feral swine.


 

The trapping of feral swine is legal under the following conditions:
  • Persons desiring to trap feral swine must have a valid hunting or trapping license and a free Feral Swine Trapping Permit issued by the NCWRC.  Landholders and other licensed exempt individuals are not required to possess a hunting or trapping license but must have a Feral Swine Trapping Permit in order to trap.
  • There is no closed season and no bag limits for trapping feral swine.
  • Individuals assisting with feral swine trapping activities must have a copy of the trapping permit in their possession in the absence of the permit holder.
  • Only box and corral traps are legal for trapping feral swine under the Feral Swine Trapping Permit.  Corral traps may not exceed 10,000 sq. feet in size.
  • The Feral Swine Trapping Permit Number must be displayed on all traps.
  • Feral swine traps must be constructed in a manner such that a non-target animal can easily be released or can escape without harm.
  • Feral swine must be euthanized while in the trap and may not be removed alive from any trap.
  • Permit does not authorize access to any property. Trapper must obtain all necessary permissions from the landholder(s) to lawfully trap on private or public property.
  • The Feral Swine Trapping Permit does not grant access to trap feral swine on NC Game Lands.  In addition to this permit and all other required licenses, written permission to trap feral swine on Game Lands must be obtained from NCWRC.

Individuals that wish to trap feral swine on their lands for depredation purposes can use the Feral Swine Trapping Permit to conduct those activities.  If conditions or situations arise that prohibit trapping under the conditions and terms described above you may contact the WRC Communications Center at (919) 707-0040 and request to be contacted by a local Wildlife Enforcement Officer to discuss other alternatives such as a Wildlife Depredation Permits. Depredation Permits may allow the trapping of feral swine outside of the above parameters.  Depredation permits require demonstration of property damage, threat to human safety, or documented overabundance.  Depredation permits will not allow the removal of live swine from a trap, that activity is prohibited by GS 113-291.12.

The goal of recent legislative changes and rule modifications is to make it easier to remove feral swine from the landscape and to prevent relocation and establishment of feral swine in areas they do not currently exist.  These exotic non-native animals compete with native wildlife and pose significant threats to the environment and agricultural operations.  The WRC will continue to evaluate opportunities to facilitate aggressive removal of feral swine.

 

Obtain Feral Swine Trapping Permit

 
         

Renew Feral Swine Trapping Permit


 

By Year

By Game Land

By Weapon Type And Use of Dog


2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

2007-08

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

 


2010-11

2009-10

2008-09

 

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