Wildlife managers often tolerate a few wild hogs, but there are so many on the 11,200-acre Box-R Wildlife Management Area in Franklin and Gulf counties they are destroying agricultural fields, native plants and habitat.
As a result, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will allow nighttime hog hunts May 8-10, June 12-14, July 10-12, Aug. 14-16, and Sept. 11-13.
The hunts are by quota permit, with 10 quota permits issued for each three-day hunt. Up to two hunters may hunt per quota permit. They may possess only one firearm.
Hog dogs are legal to use and encouraged on this dusk-to-dawn hunt. Up to three dogs may be used at a time.
Jerry Pitts is the Box-R wildlife biologist and said still-hunters began hunting hogs on the area in the 2004-05 hunting season. Since then, hunters have killed an average of 14 hogs per year, but that hasn’t come close to slowing the growth of the wild hog population.
Anyone interested in applying for the May-July hunts can do so beginning April 21 at 10 a.m. (EDT) through the Total Licensing System at county tax collectors’ offices or online on a first-come, first-served basis at MyFWC.com/License.
A separate application and subsequent drawing will be held in July for the Aug. 14-16 and Sept. 11-13 hunts.
There will be no size or bag limits on hogs. No live hogs may be removed from the area.