April 30, 2014 —
ALBANY, NY — Joe Martens, the commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced on April 28 that the state had formally adopted a regulation prohibiting the hunting or trapping of wild boars, also known as Eurasian boars.
The policy of the DEC is to attempt to eliminate wild boar populations from the wild, so it might seem that shooting wild boars would work in tandem with the goal of the DEC. But according to the DEC, shooting a single wild boar or two makes the eradication effort more difficult.
“As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts. Eurasian boars often join together to form a ‘sounder,’ the name for a group of pigs that can number 20 or more individuals. Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method [and] often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove.”
Martins also said that the DEC places bait at certain locations in an attempt to trap the animals, and hunters who pursue boars into baited areas can disrupt the efforts, which the DEC calls expensive and labor intensive. The new regulation prohibits anyone from disturbing DEC traps or from otherwise interfering with the eradication effort.
Hunters will still be allowed to shoot wild boards in “enclosed hunting preserves” until September 1, 2015.
Populations of wild boars have been confirmed in six counties in New York, including Sullivan and Delaware. These populations are believed to have started primarily from wild boars that have escaped from hunting preserves that raised them to be hunted.
There was one such population in the vicinity of Perry Road in the Town of Bethel, which has been discussed several times over the past couple of years.
Most recently, in October 2013, Bethel supervisor Dan Sturm said he had contacted the owner of the property who had agreed to fix his fences so that the boars could no longer escape and roam wild. Wild boars take a heavy toll on agricultural land and the environment.
The DEC advises anyone who sees a wild boar, whether dead or alive, to try to get a picture of it, so that DEC officials will have a better opportunity of determining whether the pig is Eurasion, pot belly or domestic. The agency also asks that sightings be reported to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office. Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org  and include “Eurasian boar” in the subject line.