You are here

They Hunt Hogs At Big South Fork National River And Recreation Area And Obed Wild And Scenic River


Not too many units of the National Park System allow hunting within their borders, but Big South Fork National River and Recreation along the Tennessee-Kentucky line is one that does. And come Saturday a hog hunting season, which runs through February, will kick off in the park as well as at the Obed Wild and Scenic River.

A permit is still required to hunt hogs during this season and may be purchased at the Bandy Creek Visitor Center, the Obed Wild and Scenic River Visitor Center, or online. The permit costs $5, and those who purchase the permit will be requested to participate in a survey at a later date. A valid hunting license is required to purchase the permit. Dogs may not be used to hunt hogs.


That is very interesting news. It's a very long hunting-season, too, about 5 months.

Although hunting is still not common in Park units, discussion of it has become virtually a constant, and the 'level' at which it is discussed & considered, has gotten steadily more solid & weighty.

Of course, it will be hunting in the 'classic' Park units, that will be News.

Are there any prospects for that? Yes there are; a number of them actually in which it has had a seat at the table, for some time now. It looks like just a matter of time, and the proper context & circumstances.

I live immediately next to Olympic National Park, and it is always in our news. Park-enthusiasts will mostly know that early in the 20th C., non-native mountain goats where introduced, and that efforts to suppress or exterminate them have been underway, for decades.

Those of us who watch Olympic closely, and/or live here, were in recent years surprised to see the goats return to places in which they had been extirpated. These are the popular & high-use tourist destination sites, which are the easiest places to control goats, and the first places from which they were eliminated.

Now, they're back. And tourists will be tourists, and the goats know it. They can actually 'bother' people who are not seeking them. A man was gored to death a few years back, by an aggressive billie.

Certainly, the "real" Environmental enthusiast Park professionals absolutely loath the goats. It was their idea, plan and project, to remove them from Olympic. That they are now back, in a high-profile way, and 100s of thousands of tourists go home with their wonderful goat-pictures & footage, and taunt their friends & relatives ... "We saw goats! They came right up to us! Ohhh .... look at this picture of the darling little baby!!!", sticks in their craw something terrible.

It's almost as though Yellowstone were to resume using an open garbage dump, lure the bears in, and put up bleachers for the tourists. The professionals are appalled.

Bottom line: the "out" in the reality that we & Park professionals have to work within, appears to have made the goat-hunt option an attractive choice. Many familiar with the situation think it looks like Olympic is just bidding their time for the right moment.

And Olympic is not only a 'classic', it's a major "Wilderness".

When it comes to "wild hogs," this is one situation where the goal should be to eradicate every one of these very destructive animals, but unfortunately that's an unattainable goal. In some locations, people have advocated introducing them or maintaining populations for sport hunting, but I can say from personal experience with wild hogs as a former landowner in Texas, that's an enormous mistake.

According to Mississippi State University, "A conservative estimate of the cost of wild pig damage to agriculture and the environment in the United States currently stands at $1.5 billion annually."

Here's a brief summary of information from the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management (a consortium from several universities) and the Texas Cooperative Extension Service.

"Wild pigs include both feral hogs (domestic swine that have escaped captivity) and wild boar, native to Eurasia but introduced to North America to interbreed with feral hogs. The wild pig is the most prolific large wild mammal in North America. Given adequate nutrition, a wild pig population can double in just 4 months."

Predation of livestock and wildlife by feral hogs can be a serious problem in some areas, and they cause enormous damage to natural areas such as parks and forests, agricultural fields and managed landscapes such as lawns and golf courses. For examples, there's a "slide show" at this site, which includes considerable damage at Vicksburg National Military Park.

Texas has the right approach for hunting these pests: "Feral hogs are considered free-ranging exotic animals and may be taken at any time of the year by any legal means." Even with that approach, the wild hog population is growing rapidly in that state.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide