Do you hunt in Michigan? Have you encountered or seen feral swine while in the field? Michigan State University is conducting a study on the impact of invasive wild boars in Michigan. They need hunters to complete a survey as part of their research.
Feral Swine are a serious problem in the United States. In southern states like Florida, Mississippi, and Texas, feral swine cause millions of dollars in damage to forests and agriculture. The population of feral swine is so large there is no way the pigs will ever be eradicated, and management programs instead try to keep the population from growing too fast.
The Michigan DNR insists feral swine are a real problem, and they have been taking strong measures to eradicate the population before it becomes an epidemic in Michigan, as it has in the Southern United States. In 2010 a law was passed that allows hunters in the field to shoot any and all feral pigs on sight, regardless of the hunting season. If you’re hunting squirrel and see a feral pig, you can shoot it. Good luck bringing down an adult wild pig with a squirrel gun, but you get the idea.
In 2011 the Michigan DNR decided they had to eliminate any possibility of pigs going wild in the state by aggressively going after farmers who raised Sus scrofa as livestock. These pigs were introduced by farmers raising them for meat, or for hunting vacation packages such as in the Upper Peninsula. A new invasive species order made it illegal to raise “exotic” or “heritage” pigs for meat or sport hunting, including pigs cross-bred with domestic pigs. Pig farmers all over the state were ordered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to kill off their stock or pay hefty fines. These pig farmers pointed out that one of the groups behind the invasive species order was the Michigan Pork Producers Association.
So now a survey to find out if feral pigs are as widespread as the Michigan DNR claims is available. You need to be a Michigan resident and 18 years old to participate in the survey.