WHEREAS, hunting is a sport pursued and enjoyed by many Louisianans and provides significant revenue for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), both through the sale of hunting licenses and the federal excise taxes on arms and ammunition returned to the state through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pitman-Robertson)Program, and
WHEREAS, hunting has a significant positive impact on the State’s economy through the leasing of hunting lands and the sale of firearms and ammunition, vehicles, and a great quantity and variety of hunting gear used in the sport, and
WHEREAS, hunting opportunity in Louisiana keeps many hunters engaged and is vital to recruitment of new hunters, and
WHEREAS, the recruitment of new hunters is vital to both LDWF and the future of hunting, and
WHEREAS, the LDWF expends considerable resources in managing the state’s white-tailed deer herds and in responding to any threats to the health of the whitetail population, as it should given the importance of this resource, and
WHEREAS, the presence and increasing populations of feral hogs (Sus scrofa) on many LDWF Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and other privately-owned and public lands in the state represents a significant threat to the state’s native white-tailed deer herds since hogs eat many foods that deer depend on, and
WHEREAS, the capacity of feral hogs to reproduce far exceeds the reproductive capacity of deer; free-ranging hogs can quickly overwhelm the capacity of the habitat to produce forage for deer and other wildlife, and
WHEREAS, efforts to control or eliminate feral hog populations have been ineffective thus far due to restrictions on methods of take and the times and length of the season during which feral hogs may be taken, such as not allowing nighttime hunting during open seasons and restrictions on the methods used to kill or capture feral hogs on LDWF WMAs, lack of state laws and regulations prohibiting the release of domestic hogs and the release of captured hogs onto public or private lands, and lack of a bounty or any incentives to encourage landowners and the public to take feral hogs.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) urges the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries Commission (LWFC) to act swiftly and decisively to lift or ease current restrictions on taking feral hogs to the maximum extent possible or practical on both public and private lands.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF urges that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) establish a working group composed of LDWF deer biologists, enforcement staff, deer hunters, agriculture and livestock interests, private landowners, and managers of federal public lands to study the problem caused by the proliferation of feral hogs in the state and make recommendations to the LWFC and the Louisiana Legislature for controlling or eliminating feral hog populations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the LWF supports legislation necessary to regulate the introduction of hogs to public lands in the state.
Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, March 1, 2009 in West Monroe, Louisiana.