Ashley Hupfl, Albany Bureau
ALBANY – A statewide ban on the hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars has been officially adopted, the state Department of Environmental Conversation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Monday.
The boars first arrived in this country a few hundred years ago… [To clarify, the poor boars didn’t choose to immigrate or invade this country. They were brought here to serve as targets for canned hunting. Some escaped the fences, and now we have this “invasive species Problem.”] …and now have large populations in the southern U.S. Recently, the boars have been seen in more northern states.
At least six New York counties — Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan, and Delaware — have confirmed sightings of the boars, the state said. To date, more than 150 boars have been captured and destroyed by the DEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services.
“Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” Martens said in a statement. “As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts.”
When hunters shoot and kill a Eurasian boar, especially near a baited trap established by the DEC, their shots will make a group, or “sounder,” of boars scatter and the boars rarely return once scared off. The baited traps are usually useless afterward and counterproductive to eradication efforts, Martens said.
The ban includes exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies and others authorized by the DEC to kill a Eurasian boar in situations of property damage or threats to public health or welfare.
In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that prohibited the importation, breeding or introduction into the wild of any Eurasian boars. Hunting wild boars at hunting preserves will be allowed until 2015.
“Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, and private property and public safety wherever they occur and the DEC will continue to work to protect these resources and remove wild boars from the state,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Anyone who sees a Eurasian boar in the wild should report it to their regional DEC wildlife office or email firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Eurasian boar” in the subject line.
Residents are asked to report the number, date and exact location of the wild boars seen. Photographs can be included, too.