The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is asking Ohio hunters to harvest any feral swine they encounter in the wild in order to limit the spread of this destructive species.

That's right, there are thriving populations of wild boar across the state. Wild boars have been reported in Belmont, Guernsey, Noble, Morgan, Monroe, Athens, Hocking, Vinton, Washington, Gallia, Lawrence, Scioto, Butler, Preble, Logan, Champaign, Auglaize and Knox counties

"We've got some idea of the distribution, but no solid numbers," said Mark Demming, with ODNR's Division of Wildlife. "We ask wildlife officers for input about sightings and harvests."

Demming, who recently spotted a boar in southern Ohio's Wayne National Forest, said that the species can spread like "cancer." Healthy boar populations damage agricultural crops, degrade wildlife habitat and consume the eggs of ground-nesting birds, as well as reptiles and amphibians.

"We want to reduce populations and keep them from spreading from individual pockets," Demming said.

These non-native, "nuisance" animals may be legally harvested year-round by hunters with a valid Ohio hunting license or by landowners on their own property. During the deer-gun and the statewide muzzleloader seasons, a valid Ohio deer permit is also required and hunters should use only the firearm legal for the season.

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