New Law to Protect Hunters Who Shoot ‘Nuisance’ Animals
Here's a heads up for hunters in the Sportsmen's Paradise: feral hogs are now fair game 24/7 in the state of Louisiana. Starting Saturday, August 15, it will be legal for licensed hunters to kill “outlaw quadrupeds" any time of day or night. These critters include nutria, coyotes, beaver, armadillos, and other invasive and nuisance animals. And feral hogs seem to be at the top of the list for animals that are wreaking havoc on our environment.
According to NOLA.com, the state had previously limited the hunting of these animals to daytime hours to cut down on illegal hunting of deer. But with the feral hog population topping 700,000 in the state, it was time to ramp things up before the critters could tear up more crop lands and coastal wetlands. They also have a voracious appetite for salamanders, turtles, shore birds, turkeys, and alligators. At least 213,000 feral hogs were killed last hunting season, but scientists say that number needs to be at least 500,000 a year just to keep up with their growing population.
The new law, signed by Governor John Bel Edwards, allows hunters to pursue the nuisance animals at night on private property during the entire year. They can also kill first, and report later, without getting permission to pursue an animal at night.
Jim LaCour, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries veterinarian and feral hog expert, says the new rules will cut down on the problem, but will not solve it. He told NOLA.com “It’ll remove some of the regulations and allow more opportunities (to hunt hogs), which is a good thing."