Feral hogs -- boon or burden
Feral hogs (Sus scrofa L.) have long been considered a pest by most land managers because of the potential range and pasture damage that can result from their feeding habits. In recent years however, second only to deer, feral hogs have become the most sought-after big game animal in California. Their great reproductive capacity coupled with the ruggedness of their preferred habitat has allowed the California State Fish and Game Department to set liberal seasons and bag limits. The freedom to work within the state's liberal framework has prompted some private land managers to look at controlled harvest programs with several objectives in mind. Using paid hunting as the main means of control, thus providing additional revenue for the landowner, such programs would aim at keeping the herds within the carrying capacity of the range, so that minimal damage is done to the vegetation and soil as well as keeping interspecific competition in check. Reviewed here is a description of how such a program is carried out on the Dye Creek Preserve.