Feral hogs have become a pesky problem throughout East Tennessee, tearing up farmland at a fast rate.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has taken a number of steps to cut down their population, but now some southeast Tennessee counties are formally asking the state to change its practices.
Polk, Bradley, Monroe and White counties have all requested rules changes from the state. McMinn County passed a similar measure earlier this week.
The counties' resolutions ask that state leaders change feral hog hunting regulations in two ways.
First, they want the state to fully restore a "dedicated season" to hog hunting on all wildlife management areas where hogs have historically been hunted. Currently, no such season exists in Tennessee.
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Second, they believe private property owners should have the ability to use dogs to hunt feral hogs if they want to do so. Currently, Cumberland, Fentress, Pickett and Overton counties are the only Tennessee counties where hunters can get a license to participate in that practice.
Wayne Rutherford is a part of McMinn County's Wildlife and Fisheries Committee. He said his group approved the resolution before it was sent to the McMinn County Commission.
He told WBIR 10News the absence of a hog hunting season has financially hurt some southeast Tennessee counties who used to depend on it for business.
"Because the hunt has went away, there have been hunters who go to other states to hunt," Rutherford said.
He added that farmers and hunters alike need dogs to hunts. Rutherford said it becomes to hard to cut down their population without some animal assistance.
"Wild hogs are not killed easily without dogs," he said.
Kirk Miles is TWRA's Wildlife Program Manager in Region Three. He said TWRA would consider some of the resolutions' requests.
"Yes, it is something we would definitely take a look at," Miles said.
However, he said the agency would not do anything that could ultimately contribute to the further spread of hogs throughout Tennessee.
"All these issues surrounding wild hogs, ultimately makes it a complicated issue to grasp," Miles said.
He said there is no timetable as to when TWRA could take any action on the requests in the resolutions.