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Controlling Wild Pigs

Wild pigs in a cage. It is important to recognize that complete eradication of wild pigs is not practical and may be impossible. Management and reduction of current populations is a more obtainable goal and there are currently a variety of methods that can be used by landowners and wildlife managers to aid in reaching this goal. Methods for controlling wild pig populations include:

Control Methods


Excluding wild pigs from an area involves the use of fencing. Most fences use wire mesh, electric strand, or a combination of the two. Fencing is a highly effective means of excluding wild pigs and there are multiple designs that have been used to aid in this venture. However, fencing tends to be expensive and is not practical for most situations. It is best used for high value crops, small areas, and to isolate domestic livestock.

Sport Hunting

Sport hunting may be one of the most popular means of controlling wild pigs due to the “fun” factor it introduces. Sport hunting offers a unique opportunity for landowners seeking to reduce the population of wild pigs on their land by providing an additional source of revenue through hunting leases. Recently enacted Georgia laws protecting landowners from injury liability were designed to encourage landowners to allow access to their land for hunting purposes. Sport hunting as a form of control is not the most successful at reducing populations because only a small number of hogs are removed at a given time.

Hunting with Dogs

Using dogs may improve the number of hogs taken from an individual property. This method of hunting involves a team of dogs; bay dogs/scent trailers and catch dogs. Generally, few hogs are removed with this method.

Night Shooting

Night shooting employs the use of bait and specialized equipment such as spot lights, motion detecting floodlights, night vision goggles and scopes, and suppressed weapons. Conventional hunting equipment can also be used. In Georgia, night shooting is legal on private property.

Aerial Shooting

Aerial shooting is used in Texas and open areas of western United States. It has very limited use in the forested regions typical of Georgia. However, it has recently been used on a few barrier islands. Aerial shooting most often employs the use of a helicopter and semi-automatic rifles. Rarely are fixed wing aircraft used. This method of control is often effective for remote areas with short vegetation where there is high visibility, fairly smooth topography, and mild weather conditions.

Baiting and Shooting

As the name implies this management tool employs the use of bait. An area where hog sign is prevalent is prebaited for a minimum of three days if using pungent baits. Shooting over bait can be done during the day or at night from a tree stand or on the ground from a distance. Baiting is used to increase success with both still hunting and night shooting efforts.


Wild pig trap. Trapping is not only the most popular method of removing wild pigs it is often the most successful at reducing densities. Since multiple hogs are often removed at one time, and it requires significantly less effort than most other control strategies.

It is essential to follow the right steps when employing trapping. If traps are not set up properly, such as improper trigger placement, pigs will become trap shy and will not enter the trap.

There are three basic classifications of traps for wild pigs. These include:

    • Portable
    • Semi-permanent
    • Permanent

Variations of these types are available. Two general types of trap doors are used on wild pig traps: single catch and multiple catch. Single catch doors include:

    • Guillotine doors or drop doors

Multiple catch doors include the following styles:

    • Swing doors
    • Rooter doors
    • Saloon doors

Research suggests that multiple catch doors are less efficient than drop doors. Pigs may escape from multiple catch doors. Drops doors operated with a trigger stick are inexpensive and simple to construct. Drop doors that are triggered remotely by cell phone signal are becoming more popular. However, they are more expensive to purchase and require a strong cell phone signal. Click here if you want to know more about each of these trap and door designs and how to build them.

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