Nearly 100 feral hogs killed at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
By JIM MATTHEWS
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has killed nearly 100 wild hogs on the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge on the Colorado River since the first of the year, according to Richard Meyers, the new manager for the refuge.
Special funding for wild pig eradication allowed the agency to use U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for 3 1/2 days of aerial gunning earlier this year that ended with 65 pigs killed, and a ground trapper has killed 34 wild hogs since January 1.
The wild hog population has been estimated at “more than 100, but it might not be too much more,” said Meyers, who has worked at other refuges in the South where wild hogs have been a problem. “You have to kill off 70 percent of the hogs every year to have an impact on the population.”
Meyers said the aerial crew reported that only a handful of the pigs killed from the air could have been reached by hunters on the ground because they were living in dense riparian and cattail habitat on the refuge.
Sport hunting groups continue to push the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff at the refuge to simply open up the area to the hunting of wild hogs as a way to help keep the pig population in check rather than spending scarce funding on trapping and aerial gunning.
The hunters continue to point out that a very limited 1975 sport hunting program that allowed 175 hunters on the refuge for short periods of time netted 42 dead hogs, hogs whose meat was utilized rather than wasted.
Meyers is overseeing the writing of the new hunting management plan for Havasu. He said this plan will both improve and expand hunter access and opportunity, and he was open to using public hunters more in the future for wild hog removal. This plan should be available for public review later this year.
pulled out of Committee
SB 497, which would have restricted California residents from purchasing more than one firearms per month, was pulled from the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday this week when it was
clear the legislation didn’t have enough votes to be passed out the committee. The bill could still appear on a future committee agenda, but similar legislation was vetoed in 2016 by Governor Jerry Brown.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Portantine, a democrat from Senate District 25, is just one in a long line of anti-gun bills that have been introduced and passed in the California legislature the past few years. With few exceptions, all of these bills are simply discrimination and harassment bills aimed at legal gun owners. None will have any impact on illegal activity.
The liberal legislators of this state refuse to accept individual gun ownership is legitimate and legal and continue to propose and pass increasingly biased bills. California already doesn’t allow citizens to buy more than one handgun per month, and this bill would have expanded this restriction to all types of firearms. If anyone can come up with a logical argument how this bill would impact illegal activities, I’m sure every gun owner in the state would love to hear the rationale.
And if the logic will hold for restricting sales of firearms, it will certainly work for restricting the sales of alcohol (one bottle per month), red handkerchiefs, or steaks.
[Jim Matthews is a syndicated Southern California-based outdoor reporter and columnist. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 909-887-3444.]