Wild hogs cause extensive damage to crops, wildlife habitat, contribute to erosion and water pollution, and carry diseases harmful to livestock and other animals as well as humans. The damage they cause has become more common and widespread as during the last fifteen years as they have gone from being present in 15 counties in Tennessee to being present in nearly 80 of a total of 95 counties. In 1999, TWRA made an attempt to control the expansion of the wild hog population by opening a statewide wild hog season with no bag limit. Unfortunately, it was during this period of unlimited hunting that the wild hog population expanded the most. Disjointed populations of hogs began to occur in areas of Tennessee where they had never existed before as the result of illegal stocking by individuals whose goal was to establish local hunting opportunities.
In 2011, new regulations were enacted that changed wild hog management. Wild hogs are no longer regarded as big game animals in Tennessee. In order to remove the incentive to relocate wild hogs, they are now considered a destructive species to be controlled by methods other than sport hunting.
It is illegal to possess, transport, or release live wild hogs.
Landowners have more opportunity than ever before to control wild hogs on their properties. They can shoot wild hogs year-round during the day without limit and trap with bait outside of big game seasons. Furthermore, landowners may obtain an exemption from their TWRA regional office enabling them to kill wild hogs at night using a spotlight, and to trap year-round. In addition, landowners in a four-county (Fentress, Cumberland, Pickett, and Overton) experimental area may use dogs as a wild hog control method. Family members and tenants that qualify under the Farmland Owner License Exemption and up to ten additional designees may help private landowners with wild hog control efforts. For properties over 1000 acres, an additional designee per 100 acres may be assigned. No licensing requirements exist for landowners or their designees. In order to renew each year, exemption holders are required to report the number of hogs killed on their property and the manner in which they were killed to TWRA. Landowners may also take advantage of technical assistance provided by TWRA to help with a trapping program or additional wild hog control techniques.
ATTENTION: ON JULY 31st, 2014, LEASE EXEMPTIONS FOR HOG ERADICATION WILL EXPIRE. Hunting lease members that were assisting landowners with wild hog eradication efforts will need to be placed on a landowner exemption if they wish to continue with eradication efforts. Restrictions on the number of individuals per exemption may apply.
In Region I, on the Land Between the Lakes WMA, wild hogs may be taken incidental to any hunt.
In Region III, wild hogs may be taken incidental to deer hunts on the following WMAs: Alpine Mountain, Bridgestone-Firestone Centennial Wilderness, Catoosa, Skinner Mountain, Standing Stone State Forest, and Tellico Lake. Wild hogs may be taken on any deer or bear hunt on South Cherokee WMA. There are also the following wild hog control seasons in which the use of dogs is permitted: two five-day control seasons on Catoosa WMA and one three-day control season on Skinner Mountain WMA.
In Region IV, wild hogs may be taken on any big game hunt on the North Cherokee; any deer or turkey hunt on Kyker Bottoms Refuge; and on any hunt, small game or big game, on the Foothills WMA and the entire North Cumberland WMA.
On the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, wild hogs may be taken with a special permit during any deer hunts and by small game hunters after the deer season.
Refer to the regulations for individual WMAs and public hunting areas to determine how and when hogs can be taken.
Individuals licensed to hunt bears may also take wild hogs during any proclaimed bear-dog hunt.
Wild hogs are known carriers of at least 45 different parasites and diseases that pose a threat to livestock, pets, wildlife, and in some cases, human health. The United States Department of Agriculture recognizes these risks and recommends the following precautions when handling deceased wild hogs:
The following video was created to help the public understand an order by the state veterinarian relating to feral, wild, and wild appearing hogs.