Ask the Steward

Question:

Last year when deer hunting I saw a wild pig.  Do I need a license to shoot one?

 Answer:

The short answer is: ‘No license needed- and there is no restricted season in Indiana’. But, it is illegal to import hogs into Indiana or possess live hogs.

The longer answer is that wild pigs (also known as feral pigs or wild boars or wild hogs) are not native to Indiana.  Unfortunately populations have become established in several Southern Indiana counties through illegal releases by private individuals. Forest managers, foresters, wildlife biologists and forest ecologists agree on one thing - they do not want to see viable populations established and generally want to see the species aggressively eradicated from Indiana.  Most landowners feel the same way.  Wild hogs cause significant property damage,  destroy habitat for native wildlife, damage healthy forests and can carry diseases transferrable to the domestic swine and other animals. Some have reported that feral hogs can also be aggressive towards humans.  This is more likely with female hogs with piglets.

Full grown hogs can weigh over 300 pounds with tusks 5 inches in length or larger. However, typical adult arrange from 100-275 pounds.  Mating can occur year round with as many as 4 litters of 4-12 piglets per year.  For more information on wild hogs in Indiana review the articles in the last issue of the Woodland Steward www.inwoodlands.org/feral-hogs-in-indiana or check out this Indiana DNR reference that includes regulation information for Indiana, www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/6485.htm. The Wisconsin DNR provides a good summary on ecology and behavior at dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/HUNT/Pig/Pig_Hunting.htm

In summary, no hunting license is needed.  Feral pigs are considered unprotected wild animals with no closed season or harvest limit in IndianaObtain permission if hunting on private lands.  On public lands check-in with the property management before hunting.

 

Question:

Are pine trees native to Indiana?

Answer:

In my treks across thousands of Indiana’s woodland acres I’ve come across 7 pine species in woodland settings- several others have been planted as ornamentals.  Of these 7 only two species are native to the State – White Pine and Virginia pine.

White pine has been planted widely statewide, but is native only to areas of Northwest Indiana.  Its’ 3- to 4-inch slender needles grow in bundles of five, and while somewhat stiff, are among the softest in feel of all pines.  Across Indiana you’ll fine nice stands of white pine woods or mixed pine and hardwood plantations.  White pine is also a very common yard and windbreak tree.

Virginia Pine is native to several counties in the hill and knob areas of Southeast and South central Indiana.  Its’ 2- to 3-inch needles are quite a bit stiffer than White pine and have a twisted appearance.  Their needles grow in bundles of 2 or 3.  Virginia pine grows quite rapidly, especially trees 20 years and younger. Because of its rapid growth and ability to thrive in harsh conditions, Virginia pine was planted extensively on thousands of acres of abandoned and gullied farmlands of southern Indiana in the 1950-1970’s.

Both species provide important evergreen wildlife habitats, add beauty to the landscape and produce wood and timber products you see or use every day.

Both species are also sold by Indiana’s State Forest Nurseries and private nurseries for conservation tree plantings.  Visit www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/3606.htm for more information on Indiana’s State Forest nurseries.

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