ShareThis Page

Pennsylvania boar hunting ban nears approval

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 5:52 p.m.

The end of hog hunting in Pennsylvania is one step closer to being reality.

Game Commissioners gave preliminary approval at their last meeting to regulations that remove protection from the animals statewide and, most importantly, prohibit the importation, possession and release of feral swine and wild boar into the wild.

The ban on importation and possession — if given final approval in April — would eliminate hog hunting on game preserves.

The commission wants to get rid of hogs because it fears they will escape into the wild and become established, as has happened in other states. It views their eradication as necessary “to prevent further harm to our natural resources, agricultural industry, forest products industry and threats to human health and safety,” said executive director Carl Roe in an official statement.

A couple of hunting preserve owners who spoke at the commission's most recent meeting said keeping hogs out of the wild is a good idea, but a total ban is not the right decision.

Mike Gee of Tioga Ranch in Tioga County said the state should license hunting preserves so it can monitor them, he said. Responsible owners would welcome that because of their investment in their facilities, he said.

“Animals are very expensive. Ranchers go to great lengths to keep them inside our fences,” Gee said.

William Snyder, owner of Double Boar Ranch in Shippenville, agreed. Wild boars make up about 98 percent of his business, he said, because they don't grow antlers that fall off each year, and they're good eating. That makes them popular with hunters year-round, he said.

“I don't feel it's responsible to take someone who's got all of their money invested in their livelihood like me and put me out of business,” Snyder said. “It's a chemotherapy for my industry. I think there are better solutions out there.”

Commissioner Ralph Martone of Lawrence County praised Snyder's operation. The problem is not all facilities are that well maintained, he added. Lesser ones are responsible for the boars roaming in the wild already, he said.

The commission must develop rules that account for those kinds of operations, Martone said.

Commissioner Dave Putnam of Centre County agreed and said it's incumbent upon the commission to protect the state's wildlife and hunting industry, where “millions or billions of dollars are at risk.”

“The Game Commission has a very serious duty to protect that,” Putnam said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.