The Wild Pig Situation

The wild pig population has sent a worrying ecological ripple through several parts of the United States and Canada. While Montana does not currently have feral swine, having management in place prepared to deal with their threat will likely prevent massive damage to our land, livestock operations, waterways and native wildlife. Landowners, livestock producers, public access hunters, and the general public all have a stake in the havoc that comes with an incursion of wild pigs.

Jared Beaver, MSU Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist, and others from the Montana Department of Livestock, USDA-APHIS Wildlife services, and Montana Invasive Species Council, will speak Friday March 8, at 10 a.m., at MonDak Ag Days on the subject: "The Wild Pig Population: Why Montanans Should Care". Just one of seven stops on the Northeast Montana Feral Swine Tour, Jared and his colleagues hope to spread awareness and education on how to best manage the threat. Part of the discussion will explain why recreational hunting is not the solution.

The co-founder and co-host of the Working Wild University podcast, which "immerses the listener in the action with the people and wildlife of the American West while exploring the challenges and success of sharing and managing working landscapes that support both people and wildlife", Jared works to bring together private landowners and wildlife biologists by finding common ground. His program focuses on habitat management of large mammals, population ecology, improving wildlife monitoring methods, habitat management, and wildlife-livestock conflict mitigation.

Jared wanted to thank the county extension agents who have worked tirelessly with him to put the Northeast Montana Feral Swine Tour in motion. Marley Voll, Richland County; Colleen Pegar, Hill County; Juli Snedigar, Blaine County; Christina Murphy, Phillips County; Shelley Mills, Valley County; Inga Hawbaker, Daniels County; and Jack Bazemore, Sheridan County; who has since accepted the county extension agent position for Beaverhead County.


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