Montana has a border problem.

Usually, when you hear Montana politicians blabbing about our border, it has to do with illegal immigration and the Mexico border. It's certainly an issue. There's another pressing border issue in Montana, however: wild boars are now knocking on our door.

Wild hogs have been confirmed in North Dakota. Credit Canva
Wild hogs have been confirmed in North Dakota. Credit Canva
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Non-native wild boars have been reported in North Dakota.

It seems like it's just a matter of time until the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks confirms these highly-invasive hogs in Montana. According to a recent report, wild hogs have now been found in North Dakota. The sightings so far have been small, with just seven reports in one county. It's still alarming.

The feral pigs can multiply rapidly, with momma wild pigs having 10 to 20 (or more) piglets a year. They have few natural enemies and can eat practically everything, so they multiply like rabbits in a city park. And they're highly destructive.

Ah yes, our 545 mile border to the north. Credit Canva
Ah yes, our 545-mile border to the north. Credit Canva
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Wild hogs could also be sneaking in from Canada.

Is anybody watching the Hi-Line? Because those sneaky wild boars could be invading us from the north too. They've been in Saskatchewan since 2013, where they were introduced on purpose. WTH, eh? The Canadian pork trade organization SaskPork notes,

Wild pigs were introduced across western Canada in the 1980s and 1990s as part of a broad initiative to diversify agriculture.  They were first introduced to Saskatchewan in the (Wilkins and Dobbs 2013).  Over the years some animals escaped from farms and were able to establish herds that continue to grow as they are elusive with few predators.

Montana wildlife officials maintain that wild boars are not in Montana. Or are they?

See a wild pig? Squeal on them. Credit Canva
See a wild pig? Squeal on them. Credit Canva
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If you see one, report it.

The Department of Livestock is tasked with monitoring for the destructive wild hogs; a paper from Montana State University notes,

DOL receives 1-2 reports of possible sightings of feral swine in Montana. These reports include feral swine imported from Texas for hunting purposes, sightings by hunters along river bottoms, and reports from landowners along Montana’s highline. A report of feral swine population in north central Montana in January 2018 resulted in 13 ½ flight hours looking for evidence of feral swine in the area. Fortunately, nothing was found.

2018 was five years ago, so things may have changed as the wild hogs continue to expand across the US. Montana hunters, landowners, farmers, and ranchers, are encouraged to "squeal on pigs" by reporting any sightings. You can learn more about the damage they cause and why wild hogs are not a good thing for Montana HERE.

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