Years before covid-19 reared its ugly head, Arkansas had a different problem. It involves hogs, and we're not talking about the football players in Fayetteville. The problem is caused by the feral variety.
Every year farmers and people who live across the more rural areas of Arkansas have to deal with these hardy menaces. Feral hogs cause millions of dollars in damage across the state each year. And that's just the money. What about the time a gardener puts into a tomato garden all spring, just to have it disappear in one night?
And have you tried to kill these razorbacks? They're tough as nails. Some of these pigs can take a shot (depending on the caliber) and just keep going. They breed like rabbits. Or maybe rabbits breed like them. It's no wonder Arkansas and most other, lesser, Southern states have such trouble getting rid of this invasive species.
Fortunately, some help is now available, courtesy of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
It seems the department has put together a guide to the resources available in Arkansas that can help with these wild pigs. The handbook has contact information, websites and brief explanations of what's offered by state and federal agencies.
"The handbook contains information on the Arkansas Feral Hog Eradication Task Force, feral hog reporting, a summary of the USDA Feral Swine Pilot Program, state laws and rules regarding feral hogs, and other resources with information about feral hogs and the damage they cause," the Arkansas Department of Agriculture said.
Best of all: It's free. Groups like the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Arkansas Game and Fish, and Arkansas Farm Bureau are giving them out across the state. You can get it online at http://tiny.cc/4gyysz.
Eradicating these pests takes teamwork, both private and public. The handbook provides another tool for people to make use of when trying to handle feral hogs. Perhaps G.I. Joe said it best: Knowing is half the battle.