It is time for Kansas to think outside the box.
Let’s face it, we can’t afford to do anything else.
We have the talent in this state to address problems without bankrupting our taxpayers — even worse than we already have — and still address problems.
Take the feral hog problem.
You may not have realized that we even have a feral hog problem, but we do, at least in part of the state.
Since 2006, according to the Associated Press, Kansas has spend some $170,000 to help pay for a USDA program that kills off hundreds of feral hogs.
Feral hogs are no joke if you’ve got them around.
They are descended from domestic pigs and they are very dangerous to people, livestock and they spread disease.
“Biologists estimate wild hogs have done more than $3 million in damage to Kansas agriculture since 2006. As they have in other states, they could soon start spreading diseases to domestic hogs and humans. Tom Halstead, USDA wildlife services state director, said the program that uses trapping and aerial gunning from helicopters has decreased the Kansas population from about 2,000 a few years ago to about 500 today,” according to the AP story.
“Kansas’ top populations are in and around Bourbon County in the southeastern part of the state. There are still a few near Arkansas City and in the Red Hills west of Medicine Lodge. Biologists continue to check six or seven areas where populations have been eradicated or severely reduced. About 26 Kansas counties have had wild hog populations in recent years.”
So, controlling the feral hogs seems like a good idea.
Did anyone consider just opening the hunting season on these pests and clearing them out once and for all?
That may not be the common administrative solution, but in lieu of spending $170,000 year after year, why not settle the problem and give hunters something to do?
Maybe there are reasons we don’t just open the season on feral hogs, but if we are concerned with coming up with the $170,000, wouldn’t it be worth a shot?
Kansas needs to start thinking outside the box, and this is one place to try it.
— Chuck Smith