Commissioners to vote on allowing hog hunts in Lee County

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Herds of non-native, invasive hogs are ravage lawns, gardens and landscaping in Lee County. The animals have no predators, except man. Because trapping the hogs has not reduced any problems, the county’s next step is allowing the animals to be hunted.

“The outfitter will make sure that all of the rules are followed, and make everything is safe, ” said Cathy Olson with the Lee County Conservation 20/20.

The county is looking to sign a contract with two outfitters, to train and lead the hunts in county preserves. Each hunter has to pay $250 to take training, and then join a hunt.

“For country boys to have to pay that much to hunt hogs, it just ain’t right!” said Dave Karstedt.

Some residents say training isn’t needed.

“Guys who’ve been doing it, have been doing it for years, they’re professionals,” said Skip Hill. “To have somebody come out and train them is almost like a joke.”

The county says it’s using outfitters to better control who’s in the woods with weapons.

“We don’t have the staff to mark safety zones or enforce safety zones, and make sure that the general public and the hunters aren’t mixing,” said Olson.

“It ain’t that big a deal. You just look at what you’re shooting, and make sure it doesn’t have a red jacket on! It’s as simple as that,” said Karstedt.

For now, the proposal calls for outfitters to manage and lead the hunts. Anyone who kills a hog, will be allowed to field dress it, and keep the meat.

Lee County commissioners will vote next week to authorize the outfitter-led hunting. The county says, it will take a month or two to process paperwork, before the first hunt would occur.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.