By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 12, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Feral pigs continue to pose problems on the installation, damaging property and training areas, but Fort Rucker Outdoor Recreation is offering a way for local hunters to put a part of the solution in their sights.
Aug. 18 through Sept. 22, ODR will host a hog hunt with cash prizes to two-person teams and individuals in different categories, according to John Clancy, ODR manager.
"We're trying to get the feral pig population under control on the installation, so we're giving an incentive to help do that," said Clancy. "We want to help the Directorate of Public Works to get these hogs under control because they are causing a lot of damage to property and training areas on Fort Rucker."
Not only are they causing property damage, said the ODR manager, but they are also threatening other wildlife population on the installation, such as deer.
The contest, which will run for just over a month and be open to the public, will be in two categories: weapons hunt and trapping. Teams can enter to participate in both categories for $140, or $70 for a single category, and hunters must present their game at ODR daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Cash prizes will be awarded in first, second and third places in both categories, and 80 percent of the registration money will be given out as prize money in each category: 40-percent payout for first place, 30-percent payout for second place and 10 percent payout for third place.
Both categories will also have opportunities for individuals to win a "big pig" jackpot, according to Clancy, which hunters can enter in for $25. The hunter who kills or traps the heaviest hog in each category will be the winner of the big pig jackpot.
The remaining 20 percent of registration fees and jackpot money will be put back into ODR to fund different events and programs, said the ODR manager.
In order for people to participate, hunters must be able to hunt on Fort Rucker and are required to have their hunters education card, certifying that they've taken the Hunters Education Course, as well as have their Alabama state hunting license and Fort Rucker hunting permit.
All of the required documentation can be acquired at ODR, said Clancy.
"We've got computers here that they can take the Hunters Education Course on, if they'd like, and we also sell the licenses and the permits," he said.
Those who are hunting with weapons may hunt with any weapon that is legal in the state of Alabama to hunt pigs with, including handguns and spears, as long as their weapons are registered for Fort Rucker, Clancy added.
Although the hunt's main purpose is to help to keep the feral pig population under control, it's also an event to help bring people together and promote camaraderie, said the ODR manager.
"We would just love for people to come out and join us, and see what we can do to help control the feral pig population out here on Fort Rucker, but it's also about having fun and maybe winning a bit of bragging rights," he said.
Hunting is only allowed in designated areas on Fort Rucker, and all hogs must be dispatched or killed on Fort Rucker to be counted. The use of hunting dogs is prohibited. Additionally, taking any wildlife other than hogs is strictly prohibited and no night hunting is allowed during the contest.
The awards ceremony will be held Sept. 23 at noon on West Beach at Lake Tholocco.
For a full list of rules and regulations, or for more information, call 255-4305.