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Hog wild: Feral pig population explodes in U.S
Until the shot rang out, the air was so quiet the circling bumblebee sounded like a chain saw and the woodpecker its construction crew.
Clambering down from the 16-foot-high deer stand, hunters walked over to the pig wallow they had been staring at for the last four hours. A large boar rushed past at a speed unimaginable for an animal its size. The hunt was on.
Fast, smart and dangerous, the wild boar was once the most prized hunter's catch in ancient Greece.
Now it is becoming a popular target of hunters in the United States. An explosion of wild pig populations has become such a nuisance that hunting seasons are being flung wide open for wild hog across the nation.
Hunt specials can be found year-round in almost every state, and even the National Wildlife Federation, a protector of wild animals, has joined the fray. At its annual meeting in Washington, the organization called for an effort to "remove" the destructive animals, including "lethal harvest" as part of the plan.
Biologists estimate there are 5 million wild pigs in the United States. Once found mainly in the Southeast, Hawaii and California, they have spread over the last two decades into the Northeast and Midwest.
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