Lawmakers are trying to keep pigs in hunters' crosshairs, while a Pennsylvania agency appears poised to crack down on hunting preserves.

 

The state Game Commission wants to keep feral swine out of the commonwealth.

The effort has prompted the state House to pass a bill removing wild hogs from the agency's regulatory control.

The commission's Joe Neville says wild hogs are not a large problem in Pennsylvania yet, but the state has some 20 boar-hunting preserves that regulators see as escape threats.

"Once these animals get out on the landscape, they are very prolific breeders," Neville said. "They can cause a lot of damage to both wildlife and habitats, damage to crops."

But the sponsor of the House proposal trying to keep wild pig preserves open says escapes are rare, while the facilities boost economic activity in the state and are popular among hunters.

A similar bill to protect feral swine hunting preserves has passed state Senate but is stalled in the House.