Wild Boars Going Hog Wild In Oklahoma

Monday, March 5th 2007, 9:38 pm
By: News On 6

A Sallisaw man is in serious condition after his motorcycle collided with a wild boar on the Muskogee Turnpike Sunday night. 66 year-old Curtis McGlothlin has head, arm and internal injuries. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports those who trap wild boars say the hogs are running wild in eastern Oklahoma.

Only a decade ago, there were no wild hogs in our part of the state. But boar trappers say the animals have migrated from Southern Oklahoma, and they continue to multiply.

Mark Palmatary arrived back at his ranch Monday afternoon with another trailer full of wild boars. He spent his day picking them up from ranchers and farmers who trapped them, and wanted to get rid of the animals. Palmatary runs the PH Farm Boar Hunting ranch in Pawnee. He releases the boars onto his property, and hunters pay $75 a day to hunt them. He says it is an effort to control the ever-growing wild hog population in the area.

"Wild hogs have become a problem throughout all Oklahoma,” Palmatary said. “One of the things we try to do, this is one sufficient way to control the population."

The boar population has spiked so much that state lawmakers have introduced the Feral Swine Control Act. The proposed bill says hogs are detrimental to Oklahoma's natural resources and agriculture, and are a disease risk. If passed, the law would relax restrictions on hunting them, and hunters say that makes sense.

"I think it's a way hunters can deal with overpopulation of wild hogs,” hunter Dave Shadow said. “These hogs present a problem not only to ranchers, but to a hazard on the roadway as well."

And while Sunday's accident on the Muskogee Turnpike is rare for Green Country, Palmatary says those collisions happen more frequently in other parts of the state, and could happen more often here if the boar population is not controlled.

“A guy who traps for us in the Southwest part of the state, has one stretch of road he runs traps on, he sees at least one car-pig accident a week on that road," Palmatary said.

We spoke with the daughter of Curtis McGlothlin, the man who collided with the boar. She tells us doctors are optimistic about her father's chances of recovery. She also says the crash is ironic because Curtis spent his entire career working with animals for the state of Oklahoma.