Pesky wild pig problem in SJ leads city to allow trappers to hunt using bow and arrows

"These are big, huge animals that are dangerous," a city councilman said. "Often, they have large teeth and are not afraid of people."

Amanda del Castillo Image
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
SJ allows trappers to hunt wild pigs using bow and arrows
The City of San Jose is allowing people to hunt "dangerous" wild pigs with bows and arrows.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose City Councilmember Johnny Khamis says that back in 2015, about 20 wild pigs were being caught per month.

No stranger to the city's wild pig situation, he and Councilmember Sergio Jimenez are behind a temporary urgency ordinance that will "allow a licensed trapper to use a bow or crossbow on private property for the purposes of feral pig depredation."

RELATED: 'Feral swine bomb': American feral hog population is ballooning, USDA reports

The animals weigh hundreds of pounds, and for years, they haven't been shy about ripping through residents' lawns. The destruction is obvious to all.

"These are big, huge animals that are dangerous," Councilman Khamis shared. "Often, they have large teeth and are not afraid of people."

By the way, a group of wild swine is called a sounder. And more recently, sounders have damaged several golf courses across the southern part of the city.

Coyote Creek Golf Club and Silver Creek Valley Country Club sent letters to city leaders, detailing the estimated tens-of-thousands of dollars in repair work and trapping fees spent to stop these feral pigs.

These are highly intelligent creatures that have learned to keep from getting caught.

VIDEO: Hungry wild pigs take over San Ramon neighborhoods

Dozens of homeowners in San Ramon are at their wits end about some uninvited visitors, which are trashing their properties nightly. Wild pigs are on the hunt for food and so far, there's no stopping them

"There are certain pigs that are trap wise or trap smart and are outsmarting the traps," San Jose Public Works Director Matt Cano told ABC7 News. "And it's been very hard to catch them and they are still causing damage to private property.

Cano shared, "We have been asked to look into under what parameters would we allow them to be shot outside of traps. Specifically, by bow and arrow."

He said as soon as those questions answered regarding public safety, to his department's satisfaction and the police department's satisfaction, "Then we will come back to the mayor and city council with a recommendation on this issue."

RELATED: San Jose City Council votes to continue pig trapping

At Tuesday's city council meeting, councilmembers voted unanimously to approve the urgency ordinance that will soon allow permitted, licensed trappers to use a bow or crossbow on private property to kill the wild pigs.

Residents who spoke publicly are not convinced this is the only option.

"Killing an animal with an arrow is absolutely cruel torture," one resident said, during the virtual meeting. "Surely you can find another way to trap these animals."

Khamis added, "We are working on other ways to dispatch these animals with a bow and arrow, but it's not going to affect residences. It's just going to affect businesses, mostly."

As it stands, licensed trappers are currently able to catch and kill wild pigs within city limits.

Cano with Public Works said there is no current timeline established.