SJ votes against using bow and arrow to take out wild pigs, turns to county for help

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- In the South Bay, bow and arrows will not be used in any effort to control San Jose's pesky wild pig problem.

Earlier this month, city leaders considered the possibility of allowing licensed trappers to take out groups of wild swine, also known as sounders, by crossbow.

At Tuesday's city council meeting, that decision was shot down.

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

In the San Jose foothills, ABC7 News met several residents with visible damage to their properties.

"One hundred percent damaged" is how Sharam Assary characterized his front lawn. It was torn to pieces by a group of more than a dozen wild pigs, shredded beyond repair.

"In the last 10 days, this is, I think, the sixth time they've attacked our house," Assary told ABC7 News. "So, four times I fixed it. I'm finally giving up."

He continued, "It has been happening off and on, but nothing like this before. This is just a total, 100% damage."

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Many of his neighbors said they were looking forward to the urgency ordinance, which would have allowed bow and arrows, since common traps are no longer effective.

"They're smart animals, they eventually learn to avoid traps," resident Marco Randazzo said. "And if you're setting up traps that they are not going to be caught by, you have no other alternative but to go and hunt them."

Randazzo added, "Allowing licensed trappers to come in and hunt with a bow and arrow would be a valuable asset to the community, or at least our community."

He said doing so would allow hunters to take an active approach to get rid of the wild pigs.

"I think that the boars can be put to good use," Randazzo told ABC7 News. "There's plenty of meat that can be donated to homeless shelters. The county can take that meat and use it for whatever purposes they deem necessary. So, it's not like the animal's being wasted."

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However, city staff shot down the idea of using bow and arrows. City leaders instead voted unanimously on a motion to get the county involved.

"It's not going to happen, unfortunately. And that's not a tool that we can use," Councilman Johnny Khamis said about the urgency ordinance. "But I hope the county can start up- restart their program, which was successful in maintaining the population for many years. Now, it's gotten out of control."

Councilman Khamis added, "We're just going to ask them if they could take care of the problem, before it gets to the city limits."

Randazzo said, "We have been putting in some pesticides to get rid of the grubs in the lawn, which helps. But they're still going to come in and try to tear it up to see if they can find something."

RELATED: San Jose City Council votes to continue pig trapping

Assary has actually put up a barrier of soft fencing to try and deter the animals.

Beyond evading traps, the pigs have also learned to plow through those makeshift barriers.

However, the biggest fear among residents is not so much the damage, but the potential danger.

"I opened my front door and I confronted some of them," Assary shared. "One of them was kind of aggressive. So, they're not only devastating our front yard, they're very dangerous. They're kind of taunting me, and it was not a good feeling."

He continued, "This grass, either we got to replace it, or the landscaping, we got to figure out a way to do it. But I'm actually more concerned about my family's safety."

Randazzo added, "We're talking about very large animals. I mean, hundreds of pounds! They've got tusks. They can attack people and they can hurt people. They can even kill people."

"I think they need to take a more proactive role in controlling the pig populations," he shared. "Because they are getting out of hand, and they're only growing larger and larger."

Currently, licensed trappers are able to catch and kill wild pigs within city limits.
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