Shhh, nice piggy: Georgia considers silencers for hog hunting

Poor Porky. He didn't even know what hit him.

In Georgia this week, the state Senate is considering a bill that would allow hunters to use silencers at the ends of their rifles or shotguns. The main objective: to help them quietly battle the scourge of wild hogs proliferating across the state's exurban fringe.

According to the Morris News Service, Senate Bill 301 was sponsored by Sen. John Bulloch, a Republican from the south Georgia town of Ochlocknee. Bulloch said sheriffs had asked him to introduce the bill to help cut down on noise complaints about all of the hunters currently blasting away at a feral hog population that Bulloch described as a "growing problem."

Morris reporter Walter C. Jones noted that a wild sow can pump out as many as 30 piglets a year, which can then bear their own litters a year after birth. The state natural resources department already issues night-hunting permits for the beasts to help keep them from rooting around on suburban lawns.

Bulloch also noted that hunters would be able to kill more than one hog, since the sound of their rifles wouldn't scare off the remaining pack.

If this sounds like stacking the deck against the pig population, consider the tale -- now grown to weird Georgia legend -- of Hogzilla, the 800-pound monster swine that was killed by a guy named Chris Griffin in 2004 on a Georgia hunting preserve.

For a while, Hogzilla was thought to be a hoax. But the Associated Press reported that a group of National Geographic experts headed down to south Georgia, exhumed Hogzilla, and confirmed its massive size.

"He was definitely a freak of nature," documentary producer Nancy Donnelly told the wire service in 2005. 

The senate's Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved the bill Wednesday. If it becomes law, outfitting a rifle with a silencer would require a federal permit and a trip to the gunsmith to get the barrel threaded.

For hunters hoping to go all James Bond on the next Hogzilla, the total bill for parts and labor would be about $1,000, Jones reports.

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-- Richard Fausset in Atlanta

 

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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