- August 27, 2015
With several sign-carrying opponents present, Sarasota County Commissioners July 10 voted 4 to 1 to authorize two feral hog hunts on Deer Prairie Creek Preserve in front of a crowd of more than 50.
The measure, which is aimed at reducing numbers of the non-native species, faced criticism because hunters would use trained dogs and knives to capture and kill hogs. Ten such opponents showed up at 1:30 during time allotted for public input and called the hunt cruel and ineffective.
There was one public speaker defending the hunting proposal who said his dogs wear Kevlar gear that hogs can rarely puncture. Representatives from the Southwest Florida Water Management District said the hunting method was effective and had been used in Hillsborough County for a similar purpose.
Commissioner Carolyn Mason moved for approval noting that it seemed like the only option available at this time to control environmental damage caused by hogs. Commissioner Nora Patterson and Commissioner Joe Barbetta both agreed.
Commissioner Jon Thaxton delivered the dissenting vote. Although he has been hunting for as long as he can remember, Thaxton said he didn’t think the proposal was right for Sarasota County.