Federal wildlife officials might allow the taking of an unlimited number of feral hogs during a deer hunt in the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed allowing a deer hunt on 6,000 acres in the central Florida refuge.
Waterfowl hunting has been allowed in the refuge since the 1960s. Now federal officials want to expand those activities to deer and feral hogs. The agency is seeking public comment on the environmental assessment drafted for the proposed hunt.
Officials say feral hogs are a nuisance that damage roads, dikes, trails and sea turtle nests in the refuge. They say including hogs in the deer hunt could help reduce the number of collisions between the hogs and wildlife officials' vehicles.