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Williston airport is hog wild and pig crazy

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

It’s George Orwell’s Animal Farm over at the Williston Airport.

That’s because the wild hogs have taken over–so much in fact, that  city leaders are looking for someone to pay the city for eradicating the wild swine.

Gestation for swine is about 112-114 days, which means it’s conceivable for a sow to deliver three  litters a year with as many as 14 piglets at a time.

The wild hogs are running rampant on airport property and the city council and manager realize they could pose a real safety risk for aircraft utilizing the airport.

Tuesday night, the council reviewed an Invitation to Bid (ITB), which will eventually be advertised for someone to bid to come onto the property and trap the swine.

The airport has about 2,400 acres, but President Jason Cason estimates that only 560 of those acres are huntable.

Details are being worked on for the ITB but some criteria are noted:

• the lease holder and four authorized agents will be allowed to hunt the wild hogs.

• only trapping will be utilized the first 30 days.

• harvesting may be done by shotgun and/or bow and arrow with the approval of the airport manager.

• night hunting will be allowed.

• the lease holder must obtain insurance.

Airport Manager Scott Lippmann said that a rough estimate of the swine stands at about 60.

Cason said he thought that the closed bids could range from $3-$10 per acre.

 “The main thing,” said Councilor Charles Goodman, “is we want to make sure the airport is safe.”