GARDEN PLAIN, Kan. (KAKE) – After the Garden Plain Police Department posted a video last week, it shed a lot of light on the dangers of feral swine.

K-State wildlife expert Drew Ricketts saw the video, and along with investigating other reports sent to him of possible feral hogs in the same Lake Afton area, says he has good news.

"There have been several sightings of potbelly pigs in the Lake Afton area, and I would suspect that those pot-bellied pigs are the pigs in question," said Ricketts. "I have not seen any evidence of feral hogs in that area."

Ricketts says, contrary to popular belief, the state's strict no-hunting laws are the reason why feral hogs aren't much of a problem in Kansas.

"When we allow folks to hunt, oftentimes what happens is they end up scattering those sounders, which are those family groups of hogs, and spooking them," said Ricketts.

Ricketts says when someone reports feral swine, this gives the USDA a chance to promptly go out, take surveys, and set massive traps with remote-controlled triggers, so the operator watching the live camera can wait until it's full before tripping it.

He says the agency also uses thermal scopes, and even sends out helicopters to make sure swine hotspots are fully eradicated.

He says if hunting them was legal, it would just scatter them, causing a multitude of new population pockets.

"With most wildlife populations, if we're trying to reduce abundance, we want to use hunters as tools for wildlife management. It's efficient, it's cheap, and that sort of thing. Because the hogs are so prolific, that doesn't work very well," said Ricketts.

Ricketts says the proof is in the pudding – unlike neighboring states that allow public feral swine hunting, Kansas is the only one with fewer hogs now than in 2004.

"Kansas is really a model state. Our program is a model for how to control feral hog populations. And that is because we don't allow hunting," said Ricketts.

Ricketts says another important note is that while hunting them is illegal in most circumstances in Kansas, the one exception is if you see them on your own property. In this case, you can legally "kill and let lay," meaning if you do, you can't use the animal for anything whatsoever. However, it must be the landowner that shoots it – you cannot have someone do it for you without first getting a permit.