The Missouri Department of Conservation says more than 9,000 feral hogs were killed in the state last year.

The department on Friday reported that along with partner agencies and private landowners, it killed roughly 9,300 hogs in 2018.

More than 6,500 were killed in 2017.

Feral hogs are a menace in parts of Missouri. The Conservation Department says they damage property and agriculture by aggressively rooting through soil and trampling and eating crops.

Most of Missouri’s feral hog population is south of Interstate 44. The problem is most persistent in southeast Missouri.

Federal officials have also helped cut back the hog population and last year used a helicopter to shoot and kill hard-to-catch hogs hiding in rugged terrain.

Mark Kolbe, Getty Images