Wild boar (Sus scrofa)

Over the past few centuries the number of boar has greatly fluctuated in Estonian areas, although the population has stabilised in recent decades. Boar live in sounders, with males joining the sounder only during the mating period that lasts from November to January. The males fight fiercely amongst each other, with the winner impregnating all of the sows of the sounder. According to the census data of 2015, more than 20,000 boars live in Estonia.

Sexual maturity is reached early by boar; in very good conditions, even piglets could be impregnated. Piglets are born to sows from March to May. In autumn, piglets constitute more than 50% of the population. Adult individuals weigh over 100 kg, with piglets weighing up to 40 kg.

The primary natural enemy of the boar is the wolf. The additional feeding of boar takes place in many hunting regions all year round. Mostly, boar damage grain and potato fields.

Hunting from hides and stalking hunts are permitted for boar, except for a sow with piglets, all year round. All boar may be chased and hunted with a hunting dog (except for an FCI Group 6 hunting dog (bloodhounds and hounds) whose maximum wither height approved in the breed standard is over 52 cm) from 1 October until 28 (29) February.

The best time for boar hunting is the snowy period, during which the location of the animals may be determined by their tracks. The full moonlight of the snowy period is also suitable for hunting from hides from a high seat. In

RMK's hunting districts, about one half of the boars are hunted in January / February, when driven hunts and hunting from hides take place.

Medal-worthy trophies are borne by about 10% of male boar over five years old. The length of medal-worthy lower tusks starts at 20 centimetres. A male’s tusks grow over his entire lifetime. A bronze medal is 110-114.99 CIC points, silver 115-119.99 points, gold 120 or more CIC points.

Africans wine fever

African swine fever is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild swine, with an acute course characterised by fever, haemorrhages, inflammatory changes in organs and high mortality (up to 100% of animals). In Estonia, the first case of the disease was diagnosed in Valga County, in 2014. The disease has also spread to the neighbouring countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

In Estonia, three different restricted zones have been introduced around outbreak sites, in which biosecurity measures have been enacted in order to prevent the spread of African swine fever. When headed to a forest, the following should be kept in mind: 

  • do not touch the cadaver of a found wild boar and avoid contact with potentially infectious material (e.g. secretions); 
  • if you find a dead wild boar, notify the local veterinary centre or telephone the Veterinary and Food Board hotline at 605 4750; 
  • after having spent time in nature, clean your clothes and shoes: wash your clothes in a washing machine or keep them inside a sauna at 100 °C for 1 hour; soak shoes and rubberised outerwear in chlorine bleach for 1 hour.