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Published Sep. 11, 2009


The Southwest Florida Water Management District is sick of wild hogs tearing up its land, so it will allow hunters to buy special permits beginning 9 a.m. Oct. 12. The permits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis through 5 p.m. Oct. 26 or until they are sold out. The cost is $50. Wild hogs, which are not native to Florida, feed by rooting with their broad snouts and can leave an area looking like a plowed field. The district allows periodic hunts to control the hog population when the damage they cause reaches unacceptable levels. Locally, hunters with permits may chase wild hogs at Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County on Dec. 1-3 and Feb. 9-11; Connor Preserve in Pasco County from Feb. 16-18; Upper Hillsborough, Alston Tract in Pasco and Polk counties from Nov. 17-19 and Jan. 19-21; and Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve from Jan. 26-28 and March 23-25.

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Walk on water

The Power to the Paddle 5-kilometer stand-up paddleboard race is 9 a.m. Saturday at Upham Beach Park in St. Pete Beach. Registration, which begins at 8 a.m., costs $15 and benefits the Water Culture Surf Society. Anyone under 18 must have a parent present to register. For information, call (727) 504-9203 or (727) 481-3637.

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Events on tap

- The Leslie Family Children's Foundation will host an inshore/offshore tournament Oct. 2 at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Marina Cove in St. Petersburg. This foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for kids aging out of foster care. The inshore categories are trout, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead and the offshore categories are grouper, snapper and amberjack. The entry fee is $400 per boat, and anglers must register before Sept. 20. For more information, visit or call (727) 239-7171.

- The Scales for Tails tournament is Oct. 3, part of multipart event to benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Suncoast. The event is catch-and-release for snook, redfish and trout. The entry fee is $50 per angler ($65 per angler after Sept. 15). A guided boat registration for four anglers is available for $750. For information, call (727) 643-3647 or download a registration form at