legislation introduced on Jan. 19 by Bill Dodd, a state senator, would remove a requirement that hunters buy a $25 “tag,” the legal right to hunt one pig.

“All year long you will be able to hunt as many pigs as you want,” said Mr. Sklar, the Fish and Game commissioner. Some experts believe that the swine, smart and somewhat nomadic, will move to areas where hunting is not allowed.

In Lafayette the job of culling the swine falls to Chris Davies, a licensed trapper with a vise-grip handshake whose family has lived and hunted in the area since the 1880s. Mr. Davies’s father is a former hunting guide and tells the story of a fellow guide being gored to death by a feral pig in the 1970s.

“They’re super aggressive and pretty mean-natured,” Mr. Davies said of the pigs he traps. “I never met one that liked me.”

He has devised a corn-based bait, which he tosses into a sturdy metal-fenced corral equipped with cameras, a motion detector and a cellular connection. When the pigs enter the corral, almost always in the dead of night, Mr. Davies is alerted on his phone. He watches and closes the enclosure’s gate remotely once the whole group, or sounder, is inside.

Then he and his wife, Annie, carry their two sleeping children into the back of their pickup truck. They drive through the darkened suburban streets to the enclosure and shoot the pigs. “They go down like a sack of potatoes,” he said.

Among animal rights and conservation groups, Wayne Hsiung, the co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere, which describes itself as fiercely nonviolent, said his group was “very much opposed” to the culling of pigs, which he compared to killing dogs and cats.

But more typical is the nuanced view of Brendan Cummings, conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity, an organization that focuses on the protection of wildlife and endangered species.

“We are talking about individual living animals that we should treat as ethically as possible,” Mr. Cummings said. That said, Mr. Cummings, who has spent a career protecting endangered wildlife, once killed a wild pig.

The only times he has gone hunting was for wild swine, he said, partly because the pigs were killing the purple amole, an endangered purple flower that grows in central California.

“I would prefer a California where we had no wild pigs,” he said, adding that reintroducing jaguars into California could help reduce wild pig populations.

In the Bay Area, where residents are more likely to be showing off thousand-dollar mountain bikes than their latest hunting rifle, Mr. Davies, the pig trapper, realizes that some residents are put off by his profession.

“I guess there are a lot of people who think, ‘That guy is a psychopath, he likes killing pigs,’” Mr. Davies said. “I don’t enjoy killing them. But they are terrible animals.”

Mr. Davies distributes the dead hogs to local residents who carve them into pork chops and sausage.

Jenni Smith, the assistant pasture manager at the Moraga Horsemen’s Association, a local horse club, said she was grateful that the pigs were being trapped. Over the past year the swine tore up the horse paddock.

“They’re pretty destructive,” she said.

But Ms. Smith is not so sure about eating the culled pigs.

“Honestly,” she said, “if somebody said to me, ‘Would you like a pig carcass?’ I’d be like, ‘What? No, I’ll go to Safeway, thanks.’”

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