They are stinky, sly, and highly reproductive and their damage is incredible.
Texas officials say it is time to "get the wild hogs outta Texas."
With an estimated 2.6 million feral hogs causing conservatively $500 million dollars in damage to both rural and urban property each year, Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) have kicked off the statewide "Hog Out Challenge." The challenge runs through Dec. 31 and calls upon all Texas' 254 counties to step up their efforts to decrease the state's wild hog population.
"Not only are feral hogs costly nuisance to agricultural operations and wildlife habitats, but they also are becoming pests in urban areas where they destroy yards, public parks, and golf courses," Staples laments. "On my place in East Texas, I have eliminated a number of hogs. I am asking Texans around the state to step up and join the Hog Out Challenge and the thousands of other Texans in this coordinated and concentrated effort to eliminate these pests from our landscape."
This year's Hog Out Challenge will award grants to the five counties with the most wild hogs removed and the highest participation in the feral hog abatement programs.
Throughout the year, TDA works with the Wildlife Services branch of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, which removes thousands of hogs annually through various feral hog abatement strategies. The effort results in an estimated savings of more than $4 million each year to Texas landowners.
"The only way to combat the problem as far-reaching as feral hogs is to aggressively employ multiple tactics in a coordinated and concentrated effort starting at the local level," Staples says. "Good participation complements the work done in other communities resulting in a comprehensive statewide strategy."
Staples notes the Texas AgriLife Extension Service provides landowners information on the best available feral hog management practices. He encourages landowners and counties to call their local AgriLife Extension office for information on feral hog control.