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Feral hog problem in Texas

August 3, 2017

Skyhunter Outfitters was proud to meet with Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to discuss the feral hog problem in Texas.

Hog Hunting and Conservation go Hand in Hand

The wild pigs (Sus Scrofa), also known by the names wild hogs or wild boar, are a species of pigs found in the wild and are closely related to the domestic pigs. These omnivorous animals are known for the disturbance they cause to the soil by rooting the vegetables from the ground with their snouts and eat smaller animals and eggs. They travel in families of 20+ members and can grow up to 5 to 6 feet. The wild pigs are also a very common game animal. A hunting season is usually organized to control the number of wild pigs, in attempt to preserve the flora and fauna of the land from the hogs. The Hog Hunting is largely regulated by the state wildlife, game and forest divisions including new and innovative hunting methods such as helicopter hog hunting. The wild hogs compete for resources with other native species and Hog Hunting and Conservation of wildlife goes hand in hand in most areas. Wild hogs can devastate an entire ecosystem by hunting ground animals such as squirrels, reptiles, amphibians and eggs of the ground birds. By rooting vegetation, the wild hogs turn the land upside down and after they are through, the land usually looks ploughed. This contributes to soil erosion and destroys the bio-diversity of smaller plants along with placement of streams and creeks. The hogs reproduce as many as 12 piglets throughout the year, which grow to maturation at 6 months of age and start breeding as well. Their population can multiply in an area in a matter of months. They are almost at the same reproductive rate as the rabbit, doubling the population if left unchecked in around 4 months. The hunters are constantly evolving to keep up with this rate with newer weapons, more dedicated hunters, usage of light vehicles and helicopter hog hunting in Texas and other southern states. There is seldom any restriction placed on the method of the hunt and most firearms including shotguns, rifles, bow and arrows are suitable. Mostly a high caliber rifle fit for hunting deer should suffice. Usage of dogs and lights is also allowed in most states; however, one must check for the local regulations. For the novice hunters, it is advisable to shoot from a stand instead of being on the ground or trying out helicopter hog hunting. Hogs are usually nocturnal creatures and that can make a hunt quite dangerous. It is usually advised to hunt them with a rifle with a quarter shot, about four to five inches behind the shoulder. Before hunting for wild hogs, it should be cleared up with the relevant state department regarding the opening and closing date of the season as well as the bag limit (maximum amount of hunt carried out per hunter) of the particular state. There can also be special permissions to try other hog hunting related sports such as helicopter hog hunting in Texas and other states. Most of the states have permitted hog hunting on private land to ensure that the damage to Agriculture can be controlled which is estimated to be more that $800 million annually in the US.


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