In early 2008, the Texas Department of Agriculture awarded the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service $1 million for a feral hog abatement project for the next two years ($500 thousand per year). The bulk of the grant money will be used by Wildlife Services, a unit of the AgriLife Extension, to carry-out a number of specially identified direct control projects where control efforts can be measured. Wildlife Services personnel will be removing hogs off specific properties identified in numerous counties throughout the state. We will be looking at the damage that hogs do to agricultural crops (vegetable crops, alfalfa, corn, milo, wheat, rice and peanuts) as well as damage they may present to a cattle rancher or pig producer, such as property damage or disease threat. We will also be looking at green space around urban areas and the role feral hogs play in E. coli transmissions to watersheds.
This grant is not designed to be used to pay a bounty or to pay compensation for losses incurred by feral hogs. In fact the majority of the counties in the State will probably not see any direct benefit from this money, at least not this biennium.
The Texas Wildlife Services Program has always been available to provide assistance with dealing with feral hogs and will remain available to all citizens of the state. While direct control will be limited to availability of personnel in cooperative association areas, technical assistance can be provided to individuals on how they may best resolve their feral hog problems.
Feral hogs can be effectively controlled by snaring, live trapping, shooting and hunting them with dogs. There are currently no toxicants or repellents registered for control and there is no bounty program that we are aware of. In Texas, feral hogs are considered free-ranging exotic animals and may be taken at any time of the year by any legal means. There are however, laws that regulate the transportation of feral hogs. Please refer to the Texas Animal Health Commission for these regulations, and to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for questions relating to hunting regulations.