Feral hogs run wild in far NW Side neighborhood

HOA hires trapping company as hogs dig up yards in Stillwater Ranch, roadside

SAN ANTONIO – At around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, Russell Corporon's wife nudged him and said she could hear feral hogs moving their landscaping stones in their yard. 

It's not the first time the Corporons have had an unwelcome visit from the hogs. 

With cellphone in hand, Corporon began to silently walk outside to capture the pesky pigs in the act.

But as Corporan edged out his door onto his stoop, he could hear some squealing getting closer to him.

"You know, I heard one of them coming, so I took off running back in my house and turned around, and they took off this way," Corporon said.

Corporon is far from the only one to have pig problems. 

Lawns and roadsides in the Stillwater Ranch neighborhood show the signs of where feral hogs have dug into the grass, rooting for food. 

"(You) just wake up every morning and hope your yard didn't get hit," said Charles Niemeyer, who has had his yard dug up before.

There may be some hope for homeowners. 

The homeowners association hired a company in September to trap the hogs.

"As you can see, they do not enjoy us being around them," Terrence Davis, of Lone Star Trapping San Antonio, said while walking around a pen of trapped hogs Friday morning.

Davis said it's generally not common for feral hogs to hang around populated neighborhoods, but since Stillwater Ranch is located by some wooded areas off Culebra Road outside of Loop 1604, it's hog heaven.

Once the neighborhoods are built into the habitats where the hogs live, they will start coming in and wreaking havoc, Davis said.

Davis doesn't know how many hogs there are, but he plans to round up as many as possible. 

Since the hogs are unprotected, exotic, non-game animals, it's open season on the animals year-round in Texas.

Davis said the company uses traps that can be triggered remotely by cellphone once cameras show there are enough hogs in the trap.

Once the animals are caught, the company tries to donate most of the pig meat. The rest of the animals are taken to U.S. Department of Agriculture buying stations, where they are processed to make food.

Dug-up lawns are not the only worry for residents.

"I won't let my daughter go out," Niemeyer said. "She used to run out here in these fields and stuff. You can go behind the house, and there's trails and everything, but I don't let her go back there right now for fear of them being back there."

If you do run into a feral hog, Davis said the best thing to do is back away. They are unlikely to attack unless they feel cornered or in danger, he said.

But his company won't back off from trapping the hogs and will be out in the neighborhood as long as the HOA wants.

About the Author

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

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