2 Texas counties offer bounty for feral hogs

Caldwell and Hays counties are offering incentives to hog hunters

Halo LR thermal scope shows feral hogs eating cattle feed on Texas ranch

It’s hog season year-round in Texas but, for a limited time, hunters can receive a bounty for the beasts in Hays and Caldwell counties.

The Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force is offering hunters bounties for feral hogs through a grant program funded by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service - Wildlife Services.

Hays County received a $7,500 grand and Caldwell County received a $20,000 grant.

According to the Feral Hog Task Force, there will be a five-dollar-per-hog bounty that will be paid by check on tails or certified buying station receipts.

“Feral hogs continue to pose significant problems for both agriculture producers and residential property owners in Hays County,” said Hays County Commissioner Mark Jones.

Feral hogs are an invasive species and they reproduce at an alarming rate with an average of five to six pigs per litter and one to two litters per year, according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.

An estimated 2.6 million feral hogs live in Texas alone and the Feral Hog Task Force estimates that feral hogs cause an estimated $500 million in damage annually.

The USDA notes that feral swine are “intelligent animals” and if a trap used to capture the animals is improperly set, the swine “that are not captured will then be educated and much more difficult to capture later.”

In 2020, the Feral Hog Task Force was able to help remove nearly 2,900 swine from Hays, Caldwell, and Guadalupe counties through bounty programs, trapping kits for landowners, aerial gunning operations and educational programming.

An estimated $1,438,500 in ecological and property damage was mitigated through a $37,500 investment in the feral hog bounty programs in those counties during that time period.

The 2022 Caldwell County feral hog bounty may be claimed on the third Thursday of each month from February 17 until July 21.

There will be two bounty claim opportunities per month for feral hogs harvested in Hays County through July 11.

Hog hunters will be required to complete a W-9 and a participation form.

A hunting license is required when hunting feral hogs on public lands.

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