Getting Paid to Hunt Feral Hogs? Yes, Please Sign Us Up.

Financial bounty programs date back decades for a variety of wildlife ranging from felines and canines to the growing number of feral hogs in Texas.
Getting Paid to Hunt Feral Hogs? Yes, Please Sign Us Up.

Feral hogs are linked to widespread damage of crops and landscape, and now are among the leading predators of sea turtle eggs on Georgia's coastal barrier islands. (Photo: Georgia DNR)

Bounty programs with financial payouts or prizes aren't new, dating back decades for a variety of wildlife ranging from felines and canines to marsh-eating nutria today in Louisiana.

The latest efforts are in Texas, where feral hogs wreak damage totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The Corsicana Daily Sun explains it pretty well:

Texas feral hog numbers are so high that the pigs are polluting Hill Country creeks, but a regional task force is fighting back with a $5 per-critter bounty to those who present ears from pigs killed in Hays County, or proof of sale for live animals.

Experts hope the effort to protect watersheds — hogs lack sweat glands and seek out creeks and rivers — from bacterial hog pollution and damage to stream beds works, but it will take more than a short-term bounty in a handful of counties to stop the feral-hog scourge.

“You’ve got to take out two thirds of the population just to keep them at bay,” and that hasn’t yet been done, said Nick Dornak, of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University in San Marcos, which is participating with several area organizations, as well as Hays, Caldwell and Guadalupe counties in the regional hog-management program. “We could be seeing exponential growth continue.”

The program, which received a grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wildlife Services, is the latest in a decades-long attempt to curb Texas’ explosive feral hog population, an effort that has involved a since-withdrawn poison proposal as well as legal hunts from helicopters and hot-air balloons.

This effort also is going on in Guadalupe County, where there also is a $5 bounty for each hog tail submitted. County commissioners there have a goal of 2,000 dead pigs. Restrictions apply, according to the San Antonio Express-News:

Hunters cannot intentionally breed feral hogs just for the program. They cannot bring in hogs from outside county borders. They have to dispose of the animal carcasses. They can only harvest during the eligible period. They must provide the hog's tail to the county as evidence.

"Just because we give a bounty doesn't mean people can come from out of town and go hunting wherever they want. It doesn't mean that they can dump hogs on the side of the road. That's illegal whether we have a bounty or not," County Judge Kyle Kutscher said in the meeting Tuesday.

Summer in Texas isn't the best or most fun time to be chasing feral pigs, but a few greenbacks for the effort might spur hunters to get outdoors.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.