A trailer filled with 18 feral hogs caught in two traps between Luling and Wimberley wait for weighing at a game ranch. Daily Record photo by Denise Cathey
County waging war on feral hogs
Hays County has launched a new program to help reduce the feral hog population after receiving a grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Wildlife Services to assist residents with feral hog management efforts. The program will include a Feral Hog Workshop and webinar, a bounty program, a countywide damage assessment and financial assistance to selected landowners who wish to trap hogs.
The county has joined with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Cypress Creek Project, the San Marcos Watershed Initiative, the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership, Caldwell County and Guadalupe County to assist with educational components of the program.
“The 2018 feral hog program in Hays County has a great opportunity for sustained success as we have received both the funding and support to coordinate on a regional scale with projects in Caldwell County and Guadalupe County,” said Nick Dornak, Watershed Services coordinator at The Meadows Center.
Feral hogs are a problem in Texas that impact water quality in creeks and rivers, as well as cause financial loss to agricultural production. Texas is home to an estimated three million feral hogs. Lacking sweat glands, hogs seek out shelter along Texas creeks and rivers, which can result in contamination of those waterways, such as Cypress Creek. Also, hog rooting and feeding behaviors impact agricultural and nation.
“Feral hogs continue to pose significant problems for both agriculture producers and residential property owners in Hays County,” said Jason Mangold, Hays County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The Hays County bounty program will be held on Wednesdays. It began July 25 and will run through Aug. 22. All tails and forms must be submitted by then. During that period, individuals can bring in feral hog tails and/or certified buying station receipts to the Hays County AgriLife Extension office, 220 Stillwater Drive Wimberley, (Wednesdays only) during regular business hours (8 a.m.- noon and 1-5 p.m). Tails and/or receipts must be from feral hogs harvested in Hays County. Participants will be required to complete a participation form, which can be obtained from the Hays County Extension Office or on the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force website. The property owners name and contact information where the hogs were harvested are required on the form.
The Hays County Feral Hog Workshop will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Dunbar Recreation Center, 801 W MLK Street San Marcos, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. for interested residents to learn about feral hog management measures. Workshop details will be posted online.
For more information, visit the project website. For questions, email The Meadows Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-245-6697.