Two Texas counties are set to offer bounties through a grant program.
Everyone knows how bad the feral hog problem in Texas is right now. The millions of wild hogs in the Lone Star State cause millions of dollars in damages to agriculture and landscaping every year. Not to mention the problems they cause for native wildlife. Combating them is a big problem and now two counties are set to open a bounty program that will hopefully thin the herd a little.
KSAT.com reports Caldwell and Hays counties will offer a $5 per pig bounty starting in February. The bounty program is being organized by the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force. Funding for the bounties comes from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's grant program.
Hays county will have $7,500 to spend on bounties and Caldwell county will have $20,000. The program will verify harvests either through a receipt from a certified buying station, or through a check on tails. The interesting thing about this program is there is precedent that it will make a difference.
The Feral Hog Task Force's website notes how they invested $37,500 into a bounty program in Hays, Caldwell, and Guadalupe counties back in 2020. This program resulted in the removal of 2,877 feral hogs. The task force determined the program saved $1,438,500 in both property damage and ecological damage in those counties.
"In terms of investment, that reduction is approximately the same as saving $38.36 in damages for every $1.00 spent," the website reads.
To be eligible to claim bounties, hunters are asked to fill out a participation form for their chosen county. They must also fill out a W-9 tax form. Hunters are also required to provide the name and contact information of the owner of the property they are hunting.
For Caldwell County, bounty claims can be made on the third Thursday of each month from February 17 until July 21 in Lockhart. Hays county will have two bounty claim times a month. For more information on the bounty programs, see the Feral Hog Task Force website.
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NEXT: WHERE DID FERAL HOGS COME FROM ANYWAY? A HISTORY OF WILD SWINE IN NORTH AMERICA