Educational programs planned as county increases feral hog bounty

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

February 2, 2022

Hill County AgriLife Extension will host four upcoming programs to help agriculture producers and landowners make informed decisions concerning feral hog control options. The sessions will also include information about the Bucks for Bacon Bounty Program, which will soon offer an increased bounty of $10 per tail with funds allocated by the Hill County Commissioners Court.

Extension Agent Zach Davis said that feral hogs have become perhaps the largest pest to agriculture producers and landowners in Texas. Davis said that a conservatively estimated population is over 2.6 million in the state, and 99% of all Texas counties have feral hog populations.

Not only are feral hogs destructive to most crops grown in the county, but they also pose a major threat to water quality, native ecology, native wildlife and livestock.

“These hogs can also aid in the spread and transmission of several diseases to our domesticated livestock,” Davis said. “Many may think of feral hogs as native wildlife or game; however, they are actually an invasive species that destroys the natural resources which our native wildlife utilize.”

The programs will be held Thursday, February 17, Tuesday, February 22, Tuesday, March 1, and Thursday, March 3, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hill County Fairgrounds, 1180 South Waco Street in Hillsboro.

Interested participants will receive training on feral hog biology, reproduction, safety, control methods and the continued Hill County feral hog bounty program.

The workshop will be presented by Davis, Hill County Extension Agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources. Forms will be available for participants to sign up for the bounty.

The Hill Feral Hog Committee manages the Bucks for Bacon Bounty as part of the Feral Hog Reduction Program in Hill County. The bounty is currently in operation and will continue until bounty funds allocated by the Hill County Commissioners Court are exhausted.

The bounty is set to increase to $10 per tail starting in March. Participants must present biological evidence of the harvested hogs. Further details will be provided at the educational events offered.

The Bucks for Bacon Feral Hog Bounty Program, which began operation in October 2014, has tracked the harvest of approximately 8,955 hogs across Hill County. Individuals interested in participating in the bounty program, including those previously registered, will need to attend one of the meetings offered.

“Our goal is to have as many citizens as possible throughout the county participating in this program,” Davis said. “The only way for us to make a significant reduction in feral hog damage is to systematically reduce the population. This can only be accomplished through a coordinated and widespread effort.”

All are encouraged attend one of these meetings. There will be no registration cost, and refreshments will be served. Those with questions or who would like to participate in the workshop should call Davis at 254-582-4022.

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