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Texans aren’t much concerned about a zombie apocalypse. We worry that we’ll be overrun by a more insidious menace…wild hogs. Especially as some of the many diseases they carry are capable of producing zombie-like symptoms amongst the human population. We’re talking . . .

LeptospirosisbrucellosisE. coli, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, rabies,, trichinosis, giardiasis (parasite above), Cryptosporidiosis, pseudorabies, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, tularemia, hog cholera, foot and mouth disease and anthrax . . . to name a few.

Swine brucellosis was one of the first biological agents to be weaponized by the US in 1952. WMD? Yes, these furry foes mean business!

Hunters in Texas are taking up arms to combat these agricultural terrorists. Sadly, we aren’t keeping pace with the high rate at which they procreate by merely hog hunting.

Not only are they declaring war on our lands but these dang furry pigs are nymphos, reproducing at astonishing rates. The females reach sexual maturity as young as three to four months of age. They come into estrus every 18-24 days!

These hairy ladies are polyestrous (the scientific term for lascivious) and the dang things can have up to 12 little piglets in one litter. (Click here for more gross facts about hog ovaries.)

According to studies, there are between 1.8 and 3.4 million wild pigs in Texas alone. That’s half the population of hogs in the entire U.S., and they inhabit most every county in the state. At the rate they’re reproducing and destroying land, wild hogs are vying for the title of America’s Most Invasive Species.

The hog problem costs Texas a whopping $50 million in agricultural damage each year. Across the US, hogs cause an estimated $1.5 billion dollars in damage and are now established in 40-45 US states. In Texas, where it’s legal to go hog hunting year round, we’re only harvesting 750,000 pigs a year.

In other words, hunters and trappers aren’t even making a dent in the hog epidemic. How do we stop them? Can they be stopped?

Trapping, hunting, poisons, helicopters, night vision, silencers and now balloons are all part of The Lone Star State’s war on hogs — until you realize nothing is working. (from 2014):

The U.S. Department of Agriculture created a new national program in April to halt and reverse this trend. It aims to wipe out pigs from two states every three to five years and stabilize the population within a decade. Dale Nolte, national coordinator of the program, says his first priority will be states with the fewest pigs; he will then work back to those like Texas that are overrun.

One reason he wants to confront the states with the fewest pigs first is because the animals reproduce rapidly once they invade an area. If 70 percent of the pigs in a region are killed, the remaining ones can have piglets fast enough to replace all those lost in just two and a half years.

Who’s to blame for hogpocalypse?

“In May 1539, Hernando de Soto landed nine ships with over 620 men and 220 horses in an area generally identified as south Tampa Bay,” reveals. His cargo included 13 razorback pigs.

An unknown number escaped and went, well, hog wild. In addition to the “gift” of measles, smallpox and chicken pox unleashed by the “explorers,” the pigs spread porcine diseases amongst the native populations throughout North America. The continent was literally decimated.

The invasion didn’t stop there.

In the 1930s, European wild hogs, “Russian boars,” were first imported and introduced into Texas by ranchers and sportsmen for sport hunting. Most of these eventually escaped from game ranches and began free ranging and breeding with feral hogs. Because of this crossbreeding, there are very few, if any, true European hogs remaining in Texas.

So how exactly do hogs affect us? According to

Wild hogs are “opportunistic omnivores,” meaning they’ll eat most anything. Using their extra-long snouts, flattened and strengthened on the end by a plate of cartilage, they can root as deep as three feet. They’ll devour or destroy whole fields—of sorghum, rice, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, melons and other fruits, nuts, grass and hay. Farmers planting corn have discovered that the hogs go methodically down the rows during the night, extracting seeds one by one.

Hogs erode the soil and muddy streams and other water sources, possibly causing fish kills. They disrupt native vegetation and make it easier for invasive plants to take hold. The hogs claim any food set out for livestock, and occasionally eat the livestock as well, especially lambs, kids and calves. They also eat such wildlife as deer and quail and feast on the eggs of endangered sea turtles.

So, with all this “hog chaos” is there light at the end of the tunnel? Truthfully, no. However, there is one positive: these little monsters are delicious.

Wild boar is leaner than pen-raised pork for those of you trying to maintain your girlish figures. (Just don’t eat old boars, they’re nasty.) The rib meat is so tender it falls off the bone. You know, the ones not infected with bubonic plague.

Yes, well, there is that.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife the best way to keep from contracting any diseases is to use rubber gloves when field dressing or cleaning your kill and of course cook the meat thoroughly.

FYI just as a side note, I have cleaned my share of hogs, in the Texas summer heat and it was truly disgusting.  My advice: do it hungry!  Everything can look delicious when you’re starving.

After you’ve thrown up, later that night by the fire pit, smoke that baby and enjoy your spoils with a cold one. Knowing you’ve done you part for America’s war on hogs.

Be sure to catch Liberte Austin’s Saturday hunting digest.

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      • Back in the day at Ft Hood you could use old Sherman hulks scattered out and about as blinds during deer season. Just keep an eye out for snakes, spiders, scorpions, infantrymen and other suchlike low-lifes. And don’t shoot the cows.

  1. I have hunted and killed quite a few of those things over the years. I have lived in Texas all my 55 years, but until I quit having to pay to kill them, I don’t think I call it a hog problem. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in free capitalism, but the cost keeps me from tackling more of them.

    • I’m not a Texas land-owner, but looking at it from their perspective, opening up their property for whoever to come and blast a few pigs (that makes no impact on the overall population) doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sure you’re a great guy, responsible and conscientious, but what about the other yahoos that will shoot up his barn or livestock, leave gates open or get drunk and do who knows what else? My point is a few casual hunters aren’t going to solve his problem and might actually make it worse.

      • I agree. How much of a really severe problem/pest are these pigs to Texas ranchers/farmers/landowners, if they’re going to charge people hundreds of dollars to hunt them from their property?
        When I have a pest problem on MY property(ants, bees, gophers…) , it’s ME that has to pay a pest control guy to fix it. Yet here in Texas, we have landowners charging the hunters??? From my POV, it looks like the landowners are taking advantage of their pest problem, in order to generate extra revenue, only because the landowners KNOW that hunters are willing to part with their cash to hunt.
        And why assume the hunters are going to do any damage to the property? Why penalize the 98% of the good hunters, just because of the 2% that might be clowns?
        Nothing looks more like a “Win-Win”, then the idea of a rancher who is infested with pigs, allowing in hunters(free) to kill those pigs and take them away. Rancher gets his pest problem fixed free, and the hunters get to hunt pigs free and take away the meat.
        It’s very hard to feel sorry for these ranchers pig problem, so long as they are charging people to hunt their land.

    • Recently learned the squirrels carry disease that can make people and dogs very sick and rats, mice. BB gun arrives today since other than self defense it’s illegal to discharge a gun inside City Limits. Rats are very smart. They have learned how to disable the trap and steal the cheese. There is a You Tube video using a BB to kill an infestation. Also we have them in our attic, which is a fire hazard. All mouse and
      squirrels die quickly and quietly

      • You might want to keep in mind that, unlike hogs, squirrels were considered game animals, not varmints, by the state of TX, at least the last time I looked.

      • To rid attics of squirrels, rats, etc, is to make it uninhabitable for them, and the cheapest and most effective way to do that is to get a garden pump sprayer (2 gal is sufficient), fill it 3/4 with water, mix in a bottle of inexpensive hot sauce (don’t use a powder, that’ll clog the nozzle) and spray all around the attic. The critters will be gone that day, literally.

        Remember, it’s an organic compound so will degrade over a week or two, but after two or three applications, there will be sufficient build up to last for 6 months or so and the critters will get the message.

      • Feral hogs will continue to be a major problem until the laws are changed. They have become a cash cow for a lot of people who lease up private land and then charge folks to come in and hunt the hogs. When they get low on hogs (it’s more of pay to kill than pay to hunt in many of them) they buy hogs trapped elsewhere and restock the area. Doesn’t do a damn thing to control the population but instead increases it. All that land that’s been leased is just used to grow the pig population as well as use hunting to selectively breed bigger, badder hogs which bring much bigger “trophy” fees. Land owners are far more apt to take a guaranteed source of income from these “pay to hunt” folks instead of allow hunters on their land to kill the pigs.

        I totally understand being concerned about letting strangers hunt on your land, the owners have a lot of money invested in their property but refusing to let hunters in and/or contracting with the pay to hunt companies is only making the problem worse, exponentially worse. When I was young it was common for landowners to allow hunters on their land. Most hunters were very careful to do everything right so that they could come back and those that didn’t were quickly identified and banned by the landowners all over the area. The system worked back then, I don’t know why it would be any different now. Take a chance on folks, there are tons of shooting/hunting forums full of good people who would love to hunt pigs but have no access. Those few that may not respect the situation can be quickly blackballed thus limiting any problems for the landowners. There are way, way, way more hunters out there who are trustworthy and experienced than those who don’t care about being conscientious and respectable. When a bad one is identified it’s fast and easy to remove them from the pool.

        States need to ban paid hog hunting operations to start with and then create programs where local hunters can meet with landowners who have hogs problems and work out a plan that benefits both. The states need to take a bigger role in this. If all the respectable hunters out there were given access to places with hog problems it would create a reduction thus far not achieved. It has to be a group effort on the part of the state, the landowners and willing hunters. Until these things change the problem will definitely get much worse.

      • Try 100% peppermint oil as it is Toxic to all members of the rodent family if you think this is not true just ask a vet & you will get the same answer.

  2. If the ranchers and outfitters didn’t charge so much to hunt them, I’d be back down in a heartbeat. That was some fun shooting.

    • This is why I never went hog hunting when I lived in Texas. I was not going to pay hundreds of dollars to shoot a pig. So, until they decide that they want to actually wipe them out, then they can deal with the damage they do.

  3. in Virginia, we’re told the following:

    The minimum .23 caliber restriction for big game does not apply to designated nuisance species in Virginia; however, common sense should dictate the caliber of choice to match the size and construction of an animal being harvested. An adult feral hog can be heavier than a mature white-tailed deer and is structurally a much tougher animal.

    • I just took down a 200lb wild hog on Saturday using Hornady 75 grain Superformance Match .223 out of a 16 inch AR. I hit it square in the shoulder and it went down permanently. Hot .223 with the right placement is more than enough.

      • Speer Gold dot bonded ammo is good for hunting in .223 if you really have too. Really full power 5.56 bonded is better. If you’ve got the cash and can find FBI loads or that Winchester Ranger bonded 5.56 would work best for that caliber.

        Really the thing to do is switch to a 6.8spc2 upper and mags. That’s the best hog round in a AR15 size plateform. IMO

    • I’ve never had a problem killing them with my ar15. 69gr game kings or 64gr power points work great

    • Never had any problem putting domestic hogs down with a .22WMR revolver.
      Have seen youtube videos of bang-flops on feral hogs with .22LR rifles.

      Shoot em between the eyes if they’re coming at you, or stick it in their ear if they’re standing broadside, and you can shoot one for 8 cents and not waste any meat.

    • I shoot with surplus “green tips”. Always aim for their heavily armored heads. Let the round do what its supposed to do. Defeat armor. Anywhere from the eyes to the ear from the side and anywhere near the eyes from straight ahead. They always pause to look, listen, smell. When they do, that cheap ammo puts them down quick. Never tried it on body shots though. I’ve seen hogs shot through both shoulders run over 75 yards. You can lose them pretty easy in the brush.

  4. I didn’t know much about the wild hogs until a post here sometime ago and since then I’ve been reading up anything and everything I can get my hands on from first person on the ground reports to state and federal papers on the subject.

    Doesn’t help that so much land is effectively hog protection zones since the landowners won’t let anyone hunt it and often don’t want anyone to hunt it having written off hog related damage and essentially becoming land-owning welfare queens.

    Free pork running wild all over the state should be an awesome problem with millions eager to help with the solution but they either aren’t allowed to help or aren’t wanted to help. If the land owners don’t really want the problem to be solved they should stop bitching about it.

    • If they won’t help with the problems (allow hunting, etc), then they shouldn’t be allowed to mooch off of the taxpayer for writing off their damage. Enabling hogs on their own land just makes it tougher on everyone else. Not like they stay put. Once one area is destroyed, they move on to other areas… Hmmm… kinda like criminals… which need the same treatment.

      • What magical world is this where I can get the government to pay me for pigs destroying my crops? Especially a world where they are worth more than my crops?
        What the hell are you talking about?

        • I’m not sure about the government, but you could probably turn it into insurance maybe. Idk

        • Mr. Taylor,

          I believe that a farmer can claim crop losses (from feral hog damage) as a financial loss. From a tax perspective, those farmers will subtract losses from income and then pay tax on the difference … which means a reduction in their tax liability.

          Since those farmers are no longer paying their “fair share”, you and I have to pay more taxes to make up for the reduced tax revenue from farmers claiming crop losses.

          Well, if government is going to force you and I to pay part of a farmer’s fair share, then they should force those farmers to allow you and I to kill off the feral hogs (if we are willing) in order to reduce your and my tax burden.

        • Un common bullshit. Posit this. I live on my land with a spring fed lake that feeds into the Colorado river. I stock this lake with Oskars and Grass carp. I then charge people to fish for them. There is a big rain and the resulting floods wash some of these invasive fish into the down stream ecology. What is the daily limit? Fug oo stay off my land.

      • I hunt hogs on the land all around me for free. You could too, if you weren’t a dick.

  5. Until shooting hogs only costs what you shoot in ammo and gas to get there the chance of me going after hogs is very low.

    Other then that I’d love the opportunity to do it.

    • Yep, if it’s such a problem (I’ve heard that 80% of the herd needs to be killed off annually to keep the population level), licenses (if required at all) should be free… But as with everything, licenses are needed ‘for our safety’. /sarc.

      • Ben, you don’t need a license to kill pigs for eradication. They aren’t a game animal.

        • Maybe not in Texas, but otherwise it depends on the state. In California you have to have a hunting license obtained through a hunter education class for anything living you want to shoot, including hogs, and yes, even ground squirrels and coyotes. I am reasonably certain that you have to buy tags for hogs as well. Under California law (since the state was created in 1850), all wild animals, fish, and birds are the sovereign property of the state, and it is therefore a privilege to be able to hunt them, not a right. There are exceptions for some predation circumstances, such as when you, your animals, flock or herd is being attacked.

        • Mark N. Not only do you have to jump thru many hoops to get a license you have to pay a 22 buck tag for every hog you shoot. Better have the tag before you shoot. And you can’t night hunt them or have lights attached to your weapon.

          And of course the poor destitute ranchers/farmers suffering millions in losses every year will charge you 4-600 bucks to shoot one.

          I’m in hopes the hogs will destroy the state. My only worry is they’ll wind up voting democrat.

        • Mike, you do not need a license to shoot hogs in Texas. The source you linked to does say “[a]lthough feral hogs are not classified as game animals, a hunting license is required to hunt them,” so your misunderstanding is understandable. You can hunt hogs without a license with the landowner’ s permission for the purpose of eliminating a deprecating species.

          I’m not surprised the people who profit off of hunting licenses are lying about it. I’ve heard so much misinformation on the subject, I have trouble keeping the particulars straight.

    • Some one can correct me but I think in Florida you don’t need a license to hunt python snakes, just a two hour class is required. Perhaps this is the way to go nation wide in the case of wild hogs, no license needed.
      It would be a great way to introduce new hunters and perform a civil duty. You capitalist out there take my idea and run with it.

      • The FL gov even pays people to hunt pythons in the Everglades. I’m not sure the whole process or if it’s just certain times they pay people, but a guy recently caught/killed a 13 ft one and made over $100 from the government. Idk if he also could sell the meat and snake skin for boots.

    • Hey everyone there. Is free hog hunting on the public land to the east of lake Somerville. Quit bitching.

  6. We have been killing 3-4 weekly in my small area of Georgia on local properties. I can say that I too agree they populate ridiculously fast. We’ve taking 20-30 over the last couple months and they still come to the poured corn every time we bait them.

    • Well since I’m not in Texas I get calls from owners to get rid of the hogs for them. It’s great for them and me. No charge to either party and enough to keep you shooting and eating!

  7. The people of Africa are also very concerned about the over population of animals. Wild hogs do indeed eat young deer. I’m glad we have a picture. But wild animals in Africa eat people of any age. Perhaps the internet is the way to get non hunters with an open mind to understand the importance of hunting whether you eat meat or not or you have guns but don’t hunt.

  8. Perhaps we should send out PETA volunteers to teach the pigs Marxist-Leninist Progressivism. It will either kill the pigs through boredom and logical contradictions or provide the pigs with a free vegan-fed lunch.

  9. Why is a private property owner’s pig problem newsworthy? Do you hear me whining about my aramadillo problem? Not until now. I just shoot and shut up. Texans, number one fucking attention whores in the gun world.

      • Why do your attacks always come out of no where? Why would him killing armadillos or saying Texans should shut up and just kill some pigs imply he doesn’t know where his food come from?

        • The argument comes out of nowhere if you are too stupid to read or think. Read the article again and look at the list of diseases. Those are the diseases living with the livestock you eat.

  10. The only way to fix the problem, is to cap the cost of hunting them on private land. When land owners are asking for $150+ per hog you kill on their land, it creates a huge disincentive to actually cull the population and fix the real issue. Its become a market and revenue stream for them to make more money. I’m very pro market, but this is an opportunity for government to step in correctly, put a cap on the fees that can be charged by landowners, call it $30-50. If the hogs actually start costing them money instead of providing it, the problem will actually get fixed.

    • So let me get this straight, you want to force me, by law, to allow people I don’t know to roam around my property, shooting, without my permission, and for that you are willing to give me $50?
      I’m assuming I get to do the same at your house?

      • No, that’s not what he said. He said IF you let people on to hunt you can charge them ONLY a capped fee per hog or per hunt. If you don’t want other people on your property, then you don’t have to, but then it is your responsibility to clean up the mess.

        • How much is the bond that they will put up for any potential damage to my livestock or property? It would have to be at least $20,000 for a small farm.

        • Could you require anyone you allowed to shoot on your property to sign an agreement where they agreed to pay for any damage they cause to your property (including licestock)? Then only allow 1 group on the property at a time (or in a given area) so that there is no finger pointing about who caused what. Would still suck to have other people hunting on your property, but if you let the right people in at least they’d hopefully be better than the hogs.

    • I completely agree with you. I would hunt hogs for the fun of it, my ammo, my gas, my time, weekly but its too expensive with these ranches charging $150-$300 per day.

  11. “large passels of hogs have been attacking and devouring unarmed residents of cook and collar counties, as well as all other blue leaning utopian sanctuary areas. many formerly high crime zones have become peaceful, fat and happy,with former drug runners now engaging in bbq sauce distribution.”

    it could happen.

  12. The problem in some areas is land owners wanting $50 – $250 per animal as a “trophy” fee. I enjoy shooting feral animals when all it costs is fuel and ammunition.

  13. The hog problem in Texas will never be solved as long as landowners see hogs as as piggy banks and not invasive species. In other words, as long as they can charge ridiculous sums of money to allow people to hunt these beasts, they will. Once the money goes out of it, maybe by declaring hogs a public nuisance and imposing on landowners an obligation to rid their properties of hogs, subject to penalties if they fail to do so either directly or by allowing their land to be hunted, then we will see some reductions. There has to be a call not just for culling/species management, but total annihilation and eradication.

    • Absolutely! I don’t think Texans understand the big picture with what’s happening with these hogs. They think its all fun and games until you are have the most hogs in the country… oh wait.

  14. The idea that 223 isn’t big enough to kill a hog is the most absured thing I’ve ever heard. I grew up on a farm in Missouri in the 60’s and 70’s and killed dozens of hogs. Some weighing as much as 500 pounds. What did we use? A 22 caliber rifle. That’s right a 22 caliber rifle. Some shots were as far as 100 feet away. Yea I know everyone thinks you can’t get that close to a wild hog. With a good scope and marksmanship it can be done from much further away. One well placed shot behind the ear and I can guarantee death.

    • I had a neighbor who (illegally) raised a couple of hogs on his lot. When the butcher came, it was two pops with a .22 for each one, and down they went.

    • Yup, I’ve seen big-uns go down from a well-placed .22LR right behind the ear. But I’ve also seen a pissed-off big boar shrug off two direct hits from a 30-30 and keep on coming — right at you.

      If I’m hunting pigs on foot, I prefer 6.8 SPC, 45-70, or .444 Marlin. A .458 SOCOM would also be nice, as would a good old Mosin Nagant.

  15. There was a show called Hog Dawgs with hot chicks hunting hogs with dogs in Florida.

    • The wife of one of my neighbors crawled into an Arkansas cave armed with only a knife and came out with a knife and a hog that weighed more than her.

      Her husband shivered while showing me the pictures, admitting she has bigger balls than he.

      Had to laugh at that ‘cuz she was a slight little lady.

      With bigger balls than I have, too.

      • As an Arkansan, I have several friends that have taken hogs this way. Most use dogs to corral the hogs and then use a Bowie knife or similar to vanquish the vermin. One, whom we called “Crazy Carl,” simply walked into the woods with nothing but a knife to find his quarry. He returned with a sow and live piglet, which he then proceeded to raise in the dorms in college. While this contributed, he earned his nickname in many other unrelated ways.

  16. Until the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Corp of Engineers let us hunt on the lake property here in Texas the problem is sure to get worse. Hogs know where its safe to sleep, With a crossbow , you might get lucky and kill 2 maybe. Issue permits to hunt with a Rifle. I’m sure the Parks could use some money right now.

    • Texas Parks and Wildlife is a big part of the hog problem. They make it a pain to hunt on state land by way of ridiculous restrictions. They lie about requirements for hunting on private land. Game wardens make up requirements and conditions (this might be mere incompetence).

  17. If you charge to hunt hogs then you should be barred from either insurance claims or relief via Dept. of Agriculture programs. Welfare fraud in my opinion and this comes from a pro-hunting guy from a farm town.

  18. Hunting seasons work for animals you want more of…if a land owner could charge $50k to let a hunter take a whooping crane on their property every land owner in America would be doing everything in their power to get more whooping cranes on their property (until there were so many they couldn’t charge that much) and we’d be overrun with them in short order.

    Here in Kansas hog hunting is illegal unless you’re on your own land or are a hog removal service hired by the landowner. We’re also one of the few states having any success with controlling feral hogs. Here nobody makes a profit from them they lose money from them instead so even though we’re just about surrounded by them we don’t have them. If anyone reading this thinks I’m anti hunting, I voted in favor of a constitutional right to hunt and fish in Kansas (I just hope it doesn’t screw up our hog control success).

  19. I think everyone making comments here are missing a crucial point. Have you noticed how the appearance, breeding habits, destruction of habitat, and voracious appetites……….are all common traits of……..Dimmocrats!!! Yes, we are being invaded….another species of unemployed, entitled, hungry, ignorant creatures are taking over. And all this time you guys were worried about zombies.

  20. So Texas has 1/2 the hog population, but only 1/30 the damage ($50M / $1500 M)? Either 1) most of the damage is non-agricultural, 2) Texas hogs are especially polite and careful not to cause damage, 3) Texas agriculture is worth a lot less than in other states or 4) those numbers don’t jibe.

  21. So pigs go ravaging the crops, and farmers squeal like…well, pigs.

    But thorough fencing and allowing other parties to cull pigs cheap, or (better) for free is beneath them.

    Science says you cannot get thinner while spending your days on the sofa while stuffing yourself choke full of Wendy’s wares.

  22. I wish there were more hogs in Iowa. I’m sure the farmers don’t want them, but I want something to hunt in August over bait with no limit.

  23. These would be less of a problem if every land owner didn’t want $1,000 to hunt them. Im not asking to use peoples land for free but at least be reasonable. *shrugs*

  24. Wild hogs are a problem but do the costs of eradicating a specific boar population cover irresponsible or overeager hunters? I can still remember PA stories about careless whitetail hunters shooting anything that moved or wasn’t wearing an orange safety vest. Our land saw several close calls… Are such problems a reality in TX and other free states where folks use high capacity magazines and hot rounds?

    • There are some in the foothills of the San Joaquin valley but not nearly numerous enough to be invasive I don’t think. I haven’t heard of any actually in the valley, and I don’t think they’d last long. The farmers here would immediately take a no-nonsense approach to it I’d imagine. I know I would be happy to have some cheap pork, although if they destroy my crops it’s not cheap anymore.

      • There are some up here at the northern end of the Central Valley too, but from what I’ve read, they are not especially flavorful as they subsist mostly on grasses and acorns. From Red bluff north, the only planted crops are alfalfa and hay, and the rest is winter grazing land full of scrub oaks or small produce farms in the some of the stream bed areas. I haven’t actually heard of anyone hunting them up here. Nor does there seem to be any issues with them, at least for the thirty years I’ve lived here. The usual pests are coyotes and ground squirrels, plus the occasional starving young cougar or bear that wanders into a developed area.

    • If feral hogs attack the vineyards in Nappa?

      they would not last a week!
      Someone has to make all the wine that the Karcrashians and the house ho’s of Orange county drink!

      A drunk trophy wife in cali is a wife that is quiet and does not kill the credit card!

  25. “Trapping, hunting, poisons, helicopters, night vision, silencers and now balloons are all part of The Lone Star State’s war on hogs — until you realize nothing is working”
    Wow, you sure make it sound like people are actually interested in controlling the hog population. Alas, the one plausible remedy –poisoning– is not really on the table because hunters, and land owners who sell leases to hunters, value their weekend entertainment too highly.

    1) Forbid the selling of hunting leases. If a land owner wants hogs dead, let the hunters come for free or pay them.
    2) Remove *all* restrictions on trapping & poisoning hogs, with the caveat that collateral damage to other species will continue to be punished (except in cases of extreme infestation; if the deer population that’s nearly as prolific as hogs has to suffer a few years to solve this problem in the worst areas, so be it). This includes previously protected areas, provided hogs are known to be present
    3) Forbid the installation & operation of deer corn feeders in the hardest-afflicted counties
    4) Severe penalties for those who a) intentionally loose hogs on their property b) fail to take reasonable measures to prevent proliferation of hogs on their property (feeding stations, mainly, but also hog ranches & hunting leases)
    5) Create a bounty system for simultaneously killed breeding-age sows (the more brought in at once, the higher the bounty for each), followed by an inspection group that keeps tabs on hot spots (to keep bounty hunters honest as well as tracking the problem)

    In short, if we create the kinds of conditions that all other threatened species endure –conditions specifically hostile to large-scale sport hunting– this problem will evaporate. But as it stands, there are too many hunters who want their entertainment, who are unwilling to entertain any solution that could actually reduce the population, and far too many land owners who if anything want the hog population even higher, so they can price their lease access even higher. With no lawful profit hunting, landowners will stop spreading/feeding hogs intentionally. With no restrictions on poisoning or traps, entire hog sounders will be annihilated vs. individuals that are replaced within days (and aggressively so in the worst areas, if protections for equally-numerous species like deer or coyotes are temporarily dropped). With less access to sport hunting, there will be far fewer stakeholders on the hogs’ side seeking their protection.

    And the population will collapse. Otherwise, if we continue on our present course, they will continue to spread & adapt to our methods, until they eventually develop tools & replace us a-la Planet of the Apes (kidding, only sort of, since hogs are easily the smartest animal humans eat with any regularity, and possess many of the same survival traits that helped us hominids proliferate)

    All this said, the idea of an afternoon ballooning for hogs does carry an appealing dignitude. Maybe bring a Lewis or Vickers along for the ride.

    • Very interesting concepts. I think you are correct that the only way we are going to get control of the problem is going to be to unleash the really big gun — poisoning — which unfortunately is going to result in some collateral damage to other wildlife. But it may be a choice of suffering some collateral damage to the deer population now vs. a lot more in the future.

      The idea of banning charging for hog hunting leases (coupled with some carrots and sticks for landowners to eradicate hogs from their property) makes sense from an economic perspective, but contrary to the hopes of some of the commentators above you’re not going to see landowners just opening their gates to the public. As JWT notes, the last thing a rancher wants on his land is an idiot with a gun. They’d probably rather just have to deal with feral hogs — as they can just shoot them.

      If we are going to exterminate feral hogs in Texas, then we need to encourage *exterminators*, not sport hunters. Maybe a program where if hunters can prove that they truly know what they are doing and are willing to have an appropriate bond / insurance policy for any damage they cause (you know, like a professional exterminator), then they are certified / licensed by the state. Landowners are then encouraged (again, by a mix of carrots and sticks) to allow certified / licensed hog exterminators onto their property, and thus have at least a modicum of protection if the exterminator damages their property. A bounty program where the exterminator and the landowner split the bounty would be one way to encourage landowners to participate, as well as create a system where proven exterminators are in demand.

      Just a thought.

    • We need to start viewing this as a rat infestation. Not enough people understand what is happening.

      • This is a national problem. Deregulate the slaughter of these pests, either heavily or completely, and people will kill them. No season, no license, no kill limits, no limits on methods used.

        * On a side, this is how a specie becomes “successful”. Not fangs, size, or even ferocity – just a bunch of females in heat. The horny shall inherit the earth?

  26. So question I’ve never seen addressed: How come the pig bomb is just exploding recently (last 20yrs) if hogs have been in the wild here for 500 years? Prolific breeders in a new habitat with minimal natural predators should equal huge hog numbers- like 350yrs ago. So why now?

    • I dunno. But the explosion is in fact real.

      When I was a kid in the 1970’s we’d hunt feral pigs in the Brazos River bottoms, and you had to know where to look for them. Now they are everywhere — even in the Hill Country, for crying out loud!

    • “There ain’t nuthin’ funner’n hog huntin'”
      Deer hunting has become ridiculously expensive here, and hogs are the perfect sporting game animal for profit seeking leases. Everywhere that hunting was opened up to “control the hog population,” the hog population immediately exploded.

    • Because it has taken decades and centuries of hogs getting loose. De Soto’s swine may have been the first but it took many more than that. In addition, we have eliminated many of the natural predators that would have taken many of these out. Also, omnivorous pests thrive where man goes as they usually can get more calories from farms. Animals they eat get more calories from farms as well. Last, population growth is/are logarithmic. There are tipping points that lead to explosions. We crossed that point w/ feral hogs in the southeast U.S. sometime during the mid 20th century. The problem is multi-factorial but the last one is the biggest.

      In cinema this problem was depicted decades ago. Home from the Hill and Old Yeller depict feral hogs.

  27. Most rural land owners I’ve met will gladly let people they trust hunt on their land for free. They will tell you where the hogs have been seen recently and at what times.

    They just don’t want strangers and morons all over their land shooting.

    • And, the untrustworthy and morons outnumber all others. This is no longer the age of respect and responsibility.

  28. The population is up and I believe many want it this way. Problem is no one is willing to do what is necessary to win. This problem is simply part of the wider stupidity America has been stricken with since the end of WW2. It effects ALL aspects of life. Fact of the matter is, as Trump says, we don’t win anymore. Because we don’t want to. We don’t know how. And we are flat out unwilling to go all the way. Want to solve the hog problem in Texas? The state and the landowners need to set aside a time, to just open the whole state up for one massive cull. Bring in everyone include law enforcement and national guard. Any hunter from anywhere. And march across the state killing every single one. It can be done. Answering this problem with a bunch of yeah buts and ifs is how you lose. So until everyone’s ready to pitch in and fight, the hogs will continue to win the war.

  29. In southeast PA, the handful of farmers I’ve talked with were mostly welcoming when asked if I could bust groundhogs and Canadas on their property. And those animals are not as destructive as wild pigs. No fees, no leases, just politely asking and gaining permission to hunt pests on their property, respectfully following their rules. If TX farmers and ranchers are charging big bucks for pig hunting access, then that’s counterproductive.

  30. There is no pig problem or people wouldnt be dicks when someone politely and professionally asked to hunt their land. Also here in FL people with “pig problems” want to charge 500+ dollars. The trappers here will pay it and then breed em with domestics so they get bigger. Which inevitably escape their high fence land. Needless to say I am salty.

  31. Best trick I saw was a hunter who set up a several pound tub of Tannerite explosive and surrounded it with bait corn, then he waited for a herd of hogs to start feeding. When he shot the Tannerite the explosion sent a dozen hogs sailing through the air with the greatest of ease. YouTube has plenty more like this…

  32. Interesting BS about the .223 being inadequate for pig hunting, this is funny as hell, being a country boy, one of my many Fall jobs was to butcher for the winter and for sale, weapon of choice .22 LR usually 1 shot 1 pig!
    usually took about an hr to process after that!
    I would use a .22 LR and those I wounded would be killed and eaten by their brothers and sisters, self regulating!
    the ranchers in Texas get a double your money damages from the pigs plus they can charge fees to kill pigs so it’s their best interest in a high pig population, if Feds and State would stop damage payments the pig population would disappear so fast you’d be dizzy!

  33. The last two hunting leases I was on had had feral hog populations, one manageable and the other had a near uncontrollable pig problem.

    The standing rule on both leases among the hunters was that it was mandatory to shoot every hog you saw and shoot as many as possible when ever the opportunity presented itself. In hot weather we would drag off our kills out of site into heavy brush, then someone told us it saves the work required to drag them off if you simply gut shoot the hogs because they will instinctively run into heavy brush to die. Also, if you drop a sow with piglets that escape before you can shoot them, let the sow lay and usually within 15-20 minutes the piglets will return to the dead sow to give you another chance to shoot them, repeat the process until you’ve killed as many piglets as possible. It’s a huge mistake if you have hunters who want to preserve their feral hog population for fall and winter hunts, if you don’t kill as many as possible every chance you get, the population will eventually explode and then there are simply too many to kill off. Make sure your hunters don’t mistake javelina’s for feral hogs because your javelina population is vulnerable to over hunting and are regulated in Texas as game animals with bag limits.

  34. I would gladly come to Texas to help with the hog problem. I will supply the ammo, gas, food, and motel room.

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  36. Stop poisoning them and shooting them and give them whatever foods they LOVE which are saturated with drugs that sterilize the males and the females. If necessary, concentrate on what the young ones like to eat.

    Use their greatest strength, their reproductive rate, against them.

    End of infestation in 10 years.

    David W. Walters, Ph.D. (Biochemist)

  37. Feral pigs will eat you! When I was a teenager a local girl (Texas) committed suicide. When her father found her the hogs were eating her. The lady who was recently killed by a sounder of pigs died in the next county south.

    That doesn’t included the farmer who was eaten by his hogs. While pigs make great pets, if they’re hungry, they can be dangerous.

  38. I didn’t even realize that some states have a hog infestation problem that negatively affects their crops. I would understand how the rising population of this animal attracts hunters. But I think farmers who really want to have effective control solutions should consult pest experts.

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