Battling Texas' feral hog population - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Battling Texas' feral hog population

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Amarillo, Texas - Texas has the largest population nationwide. Not of people, but feral hogs.

They may look cute, but the fast growing population of feral hogs are aggressive and destructive. Hundred of millions of dollars in damage is done yearly by these animals.

The Texas Department of Agriculture has started the County Hog Abatement Matching Program where counties are urged to team up and apply for up to $30,000 in grants to help control the hog population.

According to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, every Texas county except for El Paso has documented feral hogs. Grant money can be used to fund various methods to eradicate these animals.

"An average of only about 24 percent of the population can be taken out by hunting. Around 60 to 70 percent of the population would have to be taken out every year just to hold the population steady," Ken Cearly, Wildlife Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service says.

Cearly says feral hogs reproduce at one of the fastest rates. An effective way of taking them out is through helicopter gunning. Oklahoma, which also has a hog problem, recently made it legal to shoot hogs from an aircraft.

Texas counties must apply for the grants by July 1st.