Friday, June 7, 2017
By Mark Carter
When it comes to hunting feral hogs, there is no offseason. In Texas, state wildlife officials are reminding hunters that the slow slog of summer can provide some of the most challenging hunts.
Feral hogs, of course, are an invasive species and an extreme nuissance, consuming food meant for native species and destroying habitat, but they also represent some of the most challenging -- and best tasting -- quarry.
See the video, "Plague of Pigs," from Texas Parks and Wildlife below:
Texas is home to the country's largest population of feral hogs at an estimated 2.6 million, and state officials are encouraging hunters to help control the growing numbers. Essentially, it's open season in Texas as well as many other states where wild hog populations are growing exponentially [see USDA graph below].
Plus, Hogman Outdoors has a full rundown on hog hunting regulations by state here.
In Texas, landowners and their agents can hunt hogs on private property (essentially all of Texas) without a license if the hogs are doing damage. Otherwise, you'll need a license. And there is no season or bag limit.
From bowhunter Brandon Ray for TPWD:
Late on an April morning I am hidden on a hill, scraping yelp after yelp from my box call, expecting a reply the big turkeys that live in the creek bottom below me. Nothing but a hot Panhandle wind answers my calls. These birds seem to have developed laryngitis. Usually the bottom resounds with gobbles this time of year.
Scanning the creek bottom and the prairie below me, I find a reason for the silence: a cluster of black dots in the distance. Too big for turkeys. I check them out through my binoculars and find a clan of five feral hogs 300 yards out. My turkey hunt has turned into a hog hunt.
Good stuff. And don't forget our own series on the history of the feral hog in America from Emily Glaser: Hog Wild: The History of Feral Pigs in America.