It's hog heaven at retreat in Tyler - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

It's 'hog heaven' at retreat in Tyler

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Most people find hogs a nuisance, but for one Tyler family, feral hogs have become...well, part of the family.

At Boar's Nest Texas hogs are never killed.

"You kill everything, you take that way of life away, so that's basically something we're trying to hold here is the heritage and the way of life that some people have that they've kept. That's a Texas tradition that they keep here, and that's basically what we're trying to keep here," Cody Fritz, part of the Boar's Nest family, said.

An estimated two million hogs roam Texas, but the lucky boars at this sanctuary are in "hog heaven," according to Fritz.

"They're treated just like any other animal, just like a dog or a cat; they see a vet, they're fed every day, they live a life of luxury," he claimed.

He grew up hunting the wild beasts with his father and grandfather, but now he's found a way to protect the animals and the pastime.

"It's my heritage, it's what I've done; I grew up doing it and I love it, and I wouldn't do anything else," he said.

Taking the hogs in is taking care of a problem, too.

"Getting rid of these hogs that are tearing up people's land and bringing them out here, at least they're able to live and have a good life rather than be slaughtered because a farmer is tired of them tearing up their land," Matt Harvey, another member of The Boar's Nest family, said.

He helps train dogs to hunt the hogs. Yesterday they brought in a nearly 300 pounder.

Besides training dogs to hunt, they also hold events at the arena every month.

"They're almost like family now, because whenever I walk up to them, I'll just call them and they'll come running to me, so it's almost like having more children," said Harvey, who takes his children to the arena often, said.

They say it's about allowing the dogs and hogs to do what they do in nature, while helping keep hogs off neighborhood lawns. 
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