State Funds To Fight Feral Hogs - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/07/08-Longview

State Funds To Fight Feral Hogs

Feral hogs cause more than $50 million in damages to crops and property in Texas each year, and their population continues to increase.

"They come in at night, and they tear up your hay meadows," says Gregg County rancher Bob Griffin.

Griffin knows only too well the destructive nature of feral hogs. His property shows the constant signs of hog activity.

"They can tear up a large area like a hundred feet across, you have to level it re-plant it," he says.

They can destroy acres in a single night, and reproduce at an alarming rate.  The bottom areas near the Sabine River make perfect habitats for feral hogs.

A million dollars in funding to Texas Agrilife, an extension of the department of agriculture, will be used to try to eradicate the pests from infested areas.

"We're getting quite a few calls on hog problems they're getting closer and closer to towns all the time, there's probably not a county in the state of Texas that does not have a feral hog problems. We probably have the majority of them here in East Texas because of our abundance of water," says Gregg County Ag Extension agent Dennis Smith.

Biologists say they stay close to water and take advantage of any food source, including crops, hay fields, and even small animals. They have a voracious appetite, and they can be dangerous.

"You need to watch out because if you happen to slip up on a litter of pigs and there's a sow around she's going to protect her pigs," Smith says.

But like roaches or fire ants, the best we can hope for is to control them.   

If you have a feral hog problem, you're asked to call your local ag extension agent. 

Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com

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