NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A new online tool from the Texas A&M National Resource Institute may aide in the growing effort to control the feral hog population in East Texas. They say it will help them locate areas of high activity as well as manage the growing population in the state.
Feral hog trappers are continuing to see a rise in the population of feral hogs in East Texas, and as the population increases, managing it becomes more and more challenging.
“In the past twenty-four months, we’ve trapped over a thousand feral hogs,” said Jonathan Rogers, a hog trapper. "As bad of a problem they are, it’s just getting bait out, and just getting out there and setting the traps up in the right spot.”
In an effort to understand the size of this problem, the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute has developed a new online tool that allows users to report sightings of wild hogs and the damage they caused. The report only takes a few minutes to use and even allows user to submit photos of hogs. Rogers says this tool could prove useful if the information is made available to trappers.
"If there’s some sort of information that can be gathered of where they’re at and where the big populations are living that’d be great,” Rogers said.
But Jason Robertson, who hunts feral hogs, says that it will take hunters actually going out to these locations where hogs are sighted to handle the problem.
“It may help the state to see where those concentrations are, but there’s gonna have to be boots on the ground with more people hunting and trapping to actually, you know, help reduce the population,” said Robertson.
Robertson has spent many nights hunting feral hogs on his property. He says that one of the hardest things about controlling the hog population is fighting against their fast rate of reproduction.
" A young hog can be under a year old, a sow, and be able to reproduce and have a litter," Robertson said. “They can have up to two litters a year, and every litter can be anywhere from 6 to 8 hogs easily if not more.”
Robertson and rogers both agree that this problem must be handled.
“This is extermination,” Robertson said. “It’s like killing fire ants or, you know, anything else. We’re to that point.”
Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute is strongly urging those who have seen feral hogs to take a few moments and use their new reporting tool.
To report a feral hog sighting, go to the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute website at https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/c5c86bf1ae4341ff97a15b6d946bda61 .