Legislator proposes more freedom in hunting feral hogs
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - An all out war has been waged against a nuisance animal in East Texas for years, a war against feral hogs.
Every possible means to control the pesky destructive animals has been explored, but nothing has put a dent into their population.
An East Texas legislator wants to change the laws once more to help hunters eradicate the porkers.
“Feral hogs are becoming an increasingly vexing problem, so for years we’ve been looking for a solution. This was once a problem that folks dealt with only in rural areas, now they’re coming into suburban areas,” says state senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola.
Biologists estimate there are 2.5 million feral hogs in Texas, doing more than 400-million dollars a year in damage.
"You don't need a hunting license and there's no season, these hogs are so aggressive and so harmful that you're doing the state a service by killing them," Hughes says.
Texas law allows hunting of feral hogs year long, day or night, by spotlight, by balloon , even by helicopter, in many cases without a license. but Hughes says more is needed.
“Some folks are interpreting the law to say you have to prove that the hogs are doing certain damage before you have the right to kill them. The bill we filed is just going to say those feral hogs are so horrible so dangerous, that it’s o-k to kill them. You don’t have to prove that particular hog is causing damage to your property,” says Hughes.
And hunters are all for the idea.
"Year round you'd have the ability to put meat on the table, I'm sure there's some kind of market for it somewhere that would be beneficial. Making it easier to take the problem away from farmers," says hunter John Carlson.
"Hunting in general is fun for me. Every night driving home from work I'd run across 6-7 hogs on back roads," says hunter Truitt Duncan.
The hope: Reducing the feral hog population.
"The more people we have out there controlling the feral hog population, the better," Hughes says.
Under current Texas law, to hunt feral hogs without a license, you must be on private property and be with or have the landowner’s permission to do so.
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