TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Dealing with the problem of feral hogs in Texas has been a decades old fight, but now an East Texas group is trying to put a dent in that population with an annual tournament.
17 teams, consisting of 4 hunters each, went out on an overnight Sunday hunt across several East Texas counties, in the annual East Texas hog hunting tournament.
All looking to win prize money, but more important for the reason it was started.
“Trying to help our community out because we have so many farmers and ranchers out here, these hogs are just tearing their places to pieces,” said hunt organizer Les Green. of ‘Ark-La-Tex guns and more’ in Gilmer.
The teams met last night for instructions on the tournament, and had to be back with their kills by 7 this morning.
“We just hunted all night,” Green says.
Biologists estimate there are 2-point-5 million feral hogs in Texas, doing more than 400-million dollars a year in damage.
When the hunters returned Sunday morning, it was a huge haul.
“We took over 200 hogs last night. Our biggest hog was 287 pounds,” Les says.
Once a problem that folks dealt with only in rural areas, the hogs roam into suburban areas as well.
“We’ve even got some communities inside the city limits, even our own schools, these hogs are just tearing everything up,” says Green.
Texas law allows hunting of feral hogs year long, day or night, by spotlight, by balloon , even by helicopter.
And hunts like these could help in reducing the numbers of the destructive invaders.
A team from Hallsville ended up winning the first prize of 15-hundred dollars for most overall weight of harvested hogs.