Growers in the Texas Coast region have expressed concern over deer, wild hogs, and red-winged black birds in the coming season. Hogs are possibly the most destructive of the three animals, followed by the red-winged black birds. Hog management has been in the news this month. The AgriLife Extension has extensive research and suggestion for proper management of wild hogs to prevent or reduce their damage.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension promotes an integrated approach to Feral Hog Management utilizing all suitable legal means. Current legal options for control of wild hogs includes: trapping, snaring, shooting, trained dogs, aerial harvesting and chemical control/toxicants.
Trapping can be highly effective at capturing large groups and allows for transporting the animals. Traps can be small box traps or larger corral traps. One drawback to trapping is it can be expensive and time intensive.
Shooting or hunting hogs results in a lower number of animals harvested but success can be increased through the use of silencers and night vision, multiple shooters and semi-automatic weapons. There are also legal issues to consider.
Snaring is relatively inexpensive, easier to employ and effective at capturing hogs. They are easy to make. The disadvantages to snaring are the possibility to kill non-targets, it is a single-use item (can’t be reused) and it only kills one at a time.
Aerial hunting can be highly effective but can be expensive, Wildlife Services can be an option. Aerial hunting offers the potential for removing large numbers at a time but also requires a permit and a licensed pilot. Remember to get Land Owner Agreements!
Hunting with trained dogs uses baying and holding dogs and the pig is dispatched by a hunter; however, it is important to use the right Equipment for Hunting Dogs. This is also a low harvest method and has legal considerations of dog damage and access. Dog hunting is effective for pressuring pigs out of an area.
Toxicants may soon become available to landowners in an effort to reduce wild pig numbers and the damage they cause to agriculture and wildlife. AgriLife Extension will give these toxicants assessment, but as yet we have not had the opportunity for independent studies. Consequently, we do not have any recommendations at this time.
The most up to date hog management information can be found here and hog management publications are HERE.
Feral Hog Management: There’s an app for that HERE.