Hog Questions & Answers

Hog Questions & Answers

Story by Bill L. Olson

Wild hog populations continue to increase in numbers and distribution at an alarming rate.  As these trends continue the advertise impact in a broader variety of areas also continues.

Adding to the challenge of trying to curtail the impact to rangelands, riparian areas, crops and wildlife resources is the equally diverse attitude held by landowners.  Many hate them while others embrace their presence as an animal that is available to be hunted year round.

What many do not realize is a hog population left unmanaged will continue to reproduce and continues to increase their range in a significant area beyond the hogs original core range.  By not implementing measures to control their numbers and expansion, wild hogs’ impact continues to be left unchecked and so does their damage.

Eurasian swine were first introduced to this continent in the early 1500s by European explorers that discovered and explored North America.  European hogs were brought to this new land as a viable and available food source for those that followed.  Not only has the impact of the release of this non-native animal been observed in North America but literally around the World as other lands were explored and populated by pigs.

The State of Texas has no closed hunting season on hogs, no hunting license required and no bag limit.  While this provides the opportunity to try and slow this unchecked expansion of animals, a big challenge is access to lands available to hunt these free-ranging porkers.  In Texas, where about 97 percent of the land is privately owed, that means the landowners hold the cards as to what will or will not happen when it comes to management on these private holdings.

Landowners are not without risks and challenges when it comes to allowing trespass rights on to their property to hunt.  In a litigious society property owners are left with few protective legal remedies should a liability issue need to be addressed.  Instead, rather than risk a lawsuit, many owners simply do not allow hunting by anyone other than family or close friends.  Even then, within those groups sometimes challenges arise.

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