Harrison County applies for "Hog Out" grant to help feral hog problem

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 6:08pm

More than 2.6 million wild hogs live in Texas...more than anywhere else in the country. Each year, feral hogs cause up to 500 million dollars in damage. Ann Harris lives and works at Cedar Run Ranch in Harrison County. She's seen the damage these animals can cause firsthand.

Each day, she and her husband must take time to check both of the traps on the property, to be sure that no hogs have been captured overnight. "You put your time into trying to trap them and checking the trap when you could obviously be doing something else," she says. "There's a lot to do on a ranch."

But she says not trapping them has consequences. Feral hogs will eat almost anything, according to Harrison County Extension agent Randy Reeves. That means they'll often root into pastures, searching for insects to eat. "It can look like somebody literally went through there with a plow and tore things up, so it creates a lot of damage," he says."

To try to remedy the problem, Harrison County's applying for the "Hog Out" grant. It gives a county up to 20,000 dollars to help farmers and ranchers combat the wild hog problem. The county will monitor the number of hogs it traps through December and area residents will attend educational trapping courses. Based on that data, the state will designate awards. Harrison County is currently registered to compete in the grant program. The recipients are announced early next year.

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