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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has predicted the state’s feral hog population will double within a year, reaching five million.
Marvin Little said he’s been battling the beasts for three years now. His yard, orchard and garden at his home in Fannett are ravaged by feral hogs.
“They tear up everything,” Little said. “It’s a lot of work to get it put back to where you can mow it, it’s time consuming and not easy work.”
After not having any luck trying to get rid of the pigs himself, Little called Steven Horelica and his team at Deep South Trapping to stop the hogs in their tracks.
Horelica is using the most modern technology like game cameras and electronic traps operated by a cell phone.
“You send it a code, that code shuts your gate and they can’t get out until we unload in the morning,” trapper Matthew Horelica said.
It’s all in an effort to try to put a dent in the hog population.
“They do $300 million in damage every year to golf courses, parks, farms, ranches and homes,” Steven Horelica said. “There’s going to be two types of people next year: the people who have a feral pig problem and the people who will have a feral pig problem.”
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the mild Texas climate and plentiful food are some of the reasons the wild pig population is increasing.
There’s also the fact that feral swine have no natural predators aside from people and they multiply fast. One sow, or adult female pig, can start breeding at six months old and can have two litters a year with up to 12 piglets per litter.
Hunting the hogs is always an option in rural areas but Horelica said trapping them is necessary once they start making their way into more urban areas.
“[We trapped] a wild hog that tore through two chain link fences to get to dog food and tore up the woman’s yard,” Horelica said. “They’re turning into a bigger problem than people realize.”
Hogs are so prevalent and such a nuisance, the Texas Animal Health Commission has declared it illegal to release a hog back into the wild once it’s been trapped. However, it’s legal in Texas to hunt them anytime of the year, as long as you have a hunting license.