New Wild Hog Tactic is Poison to Some Hunters

There's a new weapon in the long-standing war on destructive and invasive feral hogs. Poison bait has been added to the arsenal of  weapons being used to reduce hog populations. But Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's OK of the use, a warfarin-based poison is not without concerns from many groups.

The Texas Hog Hunters Association has more than 13,000 signatures on a petition against Commissioner Miller's rule change while many farmers and ranchers are just happy something more is being done about the hogs that cause millions of dollars of losses in livestock and crop production.

The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service estimates there are now over 2 million feral hogs in Texas, causing $52 million in damage each year to Texas agricultural enterprises.

"We've had a meeting with 20 of our top producers, probably 4-5 months ago and asked them what is the number one issue other than commodity prices are low," said David Graf, the County Extension Agent with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. "But what are the things here that are your number one problem and they unanimously all agreed, wild hogs."

Hogs have been known to knock down fences and damage farm equipment and game feeders. But Commissioner Sid Miller hopes a new warfarin pesticide will help put and end to this and even kill off 85 to 90 percent of the population.

Miller said in a recent statement, "With the introduction of this first hog lure, the 'hog apocalypse' may finally be on the horizon."

"They are very well and a couple of things, scavenging and reproducing," said Texas Game Warden Eddie Hood. "So their numbers, especially with the amount of rain we've gotten the last few years the hogs are doing well. And they are reproducing at very fast rates."

But Scott Dover, the founder and president of the Texas Hog Hunters Association said Miller didn't have an open discussion about the new pesticide or a town hall to discuss the side effects. And a petition of over 13,000 signatures shows Dover isn't the only one who disagrees.

"What effects will it have on other types of wildlife, they claim that there's none, but all of this information is coming from the manufacturer," said Dover.

Graf, on the other hand, believes crops will be saved and Wichita County will flourish when mass numbers of wild hogs disappear thanks to the poisonous bait.

Dover said they are also against the warfarin because of the time it will take for the hogs to die, which will be a 4-7 day period. He said they are ethical hunters, and always strive for a quick, humane kill.


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