Wild Hog Hunt

It's estimated there are more than 2- and- a- half million wild hogs running around in the state of Texas, destroying crops and property everywhere.

In Oklahoma, that number's probably around a million, and the numbers are only growing because of their lack of natural predators.

After showing us what it's like to noodle for huge catfish in the Red River last summer, Darrell Franklin and Photojournalist, Curtis Jackson set out on another adventure.

Tonight, they're going to show us what it takes to trap feral hogs, the kind willing to fight to your death to keep it from happening.

If you're wondering whether or not catching a 250- plus pound wild hog's dangerous, the answer is a definite yes.

You see him just bite right through that thing?

Phillip Cottrill/Jefferson County Game Warden: "The hogs are tearing up the wheat pasture, bermuda grass, pecans. Any agriculture crop, they're getting into them. We're overrun with them. And, any hog we can kill or remove, it's just that much better."

And, Waurika resident, Scott Cathey could not agree more.

That's one of the reason's Cathey and his group of friends here are headed out to the Red River area in search of feral hogs.

Cathey: "Love hunting with dogs, and you get to hang out with your friends. It's just a lot of fun."

Dillon Crumpler/Charlie Resident: "These dogs on the hood, they'll smell a hog maybe a quarter to half mile off, and they'll just blow off the hood and go find the hog, and we'll go tie 'em down."

Kristina West/Alvord Resident: "I've been on turkey hunts, deer hunts. All of that. But I have never been on a hog hunt, so.. just stay behind the guys and kind of let them do everything."

Cathey: "There's a lot of hogs out there right now."

Many hunters go out and simply shoot feral hogs, but Cathey's group uses dogs to catch them alive so they can be sold.

Garrett Brumley/Wichita Falls Resident: "That helps pay for dog food, updating collars, different things like that. So, that's probably one of the most important things is that we make a little money doing this, so it always helps... buy new dogs.. whatever we need to do."

Dogs that love the excitement too, and love locking onto the scent of nocturnal hogs once they finally get up and start moving around.

Paul Enzenauer/Corum Resident: "They smelled them. With the wind blowing this way, they smelled their scent, and they just bailed off and they're working that way."

How far out is she? Cathey: "About 590- yards. 645- now. She might be trailing something." Hunting birds. "Hunting birds.. yeah!"

Cathey: "All right! Came off the hood and went about 960- yards and bayed him up. Good girl! That's a hog boys! Look at that. Look at the cutters on that thing. Get back Cookie. Get out of here cookie!"

Cathey: "This right here is why we run the kevlar vests on him. You see that right there? If it hadn't been for that, that dog would have been dead. It would have blown him right through his side and torn his lungs up."

Todd West/Alvord Resident: "One dog run off, probably 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and we went around, got down there and the hog was bayed up in the water. Turned all the bull dogs loose, and went down there and caught him. And, he come out, ran over the hill, and come back by and run over Dillon I think. Yeah! Or he got back down in the water, got him in the water and finally the dogs caught up with him. We got down in the water, and got him and drug him out."

And, then hog tied him, which means there's now one less feral hog out there tearing up or killing someone's livestock, land and property.

Todd West: "He was just trying to get away from us. But, he can't get away from this many of us. They can run, but they can't hide. We'll get 'em."

Those feral hogs are at the top of the food chain out in the Texoma country. And, if it weren't for groups like these, the numbers would be far worse. So, this is what it's all about and why.

Cottrill says the biggest problem they have with hog hunters, is they go out without the consent of the land- owner, and trespass.

He says you do not have to have a hunting license to hunt them at night, with dogs, as long as you're not carrying a firearm.



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