WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — One of the biggest threats to farmers across the state is wild hogs, and over the years, the population has continued to grow.
That’s why the Wichita County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension decided to partner up with Texas A&M Natural Resource Institue and held a Wild Pig Workshop today.
“You know, in 1982 there were a number of hogs here, but it was probably in 25 percent of the counties; right now, every county has wild hogs in it,” County Extension Agent David Graf said.
That is why Graf said farmers new and old came together to discuss a variety of methods to help combat the growing population of wild hogs.
“The older guys you know have been around but they still, we are always trying to refine techniques you know, and try to give them some educational pointers,” Graf said.
Graf said not only can wild hogs do severe damage to crops, sometimes even decimating nearly half of an entire crop, but they can also pose a health risk by carrying several diseases like tuberculosis.
“Some of them they want to go ahead and try to harvest it to eat, and so they need to be wearing gloves,” Graf said. “I mean there really are some issues too; lepto is something else that it will carry, so there are a number of diseases that will not only affect animals but will affect humans as well.”
Leptospirosis (lepto) is a bacterial infection that can spread from infected animals.
There are several programs like the Wounded Warrior Helicopter Hog Hunt that help lower the numbers in hogs.
Graf said if you’re not going to hunt them, do your research on trapping because it can be a difficult process.
“Because you have to continue to bait it with grain or something to keep them in, and you might catch what they call a sound or a group, and so there may not be another group move in for, you know, a few months, so sometimes you have to keep moving the trap,” Graf said.
Graf said the population has gotten so bad they’ve even started seeing wild hogs in neighborhoods.
“I know they’ve had instances where they have gotten into football fields and also school yards and in lawns,” Graf said. “I’ve had a number of calls because those hogs will just completely root up a lawn, they can do it in one night.”
Graf said if you do see a wild hog in your area, do not approach it, and call your local game warden.
It’s estimated that roughly 2.6 million wild hogs are roaming the State of Texas, causing around $1.5 billion worth of annual crop damages and control costs.