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Old July 24, 2001, 10:24 AM   #1
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Varminting pigs in Texas?

I've heard vague statements before that, in certain parts of Texas, feral pigs are a nuisance animal. Does that mean that a hunting license is not required to hunt pigs in those areas?
This might, debatably, sound "unsporting" to some people, but if farmers are working their tails off to poison and trap pigs that are tearing up their crops, I wouldn't mind showing up with a rifle and volunteering to remove a couple myself. If groundhogs were rare, it's be a crying shame to shoot dozens of them per day, but they're plentiful and damage pastures, so it's okay to varmint them. If pigs are destroying crops, I figure it'd be okay to make a sport out of a land conservation effort as well.
Is this doable at all? Are there certain counties of Texas that have a real problem with pigs? Can I go politely knocking on doors, state that I'm a military-trained rifleman, willing to abide by the owner's rules, and offering to peg marauding pigs?

I'm currently stationed down by San Angelo, Texas, so pretty well centralized. I'd appreciate anyone's advice on this matter.

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Old July 24, 2001, 11:04 AM   #2
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I would get a copy of your State hunting regulations to check yourself before relying on any information here. I'm sure the Game Warden would get a good chuckle about..."umm..sir, but the guys at TFL told me so!"

When I lived in Texas everyone was trying to make a buck when it came to hunting. I wouldn't be surprised if they charged you to hunt pigs on their land even if they were doing crop damage. Other farmers/landowners are leery of letting people hunt on their land because of prior bad experiences and liability reasons. Otherwise they would put an ad in the paper and people would line up wanting to shoot some hogs instead of the farmers doing it themselves.

Your best bet would be to befriend one of the landowners and offer your services around his property in exchange for allowing you to hunt. You can also try some places where the locals tend to hang out for a cup of coffee. It's a great way to meet some new people as well as gather information on the area. I've done that before and it worked very well.

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Old July 24, 2001, 11:35 AM   #3
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Feral pigs are classed as "nongame" animals in Texas, but I am pretty sure you still need a license. I don't remember because the only place I hunt them is on deer/turkey leases anyway.

They are a nuisance in some parts of Texas- I know for a fact that they destroy gardens, eat up feed, and get into trash bigtime. I've heard they kill chickens as well but somebody might have just been funnin' a city boy. I'm not sure that Tom Green County is one of the places with the problem, I think you're talking south Texas and part of the Hill Country.

Redleg has some good insights into the hunting situation here in Texas. Take heed of his advice, but remember that hunting is another "cash crop" for a lot of ranches. I might add that the ranchers out in west Texas I have known are a breed unto themselves; they can close those ranch gates and even if they don't have have anything else they know they've got their own piece of God's green earth for miles around. Be polite and honest without being obsequious- listen to what they have to say.
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Old July 24, 2001, 11:41 AM   #4
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The only restriction that Texas Parks and Wildlife lists for hog hunting is that the hunter possess and carry a valid TX hunting lisence. They may be collected by firearm, bow, crossbow, or trapping. They may be hunted at day or night. There is no bag limit. As it stands right now, it's up in the air whether dogs may be used for anything but tracking a wounded pig, but that may change soon.

" No closed season, daily bag or possession limit. These animals may be hunted at any time by any means or method on private property. Public hunting lands may have restrictions. A hunting license is required." --Texas Parks and Wildlife Hunting Rules and Regulations

I'm moving this to The Hunt.
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Old July 24, 2001, 05:43 PM   #5
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You are correct with your statement that pigs are considered a nuisance in some parts of the state. Since they directly range in the same areas that deer range, many hunters are more than happy see pigs move on. Here in the north Texas area, pigs range through areas, many times passing and not actually setting up residence (they don't like to be around people, so alot of activity in the ranging area will "sometimes" cause them to move on.

They also are very destructive on crops, especially bermuda grass bottom lands. If you have never seen an area where hogs have rooted, you will be suprised. Some of the holes are so large, you would think that someone has had a backhoe in to dig the holes (except there is so many and such an irregular partern). But since there is a market now for hunting them, I think you would be extremely lucky to find someone that would allow you to hunt at no cost (unless you know a landover that has an abundance and also does not have their land leased out).
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Old July 25, 2001, 12:52 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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ckurts, feral hogs will kill and eat lambs and kids.

Matthew, I'd suggest spending some time at your local huntin'/fishin' store, and asking around.

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Old July 25, 2001, 11:17 AM   #7
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Art, I had heard about feral pigs killing lambs as well as pets like small dogs and housecats. Wasn't too sure about the veracity of my previous source, if you know what I mean.

All this chatter about huntin' hogs has got me wishing this heat would break so I could spend an afternoon at the range getting the old .25-06 ready for the fall!
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Old July 25, 2001, 10:16 PM   #8
Art Eatman
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Back 25-30 years ago, a bunch of us leased a ranch near Uvalde. Lots of local stories about ranchers who would rig trip-wire dynamite traps where feral hogs had a crawl-under at a fence.

Sometimes rough on coyotes and javelina...But it was said that when all went well, a feral hog would fertilize about two acres.

, Art
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Old July 27, 2001, 07:41 AM   #9
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I hunt the hill country around Llano, and the pigs are getting pretty thick. They are tearing up the fences and you really have to secure your deer feeders in order to keep the pigs from knocking them over. I have taken a few of them and they are pretty tasty, but its kind of a luck of the draw and getting it to cold storage as soon as you can. There is one old female running around the lease that must be close to 400-500 pounds...looks like a water buffalo on short legs. I have some 180 grain partition handloads in 308 for her!
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Old July 27, 2001, 12:52 PM   #10
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I have hunted Russian Baors on some land outside of Canton. Those make regular feral hogs look like -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- cats. They have tusks that measure several inches long. As a tip, if you do decide to hunt hogs, bring a big bore handgun as a backup.
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Old July 27, 2001, 11:52 PM   #11
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Come to australia, there are literally millions in the state of queensland and they are an outlawed pest. no need for a licence and if a .22 is all you have when you see a pig than a .22 is a fine gun for shooting pigs. i can get in my car drive down the road a couple of kilometers and see a pig. on my hunting property there is an estimated 16000 pigs and they absolutly reek havoc on the cattle stations and have been seen killing new born calves. an people say that this is pure slaughter when so many animals are shot, trapped and poisened but they haven't seen the damage they can do.
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Old July 28, 2001, 07:56 AM   #12
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I went to TX a couple of years ago, cousin and a friend had a lease and we went on a hog erradication mission. I believe it cost me $35 for a 7 day out of state general hunting permit.
Mission wasn't as successful as we hoped, only got three but damn they were good eatin'!
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