View Full Version : Just how bad are the piggies in TX?

February 28, 2012, 06:29 AM
Hey Ya'll,

I was just reading another thread and was wondering. How bad is ya'll hog population in TX? Is it to the point that fish and game are worried?. I know here in kakalaki there is no season on them and a game warden I know says they worry about it all the time, being the number of offspring one sow can produce. He also told me that the problem is your back yard hog farmers with less than adequate fencing. As much as the pigs are a PITA for deer hunters, I like hunting them too and I'm one that will hammer one of them the first 10 minutes in the stand during deer season, some of my buddies scowl at me for it but, hey I like pork too.

Art Eatman
February 28, 2012, 07:03 AM
Somewhere around $50 million per year in crop damage...

February 28, 2012, 07:28 AM
They come in waves in some areas depending on the weather and such. Me coming off of a brutal summer and wild fires, I have not seen any in a while. I just found evidence if their presence.

February 28, 2012, 09:31 AM
Somewhere around $50 million per year in crop damage...

With all this rain we have had..the ground is soft and they are turning over acres upon acres of hay meadows and pasture right now..around here.....

February 28, 2012, 09:51 AM
I posted this in the other thread.

Here's a small sample.


February 28, 2012, 10:00 AM
yep Rick, thats what some of our food plots turn out looking like. Seems ya'll have em worse in Texas than we do though.

Zen Archery
February 28, 2012, 12:15 PM
enough of a problem that i don't have to pay to hunt them.
one man's problem is another man's fun :D

Wild Bill Bucks
February 28, 2012, 12:56 PM
Just across the Red River in the Hugo, Oklahoma area, I know a couple of ranchers that were complaining year before last, about how bad the hogs had rutted up their pastures, and hired a guy out of Antlers to trap for them.
They told me that he trapped 163 hogs of different sizes and kinds, off of an area of about 800 acres. They did not have much problems with them last year, but are now back rutting the fields again.

Given the rate of population, and the adaptation abilities these animals have, I'm not sure there IS a solution. Even as thick as they are, there is no guarantee of success without a pack of dogs. My buddies and I have gone out several times and have come back empty handed, and seen hogs all day, but could not get a shot. They are not as easy to hunt as people think, but they are the most FUN to hunt because there is no season on them and they can be hunted about anywhere, anytime.
They also fill up a smoker right nicely.:D

February 28, 2012, 01:59 PM
We need to form a trusted coalition of pig eradication guys so we can get more opportunities

February 28, 2012, 03:50 PM
I live right in between Houston and Dallas. 130 miles either way. The hogs are everywhere. The town I live in is a population of 1800 and an interestate runs right beside us. For 30 or so miles right in the median and on the frontage road there is roots. Sometimes Ill go sit on the interstate or a highway overlooking some bottom land and catch them coming out in the evenings. Just a fun way to shoot them from 100 to 400 yards. Theres plenty people around here to hunt their property just to help knock the populations down but everytime you see a sow she always has some piglets are sholtz with her. They multiply like rabbits. They generally start having liters at 8 months old and have 2-3 liters a year and a liter is 10-14. Ranchers hate them but hunters, shooters like myself love them... Great fun! and good eating

February 28, 2012, 06:55 PM
There are pigs nearly everywhere AND the property owners, most of them, will insist on charging you to eliminate THEIR problem. I have a couple of places to shoot'm for free but they tend to be the exception to the rule. I guess if it ever gets bad enough then more gates will be opened to hunters????

February 29, 2012, 12:57 AM
Hey shotgun
what are some of the prices the land owners are saying that they charge to rid the pigs off their land?

I wish I had some friends/family who lived in Texas that had hog problems!!
I want to try out my 270 on one of these varmits.
Can we all say "ROAD TRIP" ?!:)

February 29, 2012, 01:39 AM
It's half and half here in Leon County. Half say no hunting or the other half actually about the other 70 percent say come as you please and kill every one you see please/ no money. For most land owners their a big problem but I'd love them to be running and tearing up my yard. I live in the country and there's about 10,000 acres that join my back fence and I got permission to hunt it like its mine half woods and half open. All bottom land and springs here and there do hogs are always there. I got another place though me and my friend pull truck in gate and overlook big bottom land and shoot out of truck. Get to shoot every 30 minutes or so. Great fun.

February 29, 2012, 06:37 PM
John, I've been give prices that average $250 per weekend.

February 29, 2012, 06:50 PM
I figgured that Alabama would be pig mecca.

February 29, 2012, 07:34 PM
Funny.....I have a friend that works for the Department of the Interior and he gets paid (very well) to shoot pigs from aircraft in the areas that it's an overwhelming problem.
So, it's a fact that there is a problem and it's a fact that it costs money (both "matched funds" from counties and US Tax money) to deal with that problem.
Now then.... how idiotic do these ranchers and farmers have to be to try to charge hunters to do them a favor?
If they can't get them shot off, they have to pay higher taxes and they still don't get the problem handled as well as if they just let hunters do it for them and welcomed the hunters to do them those favors for free.
When I lived in Nevada the jack rabbits would get so numerous in some areas that the farmers would buy a case of 22 shells and GIVE them to the high school boys to shoot rabbits with. It worked quite well.
I wonder how may rabbits would have gone un-shot and how much more crop loss they would have had if they had been stupid enough or greedy enough to try to charge the kids to come on their land and solve their problem for them

February 29, 2012, 07:56 PM
People wanna hunt pigs, and they wanna pay. Hunting provides extra income that many farmers need.

On the other hand, many farmers turn to so-called professional hog removal people and get burned. Live pigs can be sold on the hoof, so arrangements are made to tend and empty traps and share the take with the farmer. Then the traps suddenly dry up, home built or purchased, traps are expensiv ans often provided by the farmer.

Many farmers have issues with pigs leaving alive.

Many ranches are large enough to absorb the impact of pigs.

Pig hunters have a bad rep with farmers. Hogdoggers are particularly mistrusted. It is a false assumption that hogdoggers release pigs to to perpetuate thier activities for the future.

These are not my views, I know a lot of farmers and these are their opinions.

February 29, 2012, 08:03 PM
Closest place to me (5 hours) for hog hunting is $200 a day and includes 1 pig. 2 for $500 (instead of a combo, can i just get two single orders and save myself a hundred bucks? :rolleyes:).

Add in gas, and all the other costs….


$2200 for the chance to hunt a deer.

February 29, 2012, 09:06 PM
Once I echoed the frustration of those who have difficulty gaining access to farms where the ranchers are complaining about hog damage. In Oklahoma, I faced the same thing.

I went to a local peanut co-op and talked with the manager in my first week there and he bemoaned the sad state of affairs with the pigs. I offered my services, with a kid or 2 in tow under my supervision, to go out anywhere and hunt them or set traps. He gave me close to 2 dozen names/numbers of ranchers he knew personally to call.

I gave up after the first dozen, as they all said no, some rather rudely.

At first, I was confused. You could hear the locals talking about the problem in the diners, Wal Mart, farm stores, etc.

Then a local farmer sought me out after a chance meeting. He had 450 acres with cattle and asked if I would take a stab at thinning the herd. I went out there with my kids and had a blast (pun intended). As I got to know the owner better, he confided that the reason most ranchers are leary of letting folks onto their land is that they have been burned multiple times. Equipment stolen, or shot up, planted fields driven through, animals left to rot, deer poached out of season, their dogs shot, etc. To summarize, a few slobs ruin it for the rest of us. 1 rancher has this experience, shares it with others, and before you know it, everyone is against strangers coming onto their property.

By them leasing out their land, there is the perception that if you pay for it, you'll behave better.

And so that others will learn from my lesson, I almost messed up my own good deal. I set a circle trap for pigs, and didn't get back to check it for 3 days. I SHOULD have called the landowner, who was out there almost every day and let him know. I just got too busy flying local training sorties, and after spending 14 hours trying to train someone to fly, just didn't have the energy to drive the hour round trip to get out there. A heffer forced his way into the trap and sat there for 2 days. He was not in too good of shape when the owner found him. Although the landowner was generous and forgiving, I still feel bad about that and it was 4 years ago!

This same landowner, while we were out there, had someone drive by and shoot his dalmation from the road adjacent to his property, as well as put a couple rounds into his barn, proof that there are people out in the country up to no good.

So, word to the wise. If you earn the trust of the landowner, always go above and beyond to take care of them and their property.

February 29, 2012, 10:09 PM
As with any pig problem thread, it always turns to the hunters complaining about not being able to hunt them freely. Globemaster explained some of the issues as did I. It's numerous causes that give pig hunters a bad rap, each little thing collectively adding up.

I just got offered to hunt some pigs on another property, but, the guy trusts me.

Another issue is when the hunter gets the trophy or tired of dragging pigs off they quit. You have to commit a lot of time to pig killing, and most of all, you have to be willing to pile them up to rot, and, that's where most sportsmen draw the line. You have to kill mote than you can eat, give to friends or donate. You have to kill a lot of them just to kill them, like rats. If you wanna be out at 10, 11, 12 or 1am when you gotta be at work at 5am then the job is for you.

Double Naught Spy
February 29, 2012, 11:11 PM
Somewhere around $50 million per year in crop damage...
Not to contradict you, Art, as I have seen and used that number as well, but I think it is out of date. I know that there are different state offices and university people that have come up with various other estimates, but I think the $50 million has been used for at least the last 4-5 years.

Here is a 2007 article mentioning it as $52 million in crop damages...

Given that the hog population is supposed to be growing, you would expect the number to go up. Recently I have been seeing articles stating losses in the hundreds of millions, but the damages also include things other than crops.

For example, here they mention $400 million over from Aug 2011.

This article from a few days ago still has pigs only doing $52 million in crop damages, but $550 million overall.

I am thinking that the crop damages have to have increased over 4-5 years. I don't think anyone has actually recalculated the crop damage estimate. In 2007, we were thought to have 2 million feral hogs and now we supposedly have 2.6 million, so more crop damage would be expected not only because of the increase in the hog population, but also because of inflation. Using 3% as an annual inflation average for the four years following the 2007 start date estimate, if pigs were doing the same physical amount of damage over the years, the damage values today would be over $58.52 million.

Of course, a lot of their damage is in ways that are not directly able to be tabulated such as their rooting activities promoting soil erosion, especially on inclined properties and in forests. Hog-loosened soil combined with rain events increases the sediment load of streams and rivers and so there is higher turbidity. Higher turbidity negatively affects aquatic ecosystems in numerous ways. Given the countless numbers of dammed streams and rivers in Texas, much the inflated sediment load carried by the stream is dropped when the flowing water reaches the pools/lakes/reservoirs where the current velocity drops. As such, the dammed pools fill with the eroded sentiments at a faster rate and shorten the use life of the reservoirs. Also, the higher the sediment load in the water, the greater the cost to filter and purify the water for consumer consumption.

Of course, hogs are not alone in contributing to the sediment load of streams/rivers/lakes. Their current impact is probably miniscule, but increasing.

Another increasing problem is vehicle/pig collisions. They are not to the point yet of darting out in front of cars like deer do, but roadkilled pigs are becoming a more comon sight which means there is going to be a corresponding increasing amount of vehicular damages (except maybe on 18 wheelers) and these damages I don't believe are being studied yet like they are for deer.

This article mentions pig vehicle collisions are up, but not by how much or how many that had been reported.

This article doesn't say how many either, but estimates the average vehicular damage at $1200 per collision with hogs.

The damage estimate matches this South Carolina limited study dated 2011...

...but it appears to be the PowerPoint version of a paper by the authors dated from 2007...
...and so the vehicle damage amounts have probably increased as well because of more hogs being hit and in accounting for inflation.

Higginbotham from Texas A&M estimates 10,000 vehicle/pig collisions per million pigs of population. I don't quite follow how he came up with 1% of pigs being hit given he didn't know have many of such collisions have occurred or just what the actual hog population in Texas is. If based on the European data noted, then his estimate would be very conservative. Assuming that there are 2.6 million hogs in Texas with 1% being hit per year and with a conservative (out of date) estimate of $1200 damage per collision, then you would be looking at $31.2 million in damages alone from vehicle/pig collisions per year.

If that many are really occurring, then my guess would be that insurance complanies are probably tracking the number of vehicle/pig collisions filed for each year and the amount of damages incurred, but I don't see that sort of data presented on the web anywhere. Even if it was, it would undoubtedly be a conservative estimate as well given the number of drivers that don't carry collision insurance and hence don't file claims when they strike pigs on the road.

February 29, 2012, 11:54 PM
Ricky, yeah, there are a few pigs around the state,especially in the southern and western part of the state. Not long ago on the local news, they showed a few feral hogs that were in folk's yards right in the suburbs of Birmingham, which is where I live.
Then again, we had 2 black bears show up here last year out of nowhere, one on one side of town which they darted and caught, and about 2 weeks later,another one about 30 miles from the first one. That one dissapeared and hasnt been seen since around here. It may have been something to do with last year's really bad tornados here, I dunno?
The problem is that unless you know some good soul that has land that will let you hunt his hogs or you have land yourself or belong to a hunting club, you are pretty much screwed.
I like your signature and remember the movie "The Jerk".
Remember the "Optigrab" ? :D I can relate to this well as I am an Optician by trade.

Art Eatman
March 1, 2012, 10:17 AM
I just went with the only number I could recall from reading. :) For sure, the direct cash loss from crop damage is--as you showed--just part of the equation.

Vehicles? Hitting a fully-grown hog is like hitting a rock. If you don't center it, you can easily have a rollover. Never hit one with a front tire!

A drifting generalization: Try to go in front of a deer, since in fear they nearly always retreat to the last known place of safety. Try to go behind a cow, because cows hate to be "headed" away from a goal. Horses? Good luck. Horses are suicidal and will try to stay directly in front of you. Hogs? Hey, whatever seems righteous at the moment. Again, good luck.

March 1, 2012, 02:05 PM
My central Texas hay field is a mess. I'll be hooking up my tractor tiller this afternoon to go flatten out and reseed some of the many places the hogs have rooted up. As for killing them, I was doing pretty well shooting them but haven't seen any lately. It seems that where ever I find them on my place and shoot a few, they go somewhere else. Lately, I can't find a hog. That's good and that's bad. As for what to do with the dead ones, I'll put pig in the freezer when I get low on supply. When I have plenty of meat I'll just drag them to where I coyote hunt. I can get more coyotes over dead pigs than I can by calling them (which might tell you a little something about my calling skills). As much as I hate those feral pigs, I think I'd miss them if they left town forever. I'd have to go back to just shooting targets. Boring...

March 1, 2012, 02:17 PM
All the pigs I deal with have gone NINJA stealth mode lately. Very unusual.

Like you its a double edged sword. The goal was to get rid of them, but I miss them so, sigh. LOL. My whole free time has revolved around pigs for the last few years.

March 2, 2012, 08:00 PM
Where did the pigs go? I've spent about 4 or 5 hours on the tractor, tilling up the rooted up ground on my hay field. I noticed that none of the digging was fresh. I'm about half way through with 'resurfacing' my pasture. If those devil hogs come back and root my pasture up again, I may sent airline tickets to any of ya'll that'll shoot at night with IR scopes. Driving a tractor is NOT mentally stimulating.

And rickyrick is SO right. Prior to moving to the country, I never gave a minutes thought to pigs. Now I hate them, hunt them, eat them, clean up pasture after them, think about them, plot vengeance on them. I even developed the new load in the 260 with hogs in mind - so I could hit them out to 400. Am I overly pig focused? I need to go see my shrink. I need wine.

March 2, 2012, 08:09 PM

Very weird right???.

This time last year I was up to my elbows in pigs, blood and spit.

I can't figger it out for crap.

March 2, 2012, 10:24 PM
Yep, where'd they go? Do hogs go on Spring Break? Are they down in Florida? There are no acorns to eat. They quit torturing my pasture. No muddy wallows in the tanks. Very puzzling! Well...I have sworn vengeance for my pasture damage. I'll be waiting! Sooner or later they'll come tippy-toeing out of the wood edge, and a very ugly surprise will happen.

March 2, 2012, 10:34 PM
603, I'll do one better , I'll go in half with ya on the airline ticket if you want someone to come down and help you rid your property of these vial vermin!:D
Yeah man , Im serious,... Ive always wanted to bust a cap or 4 into these no good,pasture destroying,poop dropping, squeeling slew footed bastages.

Spring break down at the beach maybe? Lets be on the lookout for some bootleg videos to be hitting the store shelves soon
... Spring Break '12 Hogs Gone Wild! :eek:

Signed: Have Ruger 270 Winchester with 130 gr Ballsitic tips, will travel!!!


Art Eatman
March 3, 2012, 10:02 AM
Looks like the OP's question is pretty-well answered...

March 3, 2012, 11:39 AM
I'll keep you in mind, johnmcgowan, if those stinky sneaky hogs come back.

March 3, 2012, 11:49 AM
603Country, hogs can and will travel quite large distances between feeding, bedding, and pooping areas. They are about the only animal that will actually go to a favorite poop spot rather than spoil their feeding or bedding area. There is an absolutely beautiful oak grove standing by itself in the public huntling area I hunt. It is so covered in pig poop that you'd think you were standing in a barnyard. Other hunters keep watching it thinking they'll surprise a hog entering or leaving a bed. Nope. They just stop there in the middle of the night to poop then leave.

Double Naught Spy
March 3, 2012, 07:31 PM
I have a place on my property that was a restroom area being used by hogs for several months last year. They were coming across onto my property just far enough to do this, but were failing to make the additional 50-75 yards to make it to a feeder which seemed odd.

With that said, we find that the hogs will often poop in the immediate vicinity of feeders. They will poop in a food plot they are rooting.

There are lots of animals that will not pee or poop in their bedding area. If you have a lot of hog poop in one area, it is a good bet the hogs are bedding nearby.

March 3, 2012, 07:48 PM
Well, one things for sure...when you shoot a pig, they poop! LOL!

I guess the OP is thinking the pigs ain't that bad, with the way we're talking.

Who wants to start a poll about where they is and where they ain't?

March 3, 2012, 08:05 PM
The pigs have a representative that's reading this forum. I typed in my pig comments this morning, saying that I didn't know where the hogs were, then I hopped on the tractor and went in the back to finish tilling up the hog rooting damage. I had tilled about 2/3 of the damaged ground yesterday. Well, overnight the pigs came back and rooted up about half of what I had tilled. What a mess! All I can think is that the smell of tilled earth probably drew them in. They did most of their rooting in areas that I had tilled. I'm sunburned and low on diesel...and irritated.

To the OP: the piggies are indeed bad in TX.

March 3, 2012, 08:08 PM
Thinking about going out tonite, I like that half moon out there right now.