Hogs in Texas

Capt. D

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I haven’t posted in quite a while and was perusing through some of my favorite forums and came across a discussion on poisoning Texas hogs. I do live in a small town southeast of San Antonio and am aware of the situation. I thought I would post some facts as well as opinion. So…….Where do we stand currently on wild hogs in Texas. Through what I can gather, in many respects, we’re pretty close to where we started when Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller approved the warfarin-based poison known as Kaput for use against wild hogs in late February.
H.B. 3451, a bill that would ban the use of any lethal pesticide on feral hogs, failed to pass the legislature, and on 12 June Gov. Greg Abbott signed the general appropriations bill for the state. The budget contains a provision specifically prohibiting the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service or the Department of Agriculture from spending any money on the implementation of a warfarin-based hog poison. While not an all-encompassing ban, it effectively puts the brakes on any use of the poison by state agencies for the next two years, until the legislature meets again.

OK….That’s basically the fact of where we stand now.

Let it be known that I am not a HOG HUGGER. I do hunt them for myself and do some control trapping for several land owners. We here in Texas as well as other states do have a serious issue with wild hogs. But in my opinion the land owners, farmers, and ranchers in Texas have brought this mostly on themselves. While they complain profusely to just about anyone that will listen, including state government officials, about the property damage and income loss and having to file insurance claims for their losses but still insist on charging ridiculous trespass fees to shoot a hog or two, double dipping if you will. It’s a pretty good deal if you can make a little on both ends. I personally think that if an insurance claim is submitted and you charge someone to hunt that claim should be denied. Let’s see how far their hypocrisy goes. I think if one advertises and charges hunters $200 a day (most are more) to hunt and files an insurance claim for property damage or crop damage caused by wild hogs, that is fraud. I am all for having a profitable hunting business, I would love to have one, but you can’t have it both ways. I’m sorry hunting is not a good form of control. It simply scatters pigs and develops new sounders. Entire sounders need to be trapped at one time and removed. As large sounders are removed, smaller sounders will often join together and when that sounder has been caught, affectively two sounders have been caught. With that being said in our current situation another sounder will move into that territory in pretty short order but the land owners must be vigilant and continue to have a relationship with their trapper.

I do some trapping for a hay producer (he doesn’t like to be called a farmer) that has said that he lost $90,000 last year to hogs rooting up his fields to the point that he couldn’t even drive a tractor over that ground. I overheard this conversation in a small diner and mustered up the gall to introduce myself and told him that I would be happy help him out and immediately he said he didn’t need a bunch of hunters slinging bullets around. I explained that I would not be slinging bullets around and explained the trapping system I use and the benefit of catching an entire sounder at a time. He was open to the idea and decided to give it a shot. The first sounder I caught had 27 animals in it and the second had 12. Those were the primary sounders in that area. The land owner has seen several singles and doubles but no new sounders or significant damage but in due time he will be covered up again, after all, biologists estimated that hunters, trapper and animal control specialists need to harvest 1.5 million animals just to stop the immediate population growth of the wild hogs. I keep in touch with him and even have permission to sling a bullet or two at coyotes on his property as well.

Dallas
 

geo4061

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I have to disagree with you somewhat. We hunted a large ranch. We killed fourteen hogs that we found in half a night.I am sure there were many more that made it to the cedar thickets and died later. We were using night vision and were taking out what the rancher called "Factories". These were the largest hogs we could find. This rancher also had a very experienced trapper with all the electronic whistles and bells. He caught 28 hogs in one month. As to the poison. I do not believe any of the hype. Like the meat is still good to eat. BALONEY!!! Thankful they are not using it.
 

Capt. D

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There are some ranches that will let you shoot unlimited numbers during your stay and I have no qualms with that, any that get harvested is a good thing; however hunting the same properties that are being trapped makes trapping entire sounders difficult at best. In order to catch large numbers these animals need to have a safe zone so to speak. These animals are not stupid and become very wary with hunting pressure. Hunting at night with thermal gear makes you wonder though. LOL.

The land owners that I was referring to was those that charge to hunt, limit the number of animals that are harvested and still file their claims and complain about the devastation they cause but maintain a population to hunt. That happens all too often, more than most know. Its only been the last few years that some ranches have offered unlimited numbers and I applaud them for that but more need to get into the game.

When I trap a property I do try to get the property owners to stop shooting them for a period of time, usually when I start feeding them prior to setting up the trap enclosure until the trap is set. This has taken as little as 4 days to as much as three weeks, its just a matter of getting them comfortable enough for all to enter the enclosure.

I realize that many are killed using NV or Thermal gear and I really do enjoy taking that way as well but I am of the opinion that if these animals were given a rest period from hunting, fed, and trapped that higher numbers could be removed

Regards
Dallas
 

geo4061

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The trapper had his month before we ever got there. Yes, it hacked him off when the ranch foreman told him he got his but kicked. The foreman didn't like him anyway. In his eyes he was taking a lot of his fun away since he was not shooting them. The thing that opened the door for us was the night vision. I think there is a place for both. I think poisoning will close a lot of doors. I am not going to pay to hunt something I can not eat. Will you still have a buyer when they find out the meat may be tainted with poison?
 

Capt. D

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A trapper with all of the whistles and bells that doesn't fully understand how to use them or having a land owner that will not cooperate will certainly lessen the odds. I do agree that hunting wild hogs with night vision is a sure way to kill a butt load of pigs and ITS FUN and certainly has its place. I'm glad you had what sounds to be a great hunt and a lot of fun but if I had a piece of property that I really wanted to rid of hogs I would surely stop shooting at them, feed them to create a comfort zone for a free meal, and set up an enclosure and feed them into it and make a phone call to shut the door on the outside world. Its really kinda cool. But I really do agree that many can be taken many can be taken using night vision. Hunting hogs is great fun and some good eating I am just of the opinion that that more can be harvested from a single property, over time, using solid trapping methods than hunting them.

I did reread my earlier post and I did not say, and I should, I am not for poisoning these animals for many reasons. Warfarin is a blood thinner and these animals bleed internally until they die, somet research shows it may take up to a week for the animal to die a miserable death. Nobody knows how to keep the poison from killing or affecting other animals in the ecosystem. The state wants to reserve the right to poison these animals but make the landowner recover and dispose of the dead animals either by burying them covered by at least 18 inches of soil or burning them. And I like you will not hunt or pay to hunt anything I cannot eat. Poison is bad duga no matter what any body says I will never agree with poisoning.

Regards
Dallas
 

geo4061

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At least I am glad the truth is getting out on poisoning. At first they said it was an easy death. The animal just went to sleep. Now realism, a terrible week of suffering. Before it only killed hogs. Now they woke up and decided they can not control what eats what the hog throws on the ground. Plus the scavengers, including eagles, that are killed by feeding on the remains. That is why they require burying 18 inches. Any shallower and coyotes will just dig them up. I do not know of a single rancher that has time to drive his ranch a couple of times a day and recover and bury. Plus there is no way they can find them all.
 

Capt. D

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Obviously we are on the same team but with a difference of opinion on the best method of removal. While both methods have their merit the fact remains that wild hogs have over populated and do a significant amount of damage. Unfortunately, many landowners see an income stream either through insurance or fees to hunt be they trespass fees or per animal fees, the state of Texas feels the need to step in and attempt to reduce the wild hog population; however poisoning is not the answer.
 

THEIS

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Hello,

Being a non native Texan, here is the way I see it.

YES wild hogs are destroying acres upon acres.
YES ranch owners have gotten accustomed to the crazy high prices hunters pay to kill them.
YES some ranch owners are double dipping per say in regards to getting paid from hunters yet filing insurance claims for crop and property destruction.
YES the State of Texas feels the need to "step in" and help curb the wild hog infestation.

While we all have different opinions on who, how and what needed to be done, we ALL understand that something needs to be done.

I suggest any ranch owner that gets paid by hunters to come shoot some hogs has to abide by a few "stipulations" such as:
1. You cannot file crop/property damage.
2. You cannot file ag exemption on your property.

That being said, the State should have some "stipulations" to abide by also, such as:
1. Any rancher that request State assistance in removal of wild hogs from their ranch should be provided that assistance. At that point it is the States choice whether they shoot or trap them.
2. If a rancher has requested the States assistance but has not been slotted on their calendar yet should have their crop/property damage claims approved immediately after State inspection.

There are LOTS of other ways for the ranches and State to work together BEFORE poisoning.

THEIS
 

geo4061

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I hate to see the government (State of Texas) get involved. Anytime they get involved it turns out to be a huge waste of time and money.
 

Capt. D

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I agree with you on all points except the ag exemption as Texas has an ag exemption related to wildlife, not sure of the requirements though. I am currently speaking with county officials on the probabilities of implementing a state approved bounty. Surprisingly enough most hunters, at least around here, don't specifically target hogs but simply shoot them as a target of opportunity. I have friends that are die hard predator hunters, and I'm one too, who will shoot them towards the end of a stand if they happen to cross paths but won't ruin a stand for a hog. It was through predator control hunting and trapping that I got into trapping hogs as a control measure. I do enjoy hunting them but when helping out other land owners I'm trapping.
 

Coy Franks

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I suggest any ranch owner that gets paid by hunters to come shoot some hogs has to abide by a few "stipulations" such as:
1. You cannot file crop/property damage.
2. You cannot file ag exemption on your property.
3. Any damages to crops or property incurred after said hunters have hunted the property become the responsibility of said hunters for compensation to the landowner. After all the hunters kill ALL the hogs don't they???
 
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Double Naught Spy

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Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
I personally think that if an insurance claim is submitted and you charge someone to hunt that claim should be denied. Let’s see how far their hypocrisy goes. I think if one advertises and charges hunters $200 a day (most are more) to hunt and files an insurance claim for property damage or crop damage caused by wild hogs, that is fraud.

It isn't fraud. Landowners are working within the law and within the stipulations of their insurance policies. However, if you think fraud is occurring, then you need to contact the appropriate authorities. Not doing so would be unethical on your part, don't you think?
 

Capt. D

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Definition: Fraud: Somebody who deliberately deceives another primarily for financial gain.

If you'll read my comment again you'll read that I posed that statement as my opinion.

Once again, in my opinion; One who charges to hunt, and maintains a huntable population for profit, and makes an insurance claim for damages caused by wild hogs is fraud.

These landowners may be operating within the parameters of their insurance policy; however if a concerted effort is not made to eliminate the damages claimed but to sustain a huntable population for profit, in my opinion that is deception.
 
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