Hays County feral hog management to include bounty program

Staff Report

Feral hogs are responsible for significant agricultural and property losses in Texas – exceeding $500 million each year – and a bounty program in Hays County is working to mitigate this problem.

The county is continuing its feral hog management efforts into 2022 after receiving a $7,500 grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wildlife Services. 

Beginning in February 2022, there will also be two bounty claim opportunities per month for feral hogs harvested in Hays County. A $5 per-hog bounty will be paid by check on tails and/or certified buying station receipts. 

Participants will be required to complete a W-9 and a participation form, which can be obtained at the Hays County bounty station, or from the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force website. 

Additionally, the program will include a workshop, a webinar, a countywide survey and damage assessment, and the continuation of a volunteer-led trapping effort. 

Hays County Pct. 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said that feral hogs continue to pose significant problems for both agriculture producers and residential property owners within the county. 

Texas is home to an estimated three million feral hogs. Lacking sweat glands, they seek shelter along creeks and rivers, which can result in contamination of those waterways, such as Cypress Creek and the San Marcos River. 

Hays County is an affiliate of the Central Texas Feral Hog Task Force and has partnered with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, as well as the Cypress Creek Project, San Marcos Watershed Initiative and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership to assist with the implementation, research and educational components of the program in 2022. 

“The 2022 feral hog program in Hays County has been a great opportunity for sustained success, as we have received both the continued funding and support to coordinate on a regional scale with projects in Caldwell County,” said Nick Dornak, Director of Watershed Services at the Meadows Center. 

The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership will also coordinate educational workshops for Hays and Caldwell County stakeholders throughout the spring and summer. Landowners engaging with the Hays County feral hog program will also have the opportunity to participate in an ongoing, remote-operated feral hog trap sharing cooperative. 

For more information on these programs and to complete your 2022 feral hog survey, visit the project website at www.feralhogtaskforce.com/hays.html, or email the task force at feralhog@txstate.edu.

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