Wild Hogs in Texas
Wild Hogs are not native
It is believed that Christopher Columbus introduced hogs into this part of the world during his trip to the Caribbean. In the 1530s, Hernando De Soto introduced the hog to Florida. In the 1540s De Soto explorers took domestic hogs to the Texas territory. Some of the settlers in Texas let the domestic hogs roam free. As a result, the domestic hogs adapted to the wild in a few months, and within two generations they transformed into a mean hairy wild hog. The released domestic hogs physically transformed into hog known as a feral hog.
Texas wild hogs are mixed breed.
In first half of 1900s, Eurasian wild boars were brought to Texas and released for hunting. The Eurasian wild boars eventually bred with the feral hogs. There are only a few purebred Eurasian wild hogs left today. All of these animals are interchangeably called a wild hog, wild pig, wild boar, or feral hog. Boars typically refer to a male or female.
Wild hogs eat meat or plants.
Wild hogs are opportunistic omnivores, eating almost anything. They eat meat or vegetation; seeking out meat for protein. With their long snouts, strengthened on the end by a plate of cartilage, they can root as deep as three feet into the soil. They can devour or destroy whole fields of sorghum, rice, wheat, soybeans, potatoes, melons and other fruits, nuts, grass and hay. Farmers planting corn have discovered that the hogs go methodically down the rows during the night, extracting seeds one by one.
Wild hogs all over Texas
Wild hogs can be found in all regions of Texas. They are a surprisingly intelligent animal that will evade the best efforts to trap or kill them. Hogs unsuccessfully hunted quickly learn how to evade hunters. There are no natural predators for wild hogs. Sows begin breeding around 8 months of age. The gestation period for a pregnant sow is just under 14 weeks with four to eight piglets per litter. Even if a local wild hog population is reduced by 70 percent, the original population will return within two or three years.
Why hunt Texas wild pigs?
Wild hogs are very destructive. As many as six million wild hogs are wreaking havoc in at least 39 states. Approximately half of all wild hogs in the United States are in Texas. They tear up yards, destroy crops, and reduce resources for other wildlife. Their damage to Texas is estimated to be around $300 million each year.
Hunt wild pigs year round.
Texas allows hunters to hunt wild hogs year-round without limits. Hogs are also captured and taken to slaughterhouses to be processed and shipped, overseas and within the U.S. Restaurants sell the wild hog as exotic meat. The goal in Texas is to help control the population of wild hogs through hunting. Without extreme measures, it is unlikely the wild hog can be eradicated.
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