Feral hog bounty program deemed a success
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A program that offers a $2 bounty for feral hogs is headed into its final weeks and those involved are calling the bounty program a success.
Nick Dornak, Plum Creek Watershed Coordinator, blames the hogs are a major factor to an E. coli problem faced by Plum Creek. He said the bounty both Hays and Caldwell counties have placed on feral hogs has gotten the word out about the problems the porkers cause and put a dent in their population.
"We had just about 500 hogs in 40 days that were harvested and accounted for in Caldwell County," Dornak said. "The agricultural damage associated with 500 hogs is immense."
Organizers say they're hopeful that some of the losses this year will be cut because of this bounty program. Wildlife studies have shown just one hog can do up to $200 in damage.
"That's $200 in property damage a year, so if you multiply that times 500 hogs I believe that comes out to about $100,000 in potential property damage mitigation there," Dornak said.
In addition to removing hogs, they're also collecting data. With each tail collected they're learning where the hogs are most concentrated.
"We're mapping that to find the impact to our watershed as well as to the county as a whole," Dornak said.
The bounty is being offered in Hays and Caldwell Counties with hog tails being collected through the end of the year.
Counties that make efforts to reduce the hog population compete for Texas State Agriculture Department grants.