Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



Fish & Game

Hog Wild

Controlling these feral invaders provides a perfect introduction
to hunting.

There’s a good reason why feral hogs can be hunted year-round in Texas.

These determined invaders are so destructive, so prolific, they are one of only two species in Texas that can be hunted without a license on private property. And still, they continue to create nuisances throughout the state, damaging crops, threatening native habitats and feeding on small animals such as quail or even young lambs.

Hunters must work year-round to keep their numbers in check, making hog hunting a great way to introduce (or reintroduce) someone you know
to hunting.

March is the best time to hunt hogs, in that lull between the general/late hunting seasons and spring turkey season. You won’t find yourself competing with deer and bird hunters for the perfect spot, ensuring plenty of access to these unprotected, nongame animals.

With landowner authorization, hunters can hunt and kill hogs without a license. (Hunter education requirements still apply.)

Hogs are mostly nocturnal and typically hide out in thicker habitats. For these reasons, some of the more popular hunting methods include hunting at night and over baited stations (feeders, animal trails and ranch roads). Corn’s an easy bait to entice these elusive sounders out of their hiding grounds. Like domestic pigs, wild hog meat is good to eat, but much leaner. Most people prefer younger hogs and sows to boars, especially older ones, which can produce tougher, gamier meat.

Many private landowners, especially if they know it is your first hunt, will open their lands to such opportunities. It’s a “win-win-win” situation — they’re ridded of a nuisance, you’ve got a hunting opportunity, and the native resources lose a threat.

Ask your friends and family if they know of a property owner with hog problems. Seek out public hunt opportunities and private mentor/youth hunts and learn more about the wily critter that makes Texas a legendary hog hunting state.


Prolific Breeders

Females can start breeding as early as 6 months old; normally 8-10 months old.

GESTATION: 3.5 months

WEANING: Three weeks after birth

LITTER SIZE: Typically four to six, but as many as 10 to 12

LITTER FREQUENCY: One or two litters per year

 Mikael Males | Dreamstime.com;  Keng62fa | Dreamstime.com

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