Weatherford Democrat

October 9, 2012

Program set for problem pigs

Judy Sheridan
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD — Feral hogs, prolific and intelligent enough to dodge traps, are a growing problem in Texas and elsewhere, where their rooting and wallowing behaviors damage crops and cause erosion.

The mature hogs may reach a shoulder height of 36 inches and weigh from 100 to more than 400 pounds, with males generally larger than females, according to an online Texas Parks and Wildlife Department publication. The animals travel in family groups called sounders, made up of a few sows and their offspring. Boars, or male hogs, are solitary.

Parker County has been somewhat affected by the animals, according to Extension Agent for Agriculture Jon Green.

“I get an occasional call on hog damage,” Green said. “I do know they’re increasing in population in Parker County, causing damage to crops, hay fields and pastures. I don’t know what they’re doing in residential areas.”

Green said most of the reports of damage have originated in precinct 1, the northeast part of the county.

An informative program about wild hogs has been set for Thursday, Oct. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Springtown High School cafeteria, 915 W. Highway 199, Green said, at the urging of Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley.

The program will feature Jesse Oetgen, a TPWD wildlife biologist, who will cover the general management of the animals and their biology, history and current status, as well as management options and trapping techniques.

Trapping the animals can be a challenge, Green said.

“We do have some guys trapping, but these are smart animals — they really are — and you’ve got to do things right.”