Feral hogs cause a lot of damage to farm land, but they also pose a threat to area water sources.
Now, there is an effort underway to control the feral hog population in Nueces County.
Nueces County and the Agricultural Extension Office have started a program aiming to control the number of feral hogs in our area.
Weldon Riebschleager, a ranch owner in Nueces County, knows firsthand the problems feral hogs can cause.
“They’ll tear up the grass and try to get to the roots of them, and tear up your pasture and leave a lot of big holes,” Riebschleager said. “[Feral hogs] cause a lot of problems and a lot of losses.”
Because feral hogs also live near water, waste from the animals makes its way into the Nueces River and Oso Creek. According to Jason Ott, who works for the Nueces County Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service, this causes water quality issues.
“They have a chance of disturbing that habitat that’s around our streams,” Ott said.
According to Ott, there are 12 feral hogs per square mile in Nueces County. However now, Nueces County and the Agricultural Extension Service are offering feral hog traps through the feral hog abatement program.
At no cost to the landowner, Nueces County loans out a trap to landowners in need. What’s unique about these traps, is instead of catching just one feral hog, they’re built to catch a pack.
“So a lot of these conventional traps taught the ones [feral hogs] that were not trapped to avoid those situations, and to prevent themselves from getting trapped,” Ott said.
These traps are high-tech. With the download of an application to your smartphone, landowners can view photos taken from a game-cam set up near the trap. Then when the landowners are ready, they can trigger the trap with the simple push of a button.
Landowners and farmers alike are encouraged to borrow one of these one-of-a-kind traps.
“I really like it,” Riebschleager said. “It’s going to help us to try to catch more of these hogs out here on a bigger group, than trying to catch one at a time.”
Three traps are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Priority is given to landowners within the lower Nueces and Oso Creek watersheds.
For more information about the feral hog traps, call 361-767-5223. Or visit the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service website.