The Washington County Commissioners Court began to flesh out plans for the Hog Out County Grants Program yesterday.
The program, run by the Texas Department of Agriculture, is aimed at lowering the booming population of feral hogs in the state by giving counties a grant for capturing or killing the most hogs.
Luther Hueske, commissioner of Precinct 2, was given the role of authorized signator of Washington County for the feral hogs program.
Hueske will go to the lone feral swine holding facility in Washington County near Carmine and certify the numbers as a county official. The Knights of Columbus, who are adding a feral hog category to their usual buck hunting contest, will take in ears of feral hogs as well and Hueske will gather information on those.
All of the final numbers will be signed off by Hueske, who will send the forms to the state.
“What we’ve done is authorize him (Hueske) to be our person on the feral hog program,” County Judge John Brieden said. “He’s going to be checking numbers constantly.”
The commissioners court also agreed on a $5 per hog bounty, hoping to entice hunters to take the time and bring in the ears of any hogs they kill or send the captured hogs to the holding facility.
“The people I talk to say we have to give the people who kill, trap or hunt these hogs some incentive to go out there and cut the ears off and bring them in,” Hueske said in the meeting. “If you’re not going to give them an incentive, people are going to shoot them and leave them and that will not count towards our chance of getting the grant.”
Commissioner Kirk Hanath of Precinct 3 brought up concerns of having the amount of money spent in the bounty “run wild,” and a second vote was taken to cap the amount spent on the bounty at $2,000 total with potential bumps up in the cap if necessary.