The latest news has it that the state of Texas in its infinite wisdom has decided it is a good thing to use poison to attempt to combat the massive feral hog invasion of our state.
This has got to be just about the most bone headed ill advised attempt to get a grip on the hog problem faced by our state. Hogs have invaded almost every county in Texas. It’s not a question of if you will get hogs on your place but WHEN.
We hog hunters have been hunting hogs with every means known to man for decades now. We trap and bay as well as hunt with rifle and bow. As an outdoorsman and conservation minded individual I can not in good conscience support the use of poisons in the control of hogs. Even under the most stringent of regulations how do they intend to stop every creature in the woods from becoming a victim of this feed based poison?
Every animal in the woods either feeds on the same food sources as hogs or feed on the hogs themselves, including us. What is the collateral damage going to be when deer eat the poisoned bait or racoons, possums, squirrels, rabbits, song birds and rodents? Then what about the coyotes, bobcats, red wolves domestic dogs and cats and birds of prey that will eat the dead or dying pigs and other animals? what happens when thousands of animals not targeted start dropping like flies? Do we just get an oops and an oh well?
I know the state says they have done extensive studies etc. I am not convinced. They say the poison only has a half life of 24 hours in the body and meat of a pig…Have you ever seen how quickly a pack of coyotes or buzzards find and consume a dead animal. We often find our deer and hogs we let lay over night from a questionable shot with their entire body eaten down to the bone. What about those rodents snatched by owls and hawks while eating the poison bait? You and I will get fined and possibly jailed if we kill protected species yet the state by their disregard and tactics is about to possibly kill them by the thousands.
What happens when a hunter kills a hog and consumes poisoned meat? Who pays the hospital bills and who comforts the wife, husband or parent of a dead hunter? No safety precaution is foolproof.
If the state wishes to get a grip on the hog population then they need to sit down with those of us who hunt hogs and do our part. The state needs to grant special access permits so we can access the sanctuary lands where they hold up. The farmers and ranchers need to open up and let us come in and respectfully hunt these hogs instead of charging us hundreds even thousands of dollars to hunt their property. I have seen it time and time again how these property owners cry about rooted hay meadows and crop fields yet when we seek permission to hunt their property they want us to pat them for the very job we are doing for them.
Now there is an answer to the hog epidemic and I am sure it lies somewhere in the middle but placing poisons in the fields and woods no matter how well regulated is not a viable nor palatable answer. Why not get the very hunters across the state involved in this process? Sit down and have some in depth conversations and get a plan on the control of the hog problem?
Story by Jeff Stewart