Meeting in The Middle

With all the recent heated debate over the use of Kaput feral hog poison it seems that there is no middle ground. 

Speaking with hundreds of ranchers, farmers and hunters over the past few weeks I can’t believe the things some people say.  It truly boggles the mind at the lack of reason and logic.  The refusal to research and listen to scientific facts is very dangerous at best.

There is no denying the damage feral hogs cause to lands and crops.  The monetary damages are very detrimental to the bottom line on many small farms and ranches where a few thousand dollars can mean sink or swim to a family farm.  As hunters we get that.  We honestly do.  That is one reason we have killed over half a million feral hogs in the past few years.  We offer to spend our own money for expensive ATVs, traps, rifles, bows, feeders, horses etc. and go on these farms and ranches free of charge to eradicate the very beasts in which the ranchers and farmers say are ruining their crops and fields. Costing them thousands if not tens of thousands per year. But what we run into is the very farmers and ranchers who want feral hogs eradicated from the face of the earth want to charge those who are willing to do it huge amounts in fees and place limits on the numbers of hogs which can be taken. This doesn’t bespeak of a person with a huge problem. 

I have been told by land owners that they wanted to place out poison and did not care if they killed every animal in the woods as long as it gets rid of the hogs.  They are willing to kill indiscriminately with no remorse or concern for our natural world.  I was also told while questioning another land owner who wants to kill every hog in Texas he stated that government or no government he would now place poison no matter what. He also did not care how many nontarget animals it killed.  I even asked if he cared if he killed Eagles and other protected and endangered species to which I got a resounding “NOT AT ALL”.

On the flip side I have interviewed hunters who specialize in feral hog removal and they truly care about the Farmer and rancher.  They want a common ground and to honestly help those with severe hog problems.  The hunters want to eradicate as many hogs as possible but without killing other species in the process.  They also are not against poisons if they have been properly tested with comprehensive field trials from independent labs.  Not, unconfirmed test results by the manufacturer of the product.  I draw a comparison to the used car salesman who guarantees the car he is selling is in perfect condition and checked by a mechanic…His mechanic..Seems that the hog hunters and conservation minded people of Texas are only wanting real research and real results.  Louisiana is conducting tests right now.  Tests which include state wildlife agencies and state universities.  Real scientists and biologists who do not have a product to sell.  I do not think it too much to ask that our own state undertake an equally comprehensive tactic.

We must find common ground and meet somewhere in the middle.  I don’t think it too much to ask that the farmer and rancher require factual unbiased scientific data on the poison at hand before jumping off the deep end.  I have spoken to 5 Veterinarians and 3 Dr.’s who all agree that there is an inherent danger to wildlife and human life by the use and misuse of Warfarin in this way.

Let us all use a bit of common sense and reason not to mention rationality before steps are taken and damage is done that can not be readily undone.

Story by Jeff Stewart

TF&G Staff:
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