“WILD HOGS TAKE OVER San Antonio Neighborhood”
“Wild Hog Shows Up At Brownfield High School”
“Wild Hogs Take Over Northwest Neighborhood”
All these were headlines from major Texas media outlets during the last quarter of 2018. Factor in out of state stories like “Hulking Hog Captured Near School Bus Stop in Florida,” and you see an urban invasion of feral hogs is happening.
We reported on this last year and, so far, have been the only outdoor publication to touch the issue. Specifically, we believe cities will be the future home of some of the largest hogs in the nation.
Genetics, age, food and cover are the ingredients required for super-size. Without the genetic code animals don’t have the capacity for maximum growth. Without food and cover it is impossible to feed their potential size. However, without reaching the optimal age, it is all a moot point.
These factors are the reason why gigantic feral hogs will become the apex predator in many Texas cities and in other places in the country.
Feral hogs have entered the city limits of many cities in the American South. They are becoming major problems for animal control, homeowners, golf course managers and park superintendents.
Once hogs enter cities there is virtually no way to control them. Without doubt, hogs are in Houston, San Antonio, Beaumont and other major cities right now with the potential to outgrow the average grizzly bear.
Greenbelts as well as abandoned lots, dumps and other open areas provide adequate nutrition. Then there is the age factor.
Trapping has very limited effectiveness. Shooting them under virtually every circumstance is off limits for obvious reasons. No one will have the stomach to allow hunters with trained curs and pit bulls to capture or kill them. Furthermore, poisoning (where legal) is not going to be possible because of danger to pets and people.
So, when that hog with the genes to be a giant enters a city, it has everything else it needs to do just that.
If you have photos of hogs (especially big ones) in or around cities, email them to [email protected] We want to feature them here and at fishgame.com to continue raising awareness of this serious wildlife issue.
Feral hogs are running wild across Texas, at great cost to farmers, ranchers, and native wildlife. Hunters are helping, but science may prove critical to controlling the invasion on a broader scale.
—story by CHESTER MOORE