The Lone Star State is different than anywhere else in America for many different reasons. Folks from Texas take great pride in the fact that the state differs from others in the country and its unique nature is what gives Texas its own personality among other parts of the United States.
Hog hunting is no different and Texas hog hunting is unlike anywhere else for a number of reasons. In an effort to control hog population numbers, the state has placed almost no limitations on hog hunting and the many different methods farmers and hunters are using to limit the population.
Every corner of the state is infested with wild pigs. From the northern Texas plains to the southern border near Mexico, hogs run rampant, tearing through millions of dollars worth of crops in their path. Texas hog hunting is the only proven method to helping curb this problem. Here are five reasons why Texas hog hunting is unlike anywhere else in America.
Largest Hog Population in the Country
Texas has, by far, the largest wild hog population of any state in the country. Some scientists estimate that the number could be upwards of 2 million. For Texas hog hunting guides like Terry Venable, owner of 4J Ranch, it is up to him and a few other outfitters and hog control services to try and keep that number from spreading.
“We are based in Leona, which is northeast of College Station and is really some prime habitat for wild hogs,” says Terry. “We get people coming from all over the world to hunt here because there are more hogs in this area than probably anywhere else in the world.”
4J Ranch has been in business since 2000 and employs just about every method available in their Texas hog hunting operation. Hunters can opt to hunt in blinds, or stalk their prey on foot or ATV.
“Hogs can reproduce at an astounding rate,” says Terry. “If you have just a few hogs on your property, in about 5 years, there can be as many as 2,000 hogs because they will multiply so quickly. Scientists say you can kill off about 75 percent of a population of hogs and they will come back within about three years. The main thing that attracts people to Texas hog hunting is the numbers of wild hogs here.”
Can Hunt Day or Night
Another reason Texas hog hunting is better than most states is nocturnal hunting opportunities. Brian Bedre, owner of Night Vision Hog Hunting Service specializes in just that. Hog hunting at night is perhaps one of the most effective means of control efforts, as well as one of the most popular styles of Texas hog hunting.
“The best time to hunt hogs is at night,” says Brian. “It’s basically a guaranteed deal that you’ll get a shot on a hog at night, so that’s why we specialize in night hunting.”
Night Vision Hog Hunting Guide Service is just what you might expect. Brian says he provides some of the most sophisticated night vision weapons and equipment for clients and he always guarantees a shot opportunity for his hunters.
“We cruise around the fields and we might see groups of as many as 40 or 50 hogs at one time,” says Brian. “They go out in large groups to feed at night, which is why we hunt them at night.”
Night hunting is one of the most popular forms of Texas hog hunting because it is unlike the more traditional style of sitting and waiting. Brian says his clients are able to talk and enjoy the hunt while riding around, then the action heats up once the guides locate the hogs.
The Feral Hog Battle
Trying to stave off the invasion of feral pigs is a battle for farmers in Texas. According to a recent article by the Texas Observer, the foraging of wild hogs causes roughly $52 million in crop damage each year. That doesn’t entail the amount of damage done to the native Texas animal and plant species as well.
The article notes that some conservative estimates say there are as many as 2.6 million hogs in the Lone Star State and farmers have turned to Texas hog hunting guides in desperation to help control the damage.
Texas employed perhaps the most creative—and action packed—means of hog hunting of any state in the country a few years ago when it legalized helicopter hog hunting. Some farmers began to hire specialized outfitters to fly on their property, but when the state began allowing guides to allow paying customers aboard their helicopters, a beautiful new form of Texas hog hunting was born.
“For us, allowing a paying customer to come be the trigger man on our hunts allows the burden of cost to be taken off of us, as well as the farmers,” says Gary Beyers, owner or G&T Outfitters. “It’s really a win for everyone because we get to help these farmers with the most effective means of hog eradication available for very little cost to them.”
Gary says he started flying for one particular farmer, who owned a 440-acre corn farm, about three years ago. Before G&T Outfitters began picking off the massive numbers of hogs on the property, the farmer was losing roughly 40 to 50 percent of his total crop yield every year to wild pigs.
“After just two years of us flying on his property, he’s now harvesting about 96 percent of his crop yield,” says Gary. “People like him are very thankful for guys like us who do this for a living.”
G&T Outfitters is one of the most highly skilled helicopter hunters in the business, and the service only uses former military helicopter pilots to fly their aircraft. For Gary and many others who have been on an aerial hunt, this is Texas hog hunting at its best.
Everything is Bigger in Texas
Our fifth and final reason why Texas hog hunting is above all others has everything to do with size. The popular saying “Everything is bigger in Texas” rings true for Texas hog hunting as much as anything.
Hogs average nearly 200 pounds or more in most areas. For Texas hog hunting guides, more pork equals out to more happy customers. Many outfitters report that people come from all over the world to experience the Texas hog hunting in all its glory, and few leave disappointed.