Texans no longer need a license to kill wild hogs. On May 31, Governor Gregg Abbott signed a bill to allow people to kill feral hogs without a license.
The bill that Sen. Brian Hughes of Mineola authored received a large amount of support. The bill allows any landowner, landowner’s agent or lessee to take a feral hog without a hunting license.
The bill unanimously passed the Texas Senate on April 11 before making it through the House with almost unanimous support and moved on to the Governor on May 17 before being signed into law on May 31.
Joe Paddock, a hog hunting guide in Chandler, told CBS19 that he believes hog hunting is very important, but he has reservations about opening it up to anyone with a gun.
"I don't see the doing away with hog hunting licenses is going to help a whole lot but maybe create more problems in the long run, with people that don't have no education, no training or anything with firearms going out in the woods," Paddock said.
Paddock said he will keep buying a license to support Texas state programs, even though it’s not required.
A growing problem
The impact of the wild pig herd on Texas is widespread. Not only are they a menace to agriculture and the environment, but they are also a detriment to communities. The wild pig population in Texas ranges between 3 to 5 million pigs and can be found in about 90% of the counties in the state.
Brandon Gunn, executive vice president of the Texas Pork Producers Association, said Texas can’t control the wild pig population with the resources they have now.
“We need help. We need more resources, access to more effective baits, and we need the government to provide more funding and support in the fight against feral hogs,” Gunn said.
More from Farm Journal’s PORK:
Deadly Terrorist Threatens the Lone Star State’s Domestic Pig Herd
Texas Pork Producers Face Uphill Battle with Wild Pigs