Experts say now is the time to hunt for hogs

Feral hogs can be a problem for many people in many places.

Here in Texas, the wild pig population is running rampant on people's properties, but there is some good news, now is the best time of year to hunt them and reduce their population.

Experts say from now till spring is the best time to control feral hogs, because they'll be hungry and will move out into the open to look for food.

"This is the time of year, they're looking for food and food is scarce, they're always looking for food of course, but when it's scarce it makes it easier to trap them for example because they're going to be coming into the feed you might leave in the trap," said Texas AgriLIFE Extension Wildlife Specialist, Ken Cearley.

They pose many threats because of how destructive they can be.

Some estimates show they can cause more than $52 million in damage to Texas crops and pastures alone, and Cearley says it is probably more than that.

"The amount of money you'd spend trying to abate the damage and fix it, it adds up considerably. There are hogs in at least 210 of 254 counties in the state, so they're spreading and are continuing to be a problem."

He says there is no limit on how many hogs you can take per year.

"They're an animal that can be taken day or night, if you're hunting at night I'd recommend you talk to your game warden first so he'll at least know what you're doing, but thank goodness there is no limitation on how many you can take and when you can take them."

The hogs are known to uproot crops and soil, cause erosion, and be very damaging to wildlife.

"For ground nesting birds, we found that they seem to eat every egg they can find and they can take down fawn, they can take down young kids and goats if you're in the sheep and goat business. So they're what we call an omnivore, they'll eat just about anything they can find."

Especially this time of year, when they are their hungriest, making them a bigger problem than they usually are.

Cearley says one of the best baits for a feral hog is corn, and if you pre-bait a trap and leave the gate open they become much easier to catch.