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Amarillo, located in the Texas Panhandle and Randall County, is home to a large population of wild hogs. Consisting of large ranches, the land in the Amarillo area witnesses significant damage caused by the wild hog population. Because of the large population, hog hunting has grown to be a popular year-round form of recreation.
Wild hogs were originally introduced to the Amarillo area by European settlers. The settlers would allow domestic hogs to roam free, and the animals would occasionally escape and turn feral. With ample habitat, food and water available, the feral hogs quickly populated.
Livestock, wildlife and pets in the Amarillo area are exposed to 37 known parasites and bacteria that the wild hogs carry. These parasites and bacteria, including pseudorabies, can be easily transmitted to other wildlife, killing them in only a few days. It is highly recommended that you wear rubber or latex gloves when handling wild hogs, as diseases such as brucellosis can be transferred to humans. The hogs also destroy soil, vegetation and waterways on the ranches in the Amarillo area.
To prevent further damage and to increase the land value of the large ranches around Amarillo, most landowners will grant you permission to hunt. Some ranchers may charge a daily "trespass" fee. The ranchers understand the impact of hunting on the overall hog population. Texas A&M University says that hunting keeps the population at a reasonable level, as it is nearly impossible to eradicate every hog from Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife and other wildlife agencies encourage landowners to allow hunting by not enforcing a season, bag limits, size limits, shooting hours or possession limits. You are allowed to hunt whenever you want and shoot as many hogs as you want.
With varied terrain in the Amarillo area, hunters utilize various hunting methods. Most hunters will utilize spot-and-stalk techniques or stand hunting. For a spot-and-stalk, hunters will walk around the ranch until a hog is spotted and then will carefully stalk into position for a shot. Stand hunting involves sitting along a trail or feeding area and waiting for a hog to present a shot.
Contact the rancher about turkey or deer hunting. The Amarillo area has a spring turkey season and fall deer season. Consider heading to Amarillo during these times to take advantage of a combination hunt. If you have trouble locating a rancher that allows hunting, consider hiring an outfitter.
Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.