Hogs are invasive animals that Texas hunters can pursue at any time of the day, during any part of the year. Sometimes exceeding 400 pounds in weight, hogs yield plenty of delicious meat and make stunning trophies, which makes them one of the most popular targets for Texas hunters. Because hogs damage the environment, hog hunting is one way to preserve Texas’ natural habitats.
Hunting to Help
While they currently live in all but the westernmost parts of the state, hogs are not native to Texas. Adult hogs seldom fall victim to predators – in addition to human hunters, disease, tooth loss and parasites are their leading causes of death. Because they have relatively few checks on their population, and they can mature at 8 months of age, hog populations have grown significantly and caused widespread damage through their foraging activities. Accordingly, the state of Texas encourages the hunting of wild hogs and imposes few restrictions on hunters.
Texas is home to three different types of hogs: feral hogs which are domestic hogs that have escaped or been released, Eurasian wild hogs which were imported and released in the 1930s, and feral-Eurasian crossbreeds. According to Rick Taylor, author of The Feral Hog in Texas, rampant intermingling between the various breeds has made pure Eurasian hogs rare. All three varieties are treated similarly under Texas law.
Texas wildlife officials classify feral hogs as exotic, non-game animals, and therefore afford them no protection. While hogs may be taken by any legal method at any time, a hunting license is required to legally hunt them. There is no daily or seasonal bag limit. Additionally, landowner permission is necessary when hunting on private land. Assume that any lands enclosed by a fence, posted as private or surrounded by trees or posts featuring purple paint, are private property. If you were born after September 2, 1971, you must pass a two-day hunter safety course or obtain a deferral.
Alternative Hunting Tactics Allowed
Texas permits nighttime hog hunting with flashlights or night-vision devices. However, the Texas A&M; Agrilife Extension Service recommends notifying your local game warden whenever you plan to hunt at night. Because hogs are nocturnal creatures that can be exceedingly difficult to locate during the day, nighttime hunting is a popular method among hunters. Texas hog hunters are also permitted to hunt from the air, after obtaining a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. As with any type of hunting, note local regulations restricting use of a firearm in municipalities or near populated areas.
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