Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Fort Bend County AG/NR Extension Agent Allen Malone reported the results of the Feral “Hog Out” grant program that was held from October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Fort Bend County along with Cooperative Extension Program, Prairie View A&M University AG/NR Extension Agent Major Stevenson, worked in conjunction with the County Judge’s office and all of the County Commissioners’ offices as part of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s “Hog Out” program. Of the 21 counties in Texas that participated, Fort Bend County ranked 11th place turning in a total count of 610 hogs taken in the county out of 103 participants. Hardeman County placed first with a total of 2,047 hogs taken with 23 participants.
Fort Bend County individuals, Kevin Daniels of Critter Catchers turned in the highest number of hogs with a total of 175. Mike Morgan of Vortex Helicopters came in second with a total of 128, and third place went to Pat McDonald with 83 hogs taken.
The Texas Department of Agriculture through Fort Bend County asked residents for their participation in the program to help reduce the overpopulation of Feral Hogs in Texas. The scores were based on two factors: 1) The number of Feral Hogs abated worth (1/2 point) and 2) The number of participants in Educational Events (1 point).
During an educational event, “Managing Feral Hogs in Fort Bend County,” that was held on November 16, 2011, collaborated by Fort Bend County AG/NR Agents and USDA Wildlife Services, there were 60 people in attendance that learned about the legalities of feral hog trapping, recognizing signs of feral hogs, gate methods, snaring, building a snare and hands on demonstrations on feral hog trapping were also discussed. A total of 52 surveys were submitted at this program and the results were somewhat amazing. These results indicated that there were 35,943 acres impacted be feral hog damage. In 2011 landowners indicated losing $197,900 due to feral hog damage. As a result of the educational programs and indicated future adoption of learned management practices, this will save/earn them $107,850. This is due to respondents indicating decreased losses of $83,850 as a result of implementing what they learned during the educational programs.
Dr. Malone is hopeful that the “Hog Out” program will be funded again this fall, and that Fort Bend County residents will increase their participation to be the number one county for 2012 in the “Hog Out” program.