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5 things to discuss when considering trapping wild hogs

A feral hog trapping program can be simple and inexpensive and something that can be integrated into a landowner's current operation.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

June 26, 2019

2 Min Read
Fermented corn bait for feral hogs. This will be used to attract feral hogs to a choral-type trap. While pigs search for food based on smell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wildlife Specialist Dr. John Tomecek says, fermented corn is not something other native wildlife want to consume, "so we have the advantage of cutting down on nontargeted animals ending up in our traps."Shelley E. Huguley

Approximately 2.6 million feral hogs occupy 79 percent of Texas’ landscape, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences Unit. As feral hog damage continues to escalate in Texas, causing $125 million in damage to grains in 2017, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension specialist says landowners interested in feral hog abatement should first meet with a local Extension agent or trusted source.

See, Feral hog control requires cooperation, communication


Dr. John Tomecek, assistant professor and Extension wildlife specialist, Stiles Farm, Thrall, Texas, lists five topics a landowner can discuss when considering trapping on their property:

  1. How to recognize signs of pig damage.

  2. How to discover where the pig damage is most frequently occurring. “If, you’ve got a high traffic area, where you know pigs are coming day in and day out, you’ve found a great trap sight.”

  3. How to build a trap.

  4. How to bait the pigs to the trap. See, Feral swine bait recipe: simple, inexpensive

  5. How to dispose of the pigs once they are trapped.

“Our local Extension offices are a great resource for that information,” says Tomecek. He also recommends visiting their website,, which includes links to YouTube videos and step-by-step instructions on building traps and a bait recipe. “It’s our clearinghouse for all of our materials.”

See, Congress pledges $75 million for feral swine removal

While a trapping program can be simple and inexpensive, it also needs to be something that can be integrated into a landowner’s current operation. “The traps I make are made out of old cattle panels I already had, old, bent t-posts, spare lumber and a little bit of corn.

“Most of the things we do, we can do at minimal cost and integrate it into what we do every day. If you check cows every morning, find a spot to trap your pigs that’s on the way. Bait it every morning, check for signs of travel every morning − make it part of your daily routine. Making it a habit is making it something you are willing to do, as opposed to that extra thing to do at the end of a long day.”

Once trapped, feral swine can either be euthanized or sold to approved feral swine holding facilities, says Tomecek. Because feral swine carry a host of diseases, he recommends trappers wear rubber gloves and long-sleeved shirts.

For information about selling trapped hogs, visit the Animal Health Commission website under their Feral Swine Program. “Call ahead and be sure to ask what kinds of pigs they are buying and what weight class,” he says.

See, 6 things you should know about swine control program

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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