Wild pigs

These eight wild pigs captured in Coryell County in December were included in the Hog Out tally before being sold for meat.

GATESVILLE — Coryell County took second place in the Hog Out 2012 competition, earning a $15,000 state grant for feral swine abatement efforts.

Commissioner Don Jones, who headed up the county effort, said he was pleased with the outcome.

“I guess even a blind sow finds an acorn sometimes,” Jones said.

Coryell vied with 14 other Texas counties in the Texas Department of Agriculture program for money to eradicate feral hogs that destroy millions of dollars in crop and livestock production in Texas every year.

The top three counties in the competition won grant money.

Sutton County won top honors and a $20,000 grant, according to results posted on the TDA website. Callahan County came in third and earned $10,000.

Each hog killed or captured in the county between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 counted a half-point in the Hog Out scoring. Each person who participated in a county’s education program — watching a video about hog eradication — counted as one point.

Sutton finished with 1,105.5 points, Coryell had 1,078.5 and Callahan had 896.

Although second in the point tally, Coryell bagged more feral hogs, 891, than Sutton’s 435. But the winning county reported 888 participants in the education program to Coryell’s 633.

Coryell County budgeted $5,000 for hog bounties at $10 per tail and paid the entire amount for 500 confirmed pig kills in the county, Jones said. Hogs captured live and sold for meat also were counted for the Hog Out.

“The bounty went over real well,” Jones said. “I had people tell me they still had hog tails in their freezer when we ran out of (bounty) money.”

He said the education video, which was shown at public events and to 4-H and FFA classes, also was a success.

“We will sit down and figure out how to use the ($15,000) this year,” Jones said. “Our plan will most definitely involve bounties. I think we need more bounties.”

Contact Tim Orwig at torwig@kdhnews.com

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