Feral hogs

Feral pigs on the hoof, like these trapped in Coryell County last year, can earn trappers a $5-per-head bonus in addition to the selling price under the 2013 Hog Out program. Sellers must present to the licensed buyer a certificate from the landowner stating that each animal was taken in Coryell County between Aug. 1 and March 31.

GATESVILLE — Just one month into Coryell County’s wild hog bounty program the county has already logged 514 dead hogs.

After winning second place in last year’s Hog Out competition largely on the strength of its $10-per-hog bounty, Coryell County is spending another $5,000 on bounties this year.

The money will be matched with $5,000 in state money to provide a $10 bounty for 1,000 hogs.

“No doubt, the bounty is the way to go,” County Commissioner Don Jones said. “I think we will be out of money by the middle of October.”

The person who kills the hog must have a certificate from the Coryell County landowner verifying when and where the animal was taken. The certificate and the tail of the dead animal are turned in at any feed store in Gatesville or Evant in exchange for the $10 bounty.

About 340 of the hog tails were redeemed in Gatesville, Jones said, and the rest in Evant.

The county Hog Out program also pays $5 for each live hog sold at one of two licensed buying stations in the county. The incentive or “head bonus” is in addition to the price the trapper gets for the hog, which is sold for meat.

Trappers must turn in a landowner certificate with each live hog to collect the incentive.

So far, the county has paid incentives for only four live hogs, Jones said.

“People would rather shoot them than trap them, I guess,” he said.

The county transfers the hog-bounty funds to the Agricultural Industry Committee, which administers the program, Jones said.

The county submits the certificates to the Texas Department of Agriculture to be reimbursed.

Coryell County also signed up for the County Hog Abatement Matching Program — CHAMP — in partnership with Bell, Milam, Falls and Hamilton counties.

Each county puts in $5,000 and the Texas Department of Agriculture will match dollar for dollar.

Under CHAMP, the county will provide free hog-trap gates to landowners, who must provide the hog panels and T-posts to complete the trap.

Contact Tim Orwig at torwig@kdhnews.com

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