GATESVILLE — The Texas Agriculture Department agreed that Coryell County can use its $15,000 Hog Out winnings to pay bounties to hunters and trappers for the feral animals.
Last year, the county earned second place in the state feral hog eradication competition by paying a $10 bounty for each feral hog killed in the county.
The county allocated $5,000 for the bounties, Commissioner Don Jones said, and spent it all on 500 hogs.
The state agency first told commissioners they could not use their winnings to continue the bounty, but after weeks of negotiations with Jones, who argued the bounty was the most cost-effective way to eradicate feral swine in Coryell County, the agency changed its mind.
“We can go with a bounty, but the state will only pay $5 per hog,” Jones said. “The county is going to put in the other $5 for the $10 bounty.”
The county also will pay a $5-per-hog incentive to trappers who sell their live feral hogs to a licensed buyer in the county, Jones said.
“The incentive will be in addition to whatever (the trapper) gets per pound for the hog,” he said.
To verify the hogs were killed or caught in the county, the person taking the hog will have to present a signed certificate from the landowner stating when and where the animal was taken.
Jones said some of the Hog Out winnings may be used for educational programs such as the hog-eradication video shown last year.
None of the winnings from last year can be used for projects for the next year’s Hog Out contest, which is fine, Jones said, because the county won’t likely compete again.
“If they have the Hog Out again, we probably won’t be in it,” he said. “We are going with the (County Hog Abatement Matching Program).”
As part of the program, Coryell will team up with Milam, Falls, Bell and Hamilton counties to match state dollars for hog-abatement activities.
Each county puts in $6,000 for the program, Jones said, and the Texas Department of Agriculture will match dollar for dollar.