GATESVILLE — One of those pesky Coryell County feral hogs soon may be coming to a sandwich near you.
Matt Sadler of Flat, field manager for a company that buys live feral hogs from trappers to sell for meat, is talking with county commissioners to see if his operation would qualify for the $10-per-hog bounty the county is paying as part of the Hog Out state grant program.
Sadler, who supervises 41 buying stations in Texas for Ingram-based Southern Wild Game Holdings LLC, plans to open a buying station in Coryell County within the next few weeks.
The company buys live feral hogs from trappers around the state and transports them to a slaughterhouse in Devine, south of San Antonio, Sadler said.
About 75 percent of the meat is sold overseas, Sadler said, and the rest is bought by restaurants, including the hamburger chain Fuddruckers, which offers a “wild boar burger” on its exotics menu.
County Commissioner Don Jones said he will be working with Sadler to see if the hog operation can dovetail with the Hog Out bounty rules.
Tails from feral pigs, along with signed certificates from the owner of the land where the animals were taken, are being collected in Gatesville and Evant until Dec. 29.
As of Thursday, 10 tails had been turned in — nine in Gatesville and one in Evant.
Bounties — up to a county-wide total of $5,000 — will be paid on the first and third Saturday of each month and the last Saturday of December.
Sadler pays trappers by the pound, plus a head bonus, then hauls the live hogs to the slaughterhouse. Each animal is logged on a trapper sheet that reports when and where the hog was trapped. If the animals qualify for the county bounty, the money would go to the trapper, Sadler said.
The bounty is part of the county’s action plan to compete in the state program aimed at reducing the feral hog population. Grants of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 will be awarded to the three highest scoring counties.
Coryell is competing with 27 other counties for the grant money. Texas is home to nearly 2.6 million feral hogs, the largest feral hog population in the U.S., and the swine cause an estimated $500 million in damage every year, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service.
For more information, call County Commissioner Don Jones at (254) 223-1210.