CAMERON — The Milam County Commissioners Court’s approval of taking part in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s County Hog Abatement Matching Program can serve as an incentive to feral hog hunters to help keep the feral hogs under control in the county.
The county is matching a $5,000 grant from the state agency.
Milam, Bell, Falls, Coryell and Hamilton counties will partner in the program.
On Tuesday, Milam County started paying a $7.50 bounty for every feral hog killed, Precinct 2 Commissioner Kenneth Hollas said. Hollas is coordinating the Milam program.
“Feral hogs do so much damage to crops,” Hollas said. “We will never eradicate them. We’re just trying to hold the population down. They’re very, very destructive and also spread a lot of disease around. It will serve as an incentive for feral hog hunters to go after them more.”
As evidence the hog was killed, the person must bring the hog snout individually frozen in a resealable plastic bag on designated dates and times to the Milam commissioners’ precinct offices.
In addition to the hog snouts, a signed form from the landowner must accompany the snouts. Forms can be picked up at the Milam County Extension Office, 100 E. First St., Cameron; county judge’s office in the county courthouse, any Milam County Commissioner precinct office; or print a form from www.milam.agrilife.org.
The snout and completed form must be taken to a commissioner’s precinct office from 9 to 11 a.m. April 19, May 3, May 17, May 31, June 14 or June 28.
The dates are subject to change if funds are depleted before the program ends Aug. 30.
Feral hog hunters also can apply for the $7.50 bounty by providing a receipt and signed landowner form for hogs sold to a feral hog buyer.
“It will help some,” Milam County Extension Agent Jon Gersbach said of the program. “It’s not going to eliminate the problem by any stretch. ... (But) we’re hoping it will give folks a little incentive to go out and do some hunting and trapping, and to control some of the population,” Gersbach said.
Hogs inflict “a lot of damage,” he said. “It’s hard to quantify from a dollar figure. It’s hard to quantify from an acreage figure. They will damage row crops. They will go in follow the planter and take seed corn right out of the ground.”
Hogs do less damage to milo, cotton and grain sorghum crops until they go looking for insects and the disturbance kills the plant.
“They haven’t been good news,” Gersbach said. “They’re just getting worse.”