A new law was passed by the Texas Legislature in relation to hunting wild hogs. As many know, wild feral hogs have become a severe problem to property owners over the past twenty-five years. The damage these wild hogs are doing has escalated in the past few years to the point that it prompted the legislation. The Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates there are 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas; a number many people believe is low. The hogs were introduced into North America in the 1500’s. Pigs escaping from pens are believed to be what led to the initial establishment. According to Texas A&M Agrilife, the feral hogs cause $52 million in agriculture loses each year in Texas. This doesn’t even count non-agriculture damages. In light of these statistics, the 86th Legislature took their action with bill 317 which allows individuals to hunt feral hogs without a hunting license with the landowner’s consent. Previously a hunting license was required to hunt hogs. One of the sponsors of the bill, was State Senator Peter Flores of District 21. The bill states, “A resident landowner or any person with the consent of the landowner may take feral hogs on the resident landowner’s land without having acquired a hunting license”. The same applies to nonresident hunters. The bill passed the senate unanimously and it passed the house with only one Nay vote. The law was signed by Governor Greg Abbot on May 31st and will take effect September 1, 2019.
Always be sure you have the landowner’s consent before hunting hogs, and remember, hunting inside a city limits is unlawful. Happy hog hunting! Be safe and if I can be of any assistance to you please give me a call at 830-769-3434.
DAVID SOWARD is the elected Sheriff of Atascosa County. He has been with the sheriff’s office for 42 years and he is in his 7th year as Sheriff. Sheriff Soward holds a Master Jailer’s License as well as a Master Peace Officer’s License from the State of Texas.