By Landee Kieschnick
TFB Communications Intern

Wild pigs, a species that seems to reproduce faster than landowners can manage, have wreaked havoc on the Lone Star State for countless years.
As deer season winds down and planting season begins, wild pigs will become more active by uprooting crops and pasture land in search of food.

“Food sources begin to dry up, and pigs need to become more active in order to obtain food,” Dr. Billy Higginbotham, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wildlife and Fisheries specialist, told the Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) Radio Network. “This is going to make wild pigs a little more vulnerable for control.”

control wild pigs in south texasWild pigs are found throughout much of the state with the highest populations in East, South and Central Texas.

“Many farmers may not have any hogs until they start planting. All of a sudden, wild pigs start tearing up freshly planted fields,” Gene Richardson, director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities, said.

Landowners have tried tracking, hunting with dogs and helicopter services, but a method that seems to be successful and the first line of defense is trapping.

“A successful corral trap needs to have a minimum of five-foot high panels. Most of these panels will be 16 to 20 feet in length, and just as important, these panels need to have a four-inch mesh to retain even the smallest of pigs caught,” Higginbotham said.

Just like waiting for a crop to grow, it takes time for the wild pigs to start baiting a coral trap.

“Wild hogs are very intelligent, causing landowners a lot of money by damaging crops and equipment,” Richardson said. “They can be in one place one night and another the next night. It’s very difficult to go out and find them when trying to do something about it.”

Once a wild pig has been caught, a trapper can take their pigs to more than 100 buying stations in Texas, which purchase live pigs and provide immediate payment, or they can be harvested in the field.

Higginbotham advised that whether the pig was harvested in the field or caught in a trap, the right precautions need to be taken to ensure good management and hygiene practices.

When field dressing a wild pig, Higginbotham recommends wearing latex or rubber gloves, along with eye protection, to help prevent exposure of any blood or bodily fluids.

After the pig is field dressed, cool the meat down as quickly as possible, and when time to eat, make sure to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to prevent any risk of illness.

To help landowners manage wild pig populations, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wildlife Services and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department host monthly programs, as well as field visits to determine the best management in your direct area. Program dates can be found at