In Texas, many ranchers hire people to kill feral hogs. There are many businesses in the state that are specialized on that. These trends started in 2012 as a competition organized by the Texas state government.

Texas government needed help in reducing wild pigs in the state, so they reached out to citizens willing to help and offered a reward of $2 per hog. While this trend has since continued, have it in mind that it is no longer competing with a two-dollar reward; rather it has become a very alluring business.

Hog hunting is becoming popular in the southern Gulf States owing to the increasing hog population in the areas. Feral hogs, a non-native species, are animals that breed quickly and endanger the safety of native wildlife and crops.

According to recent reports, the population of feral hogs in the United States is in the millions; Texas alone currently has a population of almost 2.6 million. With the hog’s current breeding rate, about 70 percent of the population will need to be eradicated annually to limit further growth.

In Florida, wild hogs are now in 253 of the state’s 254 counties, with El Paso County in far west Texas as the sole exception. These pigs wreak havoc on native plants and cause a lot of damage to vegetation and soil by rooting and digging in the ground in search of food.

Aside from that, they also degrade water quality, and since they lack sweat glands, they tend to contaminate waterways like the San Marcos River during the warmer months as they seek to cool themselves in the water.

Hog hunting has become a lucrative business in Texas. The minimum amount you can make hog hunting in Texas is about $120 or more. Hog hunters are offered a bounty for the beasts in Hays and Caldwell countries. Note that the millions of wild hogs destroying farms and grazing land make free hog hunting popular.

The Feral Hog Task Force outlines that a $5 per Texas hog bounty will be given by check on tails or certified buying station receipts. These countywide management programs have become increasingly necessary owing to the fact that the wild pig population continues to grow at an uncontrollable rate.

Steps to Start Hunting Hogs for Pay in Texas

Feral hogs are known to be aggressive animals that breed quickly and endanger the safety of native wildlife and crops. If you want to hunt hogs in Texas for pay, here are steps to consider;

  1. Understand The Regulations In The State

Most states in the country have regulations that ensure that hunters can help to curtail the hog population. However, before you go on with this endeavor, it is imperative to understand the laws in the state.

In Texas, hogs can be hunted every day and at any time of the day. Under certain stipulated circumstances, you may not need to obtain a license to hunt hogs in the State. Though you will need a general hunting license when looking to hunt on public land. 

  1. Gather The Necessary Supplies

Have in mind that you will need a suitable rifle such as an AR-15 to hunt hogs. Since you will need to take many shots quickly, it is imperative you consider getting a semi-auto rifle. Aside from that, you will also need a good thermal scope. The pulsar trail line of scopes come highly recommended as it is reliable when spotting and shooting.

According to experts, the minimum caliber for a hog hunting rifle is the .270 Winchester. You can also opt for a .30 caliber rifle such as the .308 or the .300 Winchester Magnums. You can go for the browning automatic rifle, which comes in a special Hog Stalker model meant primarily for hog hunters.

Also, consider purchasing a silencer, it will make it hard for hogs to locate you after you have fired, and will also dampen the muzzle flash if you are hunting at night.

  1. Find Willing Clients

Finding those willing to pay for your services is the hardest part of hunting hogs for pay in Texas. Most property owners will allow you to hunt hogs on their land to eliminate unwanted hogs, either for free or for a fee. It is recommended you check the internet and newspaper classifieds to find the nearest place to hunt hogs. You can also go door to door and talk to the land owners about it.

  1. Scout the Land

After paying for a suitable hunting space, you need to scout out the land in advance to find the best places on the property to stalk hogs or set up a stand. Have it in mind that having the ability to detect and track hogs is necessary when hog hunting. There are several signs to look for when tracking a feral hog, they include:

  • Hogs are known to leverage their snouts to root through vegetation and find food. Owing to that, uprooted soil is one of the signs of a hog’s presence.
  • Feral hogs also dig up land near ponds and creeks primarily to “wallow” in the mud and cool themselves down.
  • Ensure to search for tracks that look like deer tracks, but are wider and rounder.
  1. Shoot a Hog

After you must have tracked or found a hog, take aim and shoot it. Hogs are tough; make sure you hit their vital organs, otherwise, they may flee. Good places to consider hitting include;

  • The neck: A bullet anywhere between the shoulder and jaw or ear will stop a hog in its tracks.
  • Behind the shoulder: This is another good place to hit the hog, you can hit the heart or a lung without damaging choice cuts of meat.
  • Do not hit a hog’s shoulder: Aside from the bone, hog shoulders are known to be well protected by an extra-tough hide of scar tissue developed from fighting. Hitting a hog in the shoulder may do little more than scare it away.
  1. Take Safety Shots From A Distance

It is recommended you take another shot at the hog once you have tracked it. Hogs can play dead and still attack if you get close to them. Owing to that, it is imperative you approach noisily and hit the pig again, at least 15-20 yards, even if it looks dead.

When considering shot placement, note that it is common for a hog’s fat to plug entry and exit wounds. According to experts, this can more or less slow, stop, or delay your blood trail.

  1. Be wary Of Hog Related Diseases

Wild hogs are known to be good carriers of parasites such as roundworm and diseases like pseudo rabies (which can be quite damaging to livestock and pets) and swine brucellosis. If you notice signs of disease or parasite infestation on the pig, do away with the carcass because is quite unsafe to handle or eat.

Don’t forget to wear disposable plastic or rubber gloves along with eye protection when field dressing a wild hog, and be sure you cook the meat well, even if there are no visible warning signs of infestation.