Sports
Texas Hog Hunters Association
By Luke Clayton
Jul 3, 2017
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During the course of the past 30 or so years, the number of wild hogs in Texas as well as much of the southwest and southeastern states has been on a steady increase. With this increase in wild hog numbers has come a great loss of income to farmers and ranchers because of damage caused by the wild porkers.

Native wildlife such as ground nesting birds have also been negatively impacted in areas with high numbers of hogs.
In truth, wild hogs have been roaming the drainages of the Lone Star State since the days when Texas was still part of Mexico and even earlier. Settlers depended upon domestic pork as a staple for their diet; hogs provided not only meat but lard which was in great demand. Thanks to raids on farmsteads by Indians and the relocation of families during war, many domestic hogs joined the already existing population of wild porkers brought by the early explorers.

The beginning of our “hog problem” in Texas actually has roots that date back several hundred years when explorers actually “stocked” hogs to provide a ready food source for future explorations.  The topic is not often mentioned, but we hunters are also partially to blame for hogs “showing up” in areas where there previously were none. Yes, several decades ago before there was a “hog problem” in Texas many hogs were stocked by hunters wishing to have another game animal to hunt and provide meat. Hogs being the prolific animals they are, quickly increased in numbers, thanks in part to a ready supply of food provided by corn feeders.

From a personal perspective, I have always loved hunting and putting to use the meat of wild hogs. I was overjoyed when they began showing up on leases I hunted several decades ago. I began writing in this column and in outdoor magazines about my hog hunting experiences almost 3 decades ago when the wild hog boon was just getting underway.  You might say I’ve been hunting and writing about hogs and hunting them way before hogs were in the limelight as they are today.

I’ve known for a long time that with all the interest in hunting hogs in Texas, there needed to be an organization devoted to hunting them; a “one stop shop” for everything related to hunting wild hogs and controlling their numbers.  A couple years ago, Scott Dover formed The Texas Hog Hunters Association and at the time it was little more than a Facebook page with a few devout hunters that wished to learn more about wild hogs. With Dover as president of the THHA and Eydin Hansen as vice president, the group grew slowly but steadily. During this early growth period, the groundwork was laid for what today is a strong origination of hunters, trappers and conservationists that share a common goal.

A few of the members of the Texas Hog Hunters Association that led the fight at the state capitol against the use of warfarin to poison wild hogs.(R-L) THHA president Scott Dover, Deryl Markgraf, Will Herring and THHA Vice President Eydin Hansen.

The catalysts that really “launched” THHA was the proposed introduction of the poison Warfarin by Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller to kill wild hogs and all the positive publicity THHA received when they went to battle with the powers that be to stop this poisoning. Thanks in large part to THHA leadership and members and the folks at Wild Boar Meats who all worked closely together, Miller’s plan was haulted.  THHA remains vigilant in monitoring future proposed bills and legislation that might re-introduce the use of poison.

These words from the opening page of THHA website pretty well sums up what THHA is all about:

Texas Hog Hunters Association (THHA) is a grassroots organization that was founded to provide a centralized location for information and resources relating to Texas’s feral hog problem.

Since 2015, we have developed and grown relationships with people from all over the great state of Texas and all aspects of the hunting community. Together, we have a wealth of knowledge in hunting and are eager to teach and share.

Hunters, ranchers, outfitters, outdoor personalities and businesses in the hunting industry have also found their way to THHA. They have embraced our organization and they support our vision and mission.

THHA supports all styles of hog hunting. Outfitters endorsed use an array of methods to eradicate feral hogs including guns, archery, running dogs, and helicopter eradication practices.

The end result is clearly defined, we must work together by whatever means is necessary and available to attempt to reduce and control the numbers of this plague called Feral hogs.

So, we Texas hog hunters now have a “sure nuff” association to affiliate ourselves with that shares our love for hunting hogs with the understanding that their numbers must be controlled.   The current punch line “Texas has a hog problem” to my way of thinking is somewhat misleading. Texas, as a whole, does not have a hog problem. Yes, there wild hogs scattered over much of the state and in some areas there is a real problem but wild hogs are not plaguing every neighborhood in the state nor are they rooting up every hay meadow or cornfield. But, being the prolific animals they are control measures such as trapping, hunting and controlled helicopter “shoots” are a must. 

If you are a hog hunter or trapper or if you would simply learn more about everything “wild hog” related, consider “liking” the association on Facebook. A new digital magazine, “The Sounder”, devoted to everything wild hog related debuted with the June/July issue and is free to everyone. To learn more about the THHA and to read the magazine, visit www.texashha.com. The association still has a very strong Facebook presence and a “like” there ties one in to a network of very knowledgeable hog hunters.