AUSTIN (KXAN) - The battle against feral hogs officially begins Saturday in Caldwell and Hays counties.
The Plum Creek Watershed entered into the grant program -- to get rid of the invasive animals -- known for destroying property in their search for food.
Select business are offering anyone $2 for each hog killed. Hog hunters can do whatever they want with the meat. Officials just want tails as proof of a kill.
Register in Hays County for the program. The hunter who kills the most hogs even getting a special prize.
The invasive animals cause a lot of problems . Right now the state estimates there are about 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas, and that number is growing.
"The state of Texas estimates that feral hogs can cause up to $200 in property damage per year per hog," said Nick Dornak of The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership.
For Dornak, killing the hogs has a greater purpose than just simply hunting. The Plum Creek Watershed has a goal to cut down the population in order to save the creek that has suffered substantial damage caused by the wild boars.
So this year they decided to enter a grant program sponsored by the Texas Department of Agriculture. It's a competition amongst participating Texas counties to kill the most feral hogs, and educate the most residents.
"The key is having those kills verified and that means we need biological evidence," said Dornak.
Asking hunters to bring in tails as evidence. It's a task that won't be a problem for Bastrop County farmer Sebastien Bonneu, who takes killing feral hogs a step further.
"We trap the pig and we take them out of the land and we take it to a butcher and then it's going to be used for food," said Bonneu, owner of The Countryside Farm in Cedar Creek.
He sells the feral hog meat to restaurants and at local farmer's markets. Cutting down the invasive species population while making sure nothing goes to waste.
"You've got so many places that just trap them shoot them and leave them where they are." said Bonneu. "We don't do that."
If you're brave enough to give it a try Bonneu sets up at the Mueller Farmer's Market every Sunday selling the wild boar's meat.
For information on the grant program and a complete listing of locations that will be accepting the hog tails click here.
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