CORYELL COUNTY (January 6, 2013)--Residents of Coryell County killed 886 feral hogs, and 633 people watched an educational video on feral hogs from October 1 to December 31, 2012.
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the state has the largest feral hog population in the United States, nearly 2.6 million feral hogs.
Feral hogs wreak havoc on property crops and even livestock.
These feral hogs continue to increase in numbers, destroying crops and even property, costing Texas farmers about $500M a year.
Don Jones, a Coryell County commissioner and farmer, said that's why the county has been working extra hard to decrease the feral hog population.
"They'll destroy a third of the crop overnight if you get enough hogs in there," said Jones.
Plus, one hog can have 12 to 20 more hogs a year.
Coryell County has also taken advantage of the Texas Department of Agriculture's "Hog Out County Grant Program," a competition between Texas counties.
"We've got to start somewhere the eradication of these hogs through the county or city or government," Jones said.
Through the program, counties give their residents incentives on hunting hogs and help cut down on the problem.
Jones said Coryelll County succeeded beyond expectations, which he credits to the county's bounty program, paying $10 for each hog killed.
"The bounty we put on the tails went back into the county because the owners are coming together, and the money is going back into the county instead of the company we hired last year," Jones said.
In 2011, Coryell County hired a helicopter company to kill the feral hogs.
At $5,000 for the company fee, it killed about 300 hogs.
In 2012, the county used that same amount of money as a bounty, leading to three times the amount of hogs killed.
The Texas Department of Agriculture will award prizes up to $20,000 to the counties that are most successful in cutting down on the feral hog population, money Jones said he hopes Coryell County will get.