AUSTIN (October 5, 2013)—Some Texas counties are increasing bounties on feral hogs as the non-native, invasive species presses the search for food closer to urban areas.
The tusked hogs grub through fields, gardens, even lawns, carrying disease and parasites with them.
Hays and Caldwell counties in Central Texas are offering a $5 bounty for each hog bagged by hunters, up $2 from last year.
Bastrop County is offering a $5 bounty for the first time.
Texas has the nation's largest feral hog population with nearly 2.6 million pigs this past June.
Experts blame the animals for about $500 million in statewide damage, including $52 million a year to agriculture.
Professional hog hunter R.A. "Bubba" Ortiz said drought pushed the hogs closer to urban areas for food.