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Hays, Caldwell counties offer bounty on feral hogs

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TWC News: Hays, Caldwell counties offer bounty on feral hogs
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According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, there are more than two million feral hogs in the state.

Hays and Caldwell County officials are hoping a financial reward will motivate hunters to take aim at the animals.

Nick Dornak is with the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership. He says hogs damage land and hurt native species.

"Feral hogs are a problem and we need to get rid of them," Dornak said. "They displace native wildlife species, they can actually predate on livestock and other wildlife."

Experts say feral hogs cause millions of dollars in property and agricultural damage each year. They also affect water quality, which is one of the reasons the new program is being implemented.

"Feral hogs are a significant contributor to E. coli in Plum Creek, and so bringing down those feral hog numbers we feel is a great way to lower those E. coli levels," Dornak said.

From October through December, Texas counties will compete for grant money to reduce feral hog numbers. Counties will be graded on educational outreach and how many hogs are killed.

Both Hays and Caldwell Counties are offering a reward for killing hogs.

"When they actually trap or kill feral hogs they need to bring in biological evidence in the form of a tail," Dornak said.

The hope is that the program can protect property and ensure water quality at the same time.

In addition to the $2 per-tail bounty, prizes will be awarded to the hunters who bring in the most tails.

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