Feral Hogs Adds to Farmers Woes

The cooler weather and recent rain fall may be what Texoma ranchers and farmers needed in order to get back on track.

As they get their fields ready for planting increased numbers of feral hogs are becoming an added stress. Newschannel 6 crews walked the pastures with one rancher Thursday who had killed a feral hog that morning.

Kenneth McAlister tells Newschannel 6 he saw the largest group of feral hogs he has ever seen before.  A group of about 50, but he only caught one. He thinks because the weather has been cooler hogs are roaming more frequently.

They are big in size and their four long tusks can cause a lot of damage to a farm. Once they find a comfortable place on your land Kenneth McAlister says it is difficult to get rid of them.   
McAlister says, "If they've got feed and water and they don't have to go far to water they will stay. The hogs can get out in a standing crop and if it provides shade they'll stay there."

McAlister also mentions the hogs are capable of taking out an entire crop. Just like they did to his crop a few years ago. And for struggling ranchers trying to keep their livelihood through the  drought, losing one crop can make a huge difference. "It is not that I want everyone of them destroyed, but I need to have them in control where I don't have damage to my land, my property, or my equipment."

McAlister says farmers and ranchers can hire people to hunt hogs from the ground and the air, but those services are costly. Kenneth McAlister says he has seen feral hogs get as large as 400 pounds and they also reproduce quickly.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6