Clay County Participates in Hog Out Program

Nearly 1,300 feral hogs have been tallied in Clay County and that number is expected to rise. The Hog Out Program is at an end and now $20,000 is on the line.

Tyler Garrison, District Technician with Clay County Soil and Water Conservation tells us Clay County's ranchers and farmers are trying to put a dent in the increasing numbers of feral hogs in the area. Winning the $20,000 can help raise awareness about feral hog eradication.

Clay County ranchers and farmers joined together for the first time to participate in the Texas Department of Agriculture's Hog Out Program. Tyler Garrison comments, "It's important that we step up and try to reduce the numbers before they carry us out of the county."

Garrison who has been the one tallying up the final feral hog numbers says the county has surpassed his expectations. A total of 1,243 feral hogs are in and several more still expected to come in within the next few days.  Garrison says hopefully putting a small dent in the destructive animals. "Not only do they affect our soil and land out there, these hogs carry very bad diseases that can be passed on to cattle and humans."

To help curb the problem Clay County's collaborative effort in joining the Hog Out Program has already proven to be a success. But Garrison says winning first prize would sure be a huge help to all of Clay County's ranchers and farmers. "It helps the farmer and ranchers out there. We can take that money from the state and put it towards reducing the number of hogs that are out there and reducing the heard population."

Local feral hog buying stations are also seeing positive numbers from the program. Val McClain with HogWild says in a rough time ranchers and farmers can trap and sell the hogs to make extra cash. If you would like to contact HogWild you can reach them at (940) 636-4085 or (940) 632-0865.

The Hog Out Program started October 1st and ended December 31st. Clay County residents who participated in the Hog Out Program have until January 10th to submit their numbers of hogs gathered within that time. Clay County officials say the winner of the Texas Hog Out Program will be announced during the month of February.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6