Feral Hogs in Wharton County and all over the state will soon be available to hunt without a hunting license. Texas House Bill 317 signed by the Governor on May 31, allows anyone with the consent of the person who owns the land to kill hogs. The new bill will be ineffect on Sept 1.
“Almost all areas of the county are impacted,” Wharton County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Agent Corrie Bowen said. “From turf grass to grains, hayfields, rice, (everything) is impacted by the hogs.”
According to a study done by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 2004, the Feral hogs caused an estimated $52 million dollars worth of damages a year to agriculture.
While it will be pretty much an open season on hogs come September, it’s still illegal to hunt from public roads.
“A lot of people tend to hunt from county roads especially for hogs and they don’t think it’s against the law,” Wharton County Game Warden Chris Bird said. “But if they’re on the county road and they shoot from their pickup truck, even if they own the land, you can not hunt from a public roadway even if it’s a hog.”
Earlier this month, a mother and a daughter were found dead after drowning in the Colorado River near Bay City. Along with protecting Wildlife in and around the area, the Wharton County Game Wardens also make sure people are being safe out on the water when they are boating or fishing.
“Everybody that goes out in the water they need to check the boat and make sure they have enough lifejackets for people that are onboard,” Bird said. “You just want to make sure to count how many people you have onboard and make sure you have the appropriate amount. That’s the number one rule we are looking for is life jackets, because those are the things that save lives.”
Any one 12 and under has to wear a life jacket when out on the water when the boat is moving.