Feral Hog Contest Brings Demise of 12,632

Feral hog killing brings in big bucks for one Texas county

By Betsy Blaney
|  Thursday, Feb 23, 2012  |  Updated 8:42 PM CDT
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Feral Hog Contest Brings Demise of 12,632

Feral hogs can grow up to 350 pounds and are destructive animals.

A competition aimed at curbing the feral hog problem in Texas has resulted in the demise of 12,632 of the animals that damage or destroy hundreds of millions of dollars in crops and ranchland every year.

The Texas Department of Agriculture said Thursday that Hardeman County on the Oklahoma border bagged the most animals in the Hog Out Challenge to win $20,000 to help with further abatement. 

Four other counties will share the remainder of the $60,000 in awards.

Officials agreed to release the information to The Associated Press first.

This year's contest ran two months longer than the inaugural one-month program and resulted in the elimination of 8,773 more hogs. There were 3,859 kills in 2010.

An estimated 2.6 million hogs cause $550 million in damage annually.

Ben Wheeler in Van Zandt County calls itself the "Wild Hog Capital of Texas and hosts a Fall Feral Hog Festival each year. Ben Wheeler's festival isn't aimed at eradicating feral hogs.

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