They've been an issue in North Texas for years. Farmers and ranchers have had their hands full with herds of feral hogs. Increasingly, they're being spotted in many less-open areas.
On any golf course, there are certain things considered to be a hazard.
“Sand traps. Water. Apartments,” soughed Clint Hollandsworth.
The golfer from Denton has hit them all, at Timberlinks Golf Club. But lately, he and others have noticed something else.
“Right up the left side of number two, it was torn up really bad,” said Hollandsworth.
While the challenging course rolls through hills and woods through The Timberlinks at Denton apartments, the patch of rough just off the fairway, near the woods looks exactly that way: rough.
“It looks like it's been plowed,” said Hollandsworth. “Grounds all torn up from where they've been rooting around."
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Feral hogs don't usually come out during the day. But they do at night, and they often leave a mess. Herds of them have been captured on camera, rooting for grubs and insects. Neighbors say the feral hogs follow trails from Lewisville Lake up into Denton, and stay mainly in wooded areas near the course, on private property.
One issue in getting rid of the feral hogs, hunters cannot shoot them with guns. It's against the law in Denton city limits. Course workers have tried trapping them, but so far that has had little impact. Pesticides, which control those insects, have been somewhat effective, say golfers.
Management at Timberlinks was not allowed to comment on the feral hog issue. When there is damage, course employees frequently head out before golfers arrive to minimize the impact, which has been largely contained to areas of rough – near the woods, and away from fairways and greens.
But on this picturesque course, the unwelcome hazards -- remain.