When Henry Shipes of Melissa took a kayaking trip on Lewisville Lake Sunday afternoon, he expected to catch some fish, but it’s what he caught on video that has a lot of people talking.
“I hear them before I saw them,” Shipes said.
Shipes came across dozens of feral hogs taking a swim just north of the Lake Toll Bridge near Big Sandy Park in Shady Shores. He immediately started taking video as the hogs got to dry land on the other side and moved as a group into the tall grass.
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“I wasn’t worried about it because I could see how fast they could swim and I can paddle a lot faster than that,” Shipes said.
Denton County Game Warden Stormy McCuistion said the video is surprising to see, as it is difficult to catch wild hogs that close up and swimming, but he said it’s not a surprise to see a large group of hogs in that area.
Texas Parks and Wildlife leaders said hogs have are an exotic species to North Texas but have now spread throughout most of the area.
McCuistion pointed out areas north of Highway 380 and near the lakes as a particularly frequent area to find signs of the animals.
State and local leaders continue to issue free permits to a small number of hunters each year to try and keep the feral hog populations in check. However, McCuistion doubts we will ever see them done away with at this point.
The hogs don’t tend to pay much attention to humans, but McCuistion warns they can be aggressive if they have young or are in mating season. His advice is to just leave them be; maybe get a picture from a safe distance.
As for Shipes' large group of swimming hogs, the game warden said the animals actually are fairly good swimmers, though it is a rare sight to be seen.
“The fishing was bad all day for me, so that was about the only good thing that happened for me, was seeing a herd of hogs,” Shipes said.