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No license on private land means hog heaven for hog hunters

Feral hog

A new law that goes into effect September 1 allows people to hunt feral hogs without a license on private property with the landowner’s permission. Hunters on public lands still need a license to shoot feral hogs. Photo courtesy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Hog hunting on private land gets a little more affordable thanks to a new Texas law that goes into effect September 1.

Senate Bill 317, by state Sen. Byron Hughes of Mineola, removes the hunting license requirement for hunters taking aim at feral hogs on private property and with the property owner’s permission. Hunters on public land must still hold a valid Texas hunting license.

The new law applies to both resident and non-resident hunters.

Hunter education requirements still apply.

As concern over the increasing numbers of feral hogs in Texas grows, state and wildlife officials are always looking for ways to address the species population. Feral hogs cause significant damage to land and property. And unlike many native wildlife species, which only give birth once a year, feral hogs will breed year-round. A female feral hog, or sow, has a gestation of about 115 days and can give birth to up to a dozen piglets, though five to six is more common.

Based on those numbers, a female feral hog can have up to two litters a year. However, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, research shows the majority of sows have one litter per year, typically in the spring.

Currently, hogs can be hunted in a number of ways, including at night with a spotlight, though a local game warden needs to be notified beforehand.

Go to the TPWD website for more information as well as the latest hunting laws.