LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas (BLUEBONNET NEWS/KETK) – A feral hog weighing 488 pounds was killed Saturday in The Preserve (formerly known as Cypress Lakes), according to BlueBonnet News, a local newspaper in Liberty County.
A pair of hunters with Nuisance Wildlife Removal killed the hog, as well as six others that were on the trip.
Joel Dudley, the owner of Nuisance Wildlife Removal, was hunting hogs with his friend when they came across a group of them gathered around one of the area ponds.
“We were in there doing hog eradication because they have become so overpopulated,” Dudley told BlueBonnet News. “They have been tearing up the whole dang subdivision.”
Instead of hunting with dogs or traps, Dudley and his friend Mike used thermal imaging and nighttime vision scopes that allow them to see into the darkness when the hogs are most active.
“We saw this big boar standing around one of the ponds. Even at the distance, we could tell he was massive. We went toward him and couldn’t find him, so we got back on the ATV and went down another road. That’s when Mike got within 20 yards of him and shot him,” Dudley said. “There was another big one that I was watching with my thermal scope. He got within 10 yards of me. I had to shoot him because he was coming right at me.”
Dudley, who has been hunting hogs for more than 15 years, said the boar they killed was the largest he has ever encountered, though some others have come close.
When asked about what it takes to hunt hogs, he said that a certain amount of skill goes into hunting hogs in close proximity, especially with homes nearby.
“I think the thermal vision makes it a lot safer because we can get within 5-10 yards of the feral hogs. It works in subdivisions and places like that. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is try trapping hogs in your community. You don’t want to put bait out and draw more pigs to what is already a nuisance area,” he said. “That’s why we go in with thermal scopes. We also use low-caliber ammunition so it won’t blow through the pigs. It just drops them where they are standing.”
With the hog population in Texas climbing into the millions, dangerous encounters with wild hogs are a real possibility.
In November 2019, a Liberty County woman was killed by wild hogs when she was just feet away from the front door of a Chambers County home where she worked as a caretaker for an older couple.