Ag official: feral hog problem about to get worse

Texarkana News

BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Agriculture and animal control agents are seeing an increase in residential complaints about feral hogs in Texarkana. They are extremely destructive in their quest for food and can even be dangerous. And, experts say, the problem is about to get worse.

Bowie County resident Sharon Suggit said she used to take pride in her yard. Lately, that’s been difficult.

“We’ve been here 42 years and it’s never been like this before,” said Suggit, surveying the damage to her property.

Feral hogs started invading her yard about a month ago. Now, it’s destroyed. Her grandson has helped her investigate the problem.

“We’ve killed one, but it’s not enough to make a difference,” said Dennis Suggit. “There’s probably about, I’d say between 10 to 20 hogs, sows, piglets, boars, the whole nine yards.” 

Officials in Texas and Arkansas have seen an uptick in feral hog activity.

“From November, end of November through April … is usually when we consider our highest trapping season because they’re actually really foraging and really looking for forage,” said Miller County Agriculture Extension Agent Jennifer Caraway. 

The damage that feral hogs cause gets worse every year and because of this area’s climate, Caraway says they can even reproduce more. “Having no natural predators, they just take over and multiply really, before we can stop them. So, we try to manage them.”

She added that Miller County agents have trapped 56 hogs since July. They now have a new Game Changer trap for use in Southwest Arkansas. 

Feral hogs don’t just roam out in the county. Complaints are even up in the city limits of Texarkana, Arkansas. 

“This trap that we’re setting up today is not my favorite design, but it’s the only one I have available right now,” said Animal Control Director Charles Lokey.

He and his officers visited a site in the woods off of McDonald Avenue on Tuesday to set up a smaller trap for feral hogs. They’ve had some complaints from neighbors that live nearby. “It has in the past caught 6 to 8 small hogs at one time,” he said. 

Residents are urged to keep any food or garbage picked up, so they don’t make their yards even more attractive for feral hogs. 

As for the Suggitt family, a friend has loaned them a trap. But, the damage in their yard is done. “It’s unfortunate, it’s natural on their part but it’s in our yard,” said Dennis Suggit.

If you are having a problem with feral hogs in Miller County, Ark., you can call the Miller County Agriculture Extension Agent at (870) 779-3609. Agents do have a waiting list for use of their Game Changer trap.

If you’re a Texarkana, Ark. city resident, you can contact animal control at (870) 773-6388.

If you live in Bowie County, Texas, you can call (903) 628-6702. An agent can provide a list of people that may be able to help residents trap feral hogs. 

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