- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Hunters in one Central Texas county have taken down 8,300 feral hogs in two years under the leadership of a task force that pays $5 a tail.

The Austin American-Statesman reports (https://atxne.ws/1IvA88I ) the Caldwell County Feral Hog Task Force has received about $100,000 in funding from the county and state.

It gives farmers vouchers for hog traps, manages “smart traps” that can capture entire families of hogs at once, and pays a helicopter operator to shoot hogs from the sky.

Feral hogs are dark, muscular and hairy, and they breed quickly. Going unchecked, feral hog populations can eat crops, dig ruts in fields that damage farm equipment and drive up E. coli levels in lakes.

Caldwell County is south of Austin.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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