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“EDIBLE INVASIVES” | How Feral Hogs Have Rooted Their Way Into Texas Culture

by Caleb Condit | Pilsen Photo Co-Op

MORE FROM Caleb Condit |

Feral hog management and hog hunting rank among the most contentious subjects in the wildlife management and hunting communities in America. Every state has its own feral hog management philosophies and practices, and organizations and individuals have their own stakes in the game. Farmers, land managers, biologists, hunters, outfitters, governmental agencies, corporations—many voices play a role in the dialogue and decisions surrounding wild pigs. As a relatively new hunter, this “issue” really stood out to me and sparked intrigue when I moved from Iowa to Kansas City, Missouri.

Once I set up shop in Missouri, I joined some local outdoors Facebook groups to get a bead on my new hunting and fishing communities. To my surprise, there appeared to be a recurring theme in conversations: Many individuals seemed to be very skeptical of state game wardens and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) as a whole. Specifically, a very vocal group of hunters were upset by the MDC’s decision to close state and federal hunting grounds to hog hunting. The MDC, in collaboration with the USDA, believes trapping is the most effective means to manage feral hogs.

My curiosity surrounding the topic of feral hog management lead me to Texas—the epicenter of America’s “pig problem.” In this documentary, we travel to East Texas and tag along with some folks to get the lowdown on their hog hunting culture. This wasn’t so much a search for answers to the problem of feral hog management, but rather an intimate look at why hunters are so passionate about pursuing invasive swine.

 

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