You may have seen a Houston Chronicle article being shared around on social media which proclaims that "Texas is Losing the War on Feral Hogs." I encourage you to read it, but here's the tl;dr version: Feral pigs are an invasive species that breed like rabbits and they eat everything in sight - including crops and the food supplies of native Texas wildlife. They are basically giant, super intelligent rodents and they are a serious problem.

Texas is a big place, so I wanted to know if feral hogs are a problem for Lubbock, too. I reached out to the closest public hunting grounds I could find, which is Lake Alan Henry.

I spoke with Diane, who was very helpful and knowledgeable about the effect feral hogs have in our area and what we can do to help cull their numbers. Everything smart I'm about to say is paraphrased from her.

In this area, feral hogs uproot everything - crops, irrigation lines and stream-sides. They are extraordinarily destructive to property and to native Texas species. Feral hogs are not native to Texas and their reproductive success is a disaster for deer, native plants, snakes and birds, to name just a few.

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While many places have an open season on feral hogs (meaning you can hunt them at any time), Lake Alan Henry does have a season for feral hogs. It's not to protect hogs, but rather people, as you don't want to mix weaponry on the same hunting grounds. Feral hogs still have a huge season at Lake Alan Henry- January to August is totally wide open for hog hunts. The rest of the year is reserved for dove, deer and quail (in that order); however, you may take a hog during your deer hunt if you happen upon one, and can actually catch it.

That was one thing Diane emphasized: hog hunting is not a beginner's sport. Remember, hogs are like rats, but hyper-intelligent rats. They are also fast and mean. Be sure you know what you're doing or have someone with you who does. It's also a hunt that requires diligence, effort and patience. However, if you manage to bag one, they can be quite delicious.

If you would like to do your part this feral hog season, here's Lake Alan Henry's hunting schedule and list of modest fees. Happy hunting, and good luck helping native Texas wildlife reclaim their habitat.

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