Well Midwaytmm, that would be a question for the folks who do damage estimates. The estimates are many years out of date and I believe they predate what is said in the article.
That article is wrought with misinformation. Good journalism is impossible to find these days.
What was incorrect? Not arguing, just want to know your opinion.
1. Damage estimate years out of date, but that was what is was when last assessed.
2. While pigs can have 2 litters per year? They can actually have 3, but typically have 3 every 2 years in the wild. Litter sizes can go up to 12 from what we have seen based on gutting pregnant sows.
3. It is claimed that pigs are mostly nocturnal. Actually, they are a diurnal animal that has been forced into nocturnal activity due to hunting pressure.
4. 79% of land mass is suitable environment for hogs? I have yet to see any place that wasn't suitable that wasn't flooded.
5. They descended from the hogs of European settlers in the 1500s? Maybe some have, but every colonial group that came since then has brought hogs and free ranged them and they continued to be free ranged in some areas until the 1960s (that I know of) and free ranging allows for hogs to escape. Our ferals are not just from the 1500s.
6. Feral hogs don't have many natural predators? They actually do. We killed off most of them. Wolves, bears, mountain lions, alligators all enjoy eating hogs.
7. The estimate for hogs in Texas, 2-3 million, goes back to 2005. Considering that the rate of growth is around 20% according to biologists, we should have many times that many in Texas, alone.
8. LET's DO SOMETHING? Calling in hunters from other states is just a stupid idea that is being couched in patriotism of the Republic of Texas. First of all, of the states noted, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico all have hog problems of their own that they do not have under control. They need all their own hunters and can't afford to be shipping them off to handle the issue elsewhere.
9. Let's draw on TPWD because this is a game management issue? By law, hogs are not a game animal, but an exotic. TPWD is already involved. They do not need to budget programs to making hunting sustainable. The problem isn't that it isn't sustainable, but that it exists far in excess of what is needed to be sustainable.
10. Build consumer demand for this pork - This sounds like a marketing scheme. We already know about pork. However, such a program will have to come with all the appropriate warnings about pork as well.
11. Lower out of state rates for hunter licenses? I seriously doubt a $48 5 day license is what is keeping out of state hunters away. Charging $10 instead of $48 does little to offset the overall expenses these hunters incur.
12. Build a database of places to hunt hogs include private landowners. Novel idea. Since we are on the reduced cost concept, these would be free places to hunt? Maybe we should open those up to Texas natives first. After all, free places to hunt is something we all want. However, how many landowners are going to open their properties to strangers to go around shooting at night? This is often something accomplished by building trust with landowners. I take it that Art Young, the author, isn't a landowner with a big sign in front of his place that reads "Hunters Welcome. Hunt Hogs Here For Free."
Given that Art Young wants various listings for things, I take it that he is not a hog hunter himself. Some of the information he is requesting is already available online.
13. I found it interesting that Art Young wants to cut license fees to the limited number of out-of-state hunters, but wants TPWD and anyone else to budget programs to help these hunters come to Texas. First, if you want to make hunting less costly, why would not extend such an offer to locals, first? Second, if you are cutting license fees and such to make hog hunting more desired, where is the money going to come from to fund these efforts to bring in more hunters? You can't cut funding and spend more money and expect to have a sustainable program.