LULING, Texas — Counties throughout Texas are fighting their costly feral hog problems one tail at a time.
Out on the edge of Luling, in a town known for its oil and barbecue, the hogs are building a reputation of their own.
"It's hard on our equipment, it's hard on our crops, it's hard on the rancher," Bonnie Dredla said.
That rancher is Dredla's husband. The problem: Feral hogs, and lots of them.
Statewide, agriculture officials blame the wild pigs for almost $600 million worth of damage. Last year, the legislature approved hunting hogs from helicopters. This year, they want their tails.
This October kicked off the third year of the Hog Out County Grant Program. Hunters in participating counties get $2 for every tail turned in. The county with the most wins $20,000 to spend on hog reduction.
"I think whenever you have too much of anything it usually causes a problem and we're witnessing problems like that," Dredla said. However, she was able to think of one good thing about hogs: "They eat well."
The first opportunity for hunters to cash in on the bounty is this Saturday. They can bring their hog tails by McCoys Building and Supply in San Marcos starting at 10 a.m.
One more thing: The tail collectors prefer them frozen.