Show Me the Bacon
Well, Texans, it’s that time of year again. The legendary Texas heat is finally abating, and we are waking up to crisp cool air all across this great state of ours. This is one of the many reasons so many of us love our state. We have a few unrelenting months of breathtaking summer heat, but then quicker than we can say “Come and Take It” or sing “The Stars At Night,” summer is over and fall has arrived.
For many Texans, this is their favorite time of year. Not just because the sweltering heat is once again being replaced by the famous beautiful fall weather Texas sees every year, but DEER SEASON IS UPON US!! That’s right, if you live in Texas you either hunt white-tails, or know somebody who does. If you don’t, it’s probably time to make new friends, just sayin’. I mean, how else are you going to get that wonderfully lean red meat that can only come from the successful harvest of a white-tail deer? You could go to a specialty store and purchase it, but that is so un-Texan it won’t be mentioned a second time in this blog.
Sadly, along with the excitement all deer hunters across Texas are feeling right now, there is a bit of trepidation that comes along with it. Every experienced hunter is currently wondering if they will show up to their stand opening morning just to find the feeders wrecked and empty or the deer runs torn apart and scattered. What is the cause of all of this chaos deer hunters are so often confronted with? For any deer hunter reading this blog, they have already muttered the dreaded words: WILD HOGS.
Ironically, the pig as we know it today did not exist in North America until it was brought over by European settlers. Unfortunately, these animals were extremely adaptable and flourished in the New World. Today, more than 1.5 million feral hogs run free across the State of Texas where they are responsible for over $400 million in property damage each year. If you live or grew up in a rural area in East, South, or Central Texas, you might have lost a pet or two to these animals or maybe lost livestock due to their constant assaults on fence rows and pastureland.
All across the state, hunters pay thousands of dollars each year to lease land, build deer stands and deer runs, and set up corn and protein feeders in an effort to ensure that they will be harvesting a few white-tails that will allow them to put truly organic lean red meat on the table for their families. These efforts have been increasingly thwarted by the advance of the feral hog. These terrible swine are incredibly intelligent animals and can wreak havoc on a committed hunter’s deer season.
In order to combat this ever-increasing threat caused by the invasive feral hog, the 86th Texas Legislature, in their infinite wisdom, passed SB 317, which took effect on September 1, 2019. This new law allows landowners in Texas, or those with consent from a landowner, to hunt feral hogs on private land without the hassle of obtaining a license to do so.
A hunting license is still required if you are hunting feral hogs on public land, but the elimination of this requirement for private land means Texas landowners may now have an army of additional avid hunters who are more than willing to help eradicate the swine scourge that is plaguing their property. As you can imagine, it is an added bonus for deer hunters as well because the new law provides for hogs to be cleared from private land by people without a hunting license and without any burden of proving damage to property. So, if you prefer venison to dry pork, SB 317 will ideally result in improved deer populations and fewer dreaded hogs.
Texas has reached the point of no return when it comes to the complete eradication of the troublesome wild pig, but with the passing of Senate Bill 317, many ranchers and hunters all over the State finally see the playing field leveled in their favor and they are confident the swine population can be controlled much more efficiently now that they can be hunted so freely. So, if you are one of the many Texans waking up to this crisp cool air and getting excited about your upcoming hunts, you should have a feeling of gratitude for the foresight shown by the 86th Texas Legislature on this issue. Go get ‘em, folks, and happy hunting!!
Please do not rely on this article as legal advice. We can tell you what the law is, but until we know the facts of your given situation, we cannot provide legal guidance. This website is for informational purposes and not for the purposes of providing legal advice. Information about our real estate practice can be found here.