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News February 19, 2013  RSS feed

Hunting for a Cause

If you live in Texas, you don’t have to be told what a problem the state’s feral hog population has become. They have not only inhabited rural areas, impacting native ecosystems, destroying crops and pastureland, but they have also started to invade the yards and parks of urban environments. Their ability to assimilate and adapt seem to be equitable to that of the coyote, crow, and pigeon. However menacing they are, on the twenty-ninth of January, they actually helped to solve a problem, perhaps as big as they themselves are, when hunters brought them in by the truckload to the third annual Boars of Texas Hog Hunting Competition held in Caldwell, TX. Competitors hunted all over the state from five o’clock the evening of the twenty-seventh until teams had to be present at the weigh-in location on Sunday, no later than noon. Not only were the competitors hunting for their chance at prizes and bragging rights, but they were also able to personally donate their quarries to one of the six charitable groups who were onsite, ready and willing to accept the much needed meat. According to the latest USDA report released in September of 2012, Texas is ranked as the third hungriest state in the union, technically referred to as food insecurity, with nearly one in five households being affected. To date, more than 58,000 pounds of fielddressed feral hogs have been generated by this hunt and the thousands of pounds of meat which the hunters brought in and donated this year will continue to help aid in that fight. Like hunger, the feral hog problem can’t be solved in a weekend, but this hunt is an excellent demonstration of how groups of hunters and charitable organizations can work together, and how they are each doing their part every day throughout the year in order to help keep the hogs and hunger at bay in the great state of Texas.

This year’s competition was limited to teams utilizing dogs and knives in pursuit of a five hog stringer of the biggest wild hogs they could catch and kill during the span of this hunt. The teams would then hurry to the weigh-in location with their iced down, field-dressed wild hogs in tow in order to arrive at the Burleson County Fairgrounds by the competition deadline. The bragging rights for 2013 go to LB Cattle (Allen Sullivan, Cole McVeay, Justin Jones, and Austin Rayborn) of Buffalo who took first place with a 1011 pound stringer and the ‘Largest Sow’ category with a weight of 248 pounds. Their team was awarded the first champion buckles ever commissioned by the Boars of Texas Hog Hunting Competition, along with a cash prize, and some Victor dog food donated by Homeyer Feed of Caldwell. Second place went to Baros Kennels (Josh Baros, Michael Durett, Cale Applegate, Rick Delvaga) of Victoria, with a stringer weight of 929 pounds. Winder Ranches (Dusty Winder, Patick Matejka, Skeeter Ramsey, Weston Imhoff) of College Station took third with a weight of 918 pounds. Burleson County Hog Hunters (Mark Fregia, Ruben Requena, Jorge Balleza, Ty Stracener) of Caldwell took ‘Largest Boar’ with a weight of 242 pounds, and Pork Pursuit (Jacob Dobbs, Dylan Smitherman, Shane Conrad, Todd Johnson) of Franklin took ‘Longest Tusk’ with a length of 2 7/8”. A special thanks to all of the participating hunters, the Burleson County Chamber of Commerce, the Burleson County Fair Association, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Brazos County 4H, Barrett Lyne, the Burleson County Wildlife Association, the TDHA for protecting everyone’s right to hunt with dogs, Hunters’ Harvest, Citizens State Bank, Homeyer Feed, Burleson County Detail, Boondocks Taxidermy & Wild Game Processing, all of the donors to the free hunter raffle, the various participating charities, and all of the volunteers at the scales and tables for helping to make this year’s hunt a success. For more information on the Boars of Texas Hog Hunt, becoming a sponsor, or signing up a team for next year, visit www.BoarsofTexas.com or email BoarsofTexas@yahoo.com. If you are a hunter or a fisherman who would like to donate your catch to Texans in need, visit www.HuntersHarvest.org for a list of participating organizations.

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