National Park

Permits available to catch feral hogs at Big Thicket in Kountze

The invasive species is proliferating in southeast Texas, endangering local wildlife, destroying land and frustrating hunters.

KOUNTZE, Texas – It’s not hunting season right now, but the National Park Service wants you to get out your traps to catch the feral hogs in the Big Thicket State Preserve.

The invasive species is proliferating in southeast Texas, endangering local wildlife, destroying land and frustrating hunters.

Feral pigs eat anything they come across. This can include small livestock like rabbits and deer, but they can also opt for large livestock like the cows behind me. That is why these trapping licenses are so important.

Park rangers give hunters permits to trap them on park property.

Starting this Monday, hunters can pick up hog trapping permits at the Big Thicket Visitor’s Office daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Since launching this trapping permit program in 2019, Big Thicket National Preserve has trapped at least 400 hogs and issued over 100 permits.

These permits allow a person to have two locations in Big Thicket to set a trap.

And they are allowed up to two UTVs or ATVs in and out of the forest.

But why are feral pigs such a big problem in Texas?

“The pigs don’t have any real natural predators here and so there’s nothing here to control their numbers.” said Interpretation and Education Manager Megan Urban. “They are prolific family builders, you know, they can produce a lot of pigs in one litter and they produce multiple litters throughout the year. .”

Experts say the only way to get rid of these vicious pigs, which prey on small animals and destroy people’s land, is to trap and shoot them.

These trapping licenses will be available until the end of the extended hog hunting season, February 28. The park is handing out 50 permits this year and they are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

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