Wet Summer Creates Boom in Wild Hog Population

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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - Wildlife officials fear that the ample water and vegetation brought by record-setting rains this year in Texas could double the current state estimate of two million feral hogs.

Texas already has the nation's largest population of feral hogs.

The animals reproduce prolifically even under normal conditions, with sows annually having up to two litters of four to eight piglets.

The hogs can balloon up to 400 pounds or more and have been known to act aggressively toward people when cornered.

State officials say that feral hogs annually cause an estimated $52 million in damages to crops and property.

Rancher Jim McAdams says a dozen or so hogs can mangle five acres of pasture in one visit to his College Station-area property, leaving behind torn-up ground that damages equipment.