MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Throughout the years, Texans have used a couple of different methods to deal with the growing feral hog problem, usually by hunting or trapping the 150-pound pests.
But now, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller wants to start using Kaput Feral Hog Lure instead. It's a poison, similar to what's used to get rid of rats in your home, but for much bigger beasts.
Texas hunters are worried that it won't just be feral hogs falling prey to the poison.
"How do you keep the white tail from getting it," asked Texas Predator Hunter, Wade Chandler. "How do you keep the squirrels, the raccoons? I know they're thinking of releasing it in Louisiana too. The bears and anything else. How do you keep only the hogs from eating it? I just don't like the whole idea."
Chandler, who's been hunting in the Lone Star State for more than a decade, said there's no way to know how much damage this poison could cause to the ecosystem. And there's no guarantee the poison will even get all of the hogs.
He said he wants to know how the state will regulate the pigs who fall victim to the poison and how they will make sure they don't end up on someone's dinner plate.
"Who's going to regulate all this?" Chandler asked. "Who's going to make sure these pigs go in the feed. There's programs in place where people go and shoot wild pigs and they go feed the hungry. The realistic facts are people are lazy. How are you going to make sure that these pigs don't go to people?"
But on top of all of his social and environmental concerns, his moral argument weighs the heaviest.
"The thing that I don't like is the slow death," said Chandler. "I'm a hunter, we do some gory stuff. But slow death ain't one of them, I'd rather dispatch humanely."
Wade thinks that shooting and or capturing the hogs is the best way to control the population, but would listen to the other side if they came up with a better solution.
"Give me more of a more set in concrete," said Chandler. "Not just, well we think we figured out a feeder that only hogs can get in. Are you going to leave a sign there, 'please pick up your mess.' I don't know how you do that. But yeah, I'd be OK with it if there was some way only the pigs could get it. Anyway to help out the farmers."
For now, Commissioner's Miller's rule change has been stopped by a court's injunction until the end of March. This has given the Texas Hog Hunter's Association time to set up a petition to put an end to the rule with more than 18,000 signatures and counting.