Feral hogs have become the most damaging pest for farmers and ranchers in a growing number of Texas counties, annually costing landowners millions of dollars in lost crops, ruined fences, contamination of water sources and potential for passing along diseases to domestic livestock.

A new approach may include looking at the invasive pests as a revenue source. A few Texas property owners are discovering that feral swine problems can  become a source of non-traditional  income.

In spite of all the well deserved bad press feral swine have accumulated over the years, a growing number of Texans see two reasons to consider feral hogs in a more positive light. The first would be hunt the creatures or to accept payment to allow others to hunt them on their property.

Some exotic hunting ranches in Texas charge as much as $900 to target and shoot a large ‘wild boar’. On the low end, hunters pay around $120 to hunt large wild hogs on hunting leases.

The second group of wild swine fans in Texas consists of wild/exotic meat processors and their many customers, mostly from Europe, who favor wild boar meat and often consider it a delicacy. One such natural meat company, Frontier Meats of Ft. Worth, markets a popular wild boar bacon to both a growing domestic and foreign buyer base.

In both cases, and in most instances, these feral hogs are trapped live on farms and ranches all across Texas and held in specially designed holding pens and sold to buyers for cash.

According to a comprehensive study conducted by a number of academic and government agencies, traditionally the wild boar is a game animal hunted and served in the Northern and Eastern European countries. Wild boar meat remains popular in Europe,.  a targeted market for the distribution and sale of Texas feral swine meat.

In the United States, wild boar meat is viewed as exotic served at game meat restaurants, or as a source meat for sausage and jerky products. So meat brokers catering to the game meat restaurant trade and producers who process the meat further to create an added value meat product are targets for sales efforts.