KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
November 13, 2023
By Natalie Cook Clark
Wild hogs are not a new problem to Katy, but encounters are increasing as the area continues to develop into their domain. While hogs are known to come out of Addicks and George Bush Park they are now being encountered more on the northside of the city as new master-planned communities continue to be built.
Photo credit: Ryan Morone
Wild Hogs are in Katy
Wild hogs are an invasive species that continue to overrun areas of Texas. They are not a new problem, but rather something we’ve learned to live with as they were introduced to the area when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.
The Katy area continues to encounter issues with these hogs. They’ve been known to tear up parks and even the Willowfork Golf Course.
“New construction is pushing them out of their areas and into civilization,” says Edward Dickey, owner of Texas Wild Hog Control. “As Katy is expanding, it’s stirring up a lot these hogs that have been on the outskirts.”
Hog damage in Cinco Ranch. Photo credit: Ryan Morone
Dickey traps hogs all across Texas, but his company (Texas Wild Hog Control) is based out of Katy where he has trapped hogs in Nottingham and the Willowfork area.
“This continues to be a problem, in fact Willowfork Country Club bought their own traps to address the ongoing issue,” says Dickey.
According to Dickey, this is the time of year when they are most active and at risk of encountering residents. They come out with the rain, cooling weather, and love it when acorns drop from the trees.
Photo courtesy of Edward Dickey, owner of Texas Wild Hog Control
Hog Season Running Behind do to Intense Heat, Drought
While late September typically is when they are in peak season, this year they are behind schedule due to the heat and drought.
Wild hogs prefer to not encounter people, but if cornered or they feel their young are at risk they can be very dangerous. In 2021, a Katy woman and her dog were attacked while walking in George Bush Park. Both walked away from the encounter, but the dog had severe wounds from the tusks of the male hog.
Katy communities take to social media to report sightings of wild hogs. Several residents in Elyson (north of 529 near 99) have reported seeing them at community parks after night and crossing poorly lit roads. Rightly so, many local residents express concern over walking dogs after dusk and experts advise against if in communities that have spotted these hogs.
“If you do have to go out at night make a lot of noise,” says Dickey. “They would rather escape you then encounter you.”
How to Live with Hogs
So how do we live with these animals?
“Best solutions is to get in contact with your HOA or MUD district and push them to take action. The best way is to trap them,” says Dickey.
These wild hogs are considered an invasive species so residents do not need a hunting license to kill unless you are on federal property.
“If you don’t have any hunting experience, please leave this to a professional,” says Dickey.
This is for many reasons. The first is that while it is legal to hunt them, you are still responsible for your action when hunting and the danger of operating weapons in a community is great. The second, is that these are extremely smart animals.
They are smart, which makes them very hard to trap and why professionals need to take the lead. On the hierarchy of mammal intelligence, you have humans, dolphins/whales, apes, and then pigs. They easily can witness and learn how to evade traps when they see another get caught.
“We have to outsmart them. If you don’t know what you are doing, then you are educating them,” explains Dickey.
Wild hog populations continue to rapidly increase as their reproductive rate allows. They are considered sexual mature as young as six months and can produce up to three litters a year.