What is in this article?:
- Feral hog income opportunity for hunters, meat processors
- Feral hog opportunity
- Feral hog problems can be turned inside out to become a source of income.
- Some hunting ranches charge as much as $900 to target and shoot a large hog.
- Exotic meat processors and their many customers, mostly from Europe, favor wild boar meat and often consider it a delicacy.
Damages to agriculture across Texas as a result of feral swine problems can add up quickly in areas where the unwanted animals are multiplying at alarming rates. From crop losses, fence damages, contamination of water sources and the potential for the spread of disease, farmers and ranchers are concerned about the escalating problems feral swine pose and the growing costs of dealing with the problem.
But a few Texas property owners are discovering that, like turning lemons into lemonade, feral swine problems can be turned inside out to become a source of non-traditional farm or ranch income.
Leave it to the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans, especially Texans, who can see an opportunity even when one doesn’t seem to exist.
(See related story: Feral hog numbers explode in US and worldwide)
In spite of all the well deserved bad press feral swine have accumulated over the years, there are two reasons that a few (and growing number of) Texans view the wild and wooly creatures in a positive light. The first would be those who either enjoy hunting the creatures or those who accept payment to allow others to hunt them on their property.
Believe it or not, 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 their popular wild boar bacon to both a growing domestic and foreign buyer base.
In both cases, and in most instances, these ‘wild boars’ are what most of us call feral hogs 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. A taste for this meat remains in Europe. Therefore, Europe is a targeted market for the distribution and sale of Texas feral swine meat.
In the United States, wild boar meat is viewed as an exotic meat served at game meat restaurants, or as a source meat for sausage and jerky products. Therefore, meat brokers catering to the game meat restaurant trade and producers who make a further processed added value meat product are targets for sales efforts.