CENTER, TX (KTRE) - No room for weak stomach individuals at the Wild Hog Roundup check in point in Center. Hunters wearing blood stained clothing drive up. Their vehicles and piles of carnage are blood splattered with evidence of a busy morning.
"The idea behind all of this was to put a bounty on the hogs, see how many hogs we can kill over a 10 day period," explained Virginia Solgot, marketing director for Wulf Outdoor Sports, sponsors of the contest. "And you can tell by the numbers, we're knockin' 'em out," exclaimed Solgot.
Staff updates a big tally board inside the store. "So our grand total so far is 129," announced an employee. And that's in two day's time.
Today there was a tie. A hunter walks up to his competition who killed 31 hogs. That's going to be hard to beat, but they're still not certain if they'll go home with the day's prize.
"How many you kill," they ask. With confidence the second hunter announced "Thirty-one". Moans go up. "Dang, oh man! it's a tie then," said a hunter.
In ten days the hunter with the highest total wins the grand prize.
"It's a $10,000 pay out. We'll also pay $500 a day to the hunter with the largest collection of hogs in a day," said Solgot. Wulf outdoor sports sponsors the wild hog roundup. Landowners and businesses also came up with the cash.
"The feral hogs are tearing up the land and destroying the property. I think it's a great deal. I really do," said Rusty Adcock, producer of the outdoor show, 'Good Old Boys Outdoors'.
It's worth it to get rid of a serious problem. "You know, you got 2.6 million in the state of Texas," said hunter Nathan Phelps.
The hogs can be found in residential neighborhoods to the depths of the Piney Woods.
"If you can find water, you can find hogs," said Malcolm Brown. "It's so dry, that's where they head." Brown headed out to the river and creek bottoms. Most of the hogs were baited by corn and trapped, followed by an instant kill.
"It's all about helping out the land, helping out the agriculture. Getting rid of the hog is the only way to do it," said Phelps.
Some of the hunters are literally dog tired. Pancho and Sambo, along with several other dogs, slept in the back of a trailer. "We ran one about 4 1/2 miles on the GPS. I don't know how far they ran, but yeah, they run. You don't turn them loose without a tracking device cause these hogs run for miles and miles," said Brown.
It's amazing hogs can scatter so quickly. After all, they may be mean, but they're not exactly lean.
"262 (pounds)," announced an employee weighing a boar. Everyone thought he would surely hit 275.
The hunter with the heaviest boar or sow will also win a cash prize.
The incentive doesn't end there. When it's all over, there's a wild hog barbeque contest. Hunters can kill hogs in 6 counties and still be eligible for the bounty. The hunt ends on May 14th.
There's still time to catch up. Go to www.wulfoutdoorsports.com for contest rules.