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Operation Pork Chop concludes; Wild Hog Supper to come

Updated: May. 16, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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Editor’s note: We want to warn viewers that this story contains night vision video of hog hunts that some may find disturbing.

VENUE CHANGE: Tuesday’s Pineywoods Wild Hog Supper is taking place at the Sabine County Expo Rodeo Arena (3091 St Hwy 184 Hemphill TX 75948) from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

SABINE COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Operation Pork Chop has come to an end for this year. Though the third edition of the program has concluded, officials said there’s still more to come.

“They’re in people’s gardens, their lawns, their landscaping,” said Ronald Barlow, the Texas A&M AgriLife extension agent for Sabine County. “There’s no place immune to hogs. They come right up in the middle of our towns.”

That’s why Barlow said Operation Pork Chop was formed.

“And the fact that it’s growing is just the awareness of the fact we all have to do our part to try to turn the tide in our war against them,” Barlow said.

The third edition of the program concluded this month. Hunters, trappers, and the public, regardless of where they live, removed as many wild hogs as they could to cut down the population in Sabine County and win prizes doing so.

“We ran into some hitches with that late February freeze that shut everything down for a while that really changed hog habits and the way we had to get some of them after that,” Barlow said.

He despite the challenges, a total of 434 hogs were removed by 34 hunters and trappers in 2021, while 466 hogs were removed by 36 hunters and trappers in 2020. That’s an increase from the 362 hogs that were removed from Sabine County by 25 hunters and trappers during the first annual Operation Pork Chop in 2019.

Barlow said while this year’s numbers were down slightly, that’s not a bad sign.

“I know of about 300 that were unreported. So, we’re all ganging up on these hogs,” Barlow said. “What we’re seeing is people doing this for the first time such as Kayland Cramer who wound up one of our top hunters this year.”

“The reason this year over last year was because I was more aware of Operation Pork Chop, and I had been killing them for about a year,” Cramer said.

Cramer, a Sabine County native, said he used night vision to eliminate hogs.

“I can see about out to 600 yards with it,” he said. “They can’t see the light. The first shot is easy to break, and then after that, it gets real interesting. Where I am killing them from, it’s not in the woods. It’s in pastures, and they’re destroying hay yield, and it’s making the ground really bad as far as trying to run tractors over it and stuff like that. So it can get rough if left unattended.”

Cramer won one of the weekly prizes in the competition, and like many who participated, has a chance to win even more prizes this Tuesday at the Wild Hog Supper, where top hog trapping and hunting systems will be on display too. More than 60 Sabine County businesses pitched in to provide prizes and money totaling almost $7,000.

The Pineywoods Wild Hog Supper is taking place Tuesday, May 18 at the Sabine County Expo Rodeo Arena (3091 St Hwy 184 Hemphill TX 75948) from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The Wild Hog Supper, sponsored by Fairmount Lumber & Hardware and Fairmount General Store, will close out Sabine County’s Operation Pork Chop 2021 by providing a big meal and an interesting program for participants, sponsors, and anyone interested in wild hog control efforts.

The list of exhibitors includes BoarBuster, Jager Pro, Pig Brig, and HogEye, and also local and regional manufacturers such as Hogg Boss.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. Picnic tables will be provided for the meal.

Admission is free to participants, sponsors, contributors, and anyone interested in wild hog control.

RELATED:

+ Sabine County fights feral hog problem with Operation Pork Chop.

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