Texas Hunting License Requirements for Feral Hogs

Hunting license requirements for feral hogs in Texas can at times seem unclear. This article will help define the laws and regulations related to hunting feral hogs.

The feral hog is defined as a exotic livestock In Texas according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Code Section 1.101(4) and Texas Agriculture Code 161.001(a) [4].   Because of this distinction, feral hogs are not owned by anyone until they express control of the animal, according to the Texas Agriculture Code Section 161.002

In Texas, feral hogs may be killed by landowners or their agents on their property without a hunting license if the feral hogs are depredatory (causing damage) to land, livestock, and/or livelihood.  This allows landowners to protect their resources and property from feral hogs and their destructive habits.  However, it is a good idea for this group to have a hunting license if trapping or snaring will be used, as these activities could inadvertently affect wildlife species that require possession of a hunting license, such as white-tailed deer.

A  hunting license is required when hunting feral hogs for trophy and/or food.  The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department outlines requirements in its annual hunting and fishing regulations publication, the Outdoor Annual.  See the specific legal methods in this publication, but a hunting license permits use of firearms, snaring, and trapping in the fight against feral hogs. 

As an exotic species, the feral hog may be hunted throughout the year with no closed season and no bag limit.  Feral hogs may be hunted at night with the use of a spotlight, but it is a good idea to provide a courtesy call to your local game warden to let them know you will be hunting feral hogs.  In addition, feral hogs may be controlled with aerial gunning with a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.