Hunter helps SWLA farmers with feral hog outbreak

Hunter helps SWLA farmers with feral hog outbreak

Ragley, LA (KPLC) – Feral hogs are wreaking havoc on farmland statewide.

“The problems most farmers are having is they’re destroying the crops, which costs the farm directly, and again then the farmer has to replant and costs them more fuel, more seed or more crops,” Ryan Mareno said.

Mareno is the owner of Mareno’s Outfitter and Guidance. He helps farmers eradicate hogs from their land.

Mareno uses a thermal rifle scope while hunting. It’s designed to spot hogs in darkness, and he uses it to take out groups of hogs, or sounders.

“Sounders of pigs can go anywhere from three to four pigs. We see them pretty frequently into 20′s and 30′s altogether, and they travel from their bedding area to where they’re going to feed for the evening, and they can cover a great amount of distance in a couple days,” Mareno said.

These sounders add up – Mareno killed about 500 hogs last year.

A proposed law at the state legislature would give a $5 bounty for each hog tail, meaning his hunting could really pay off.

“Financially it helps you recoup some of the money you spend to help the farmers,” Mareno said.

Farmers need all the help they can get. According to the LSU AgCenter, feral hogs cause more than $90 million dollars in damage annually.

“I think farmers are the salt of the earth, and it’s a very important part of our country, and so if they’re not able to produce crops for us as a population then the country as a whole is being hurt,” Mareno said.

The bill was authored by State Rep. Alan Seabaugh (R-Shreveport). Session gets underway Monday.

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