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.

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.