Farmers fed up with wild hogs destroying watermelon

Farmers fed up with wild hogs destroying watermelon

RUSH SPRINGS, OK (KSWO) -Feral Pigs are going hog wild over the number one crop in the Watermelon capitol of Oklahoma. And The Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services says its a problem nearly every farmer in the state has to dealt with.

In the place that's known for it's delicious watermelons, Rush Springs is also becoming known as an attraction for wild hogs.

"When the watermelons start coming off, is when the hogs are a problem," said Dillon Jones. "They smell the sweet."

Farmer and watermelon producer,Jones has lost over a thousand dollars this summer alone in watermelons that were destroyed by hogs.

"Stressed out," said Jones. "I definitely felt really sad about it. I didn't ever think they would come through and wipe out acres at a time like they did. I knew that they could do damage like that, but not on this large of a scale."

It's watermelons like these that make Jones knows the hogs have been out here because of the way they were destroyed, cut open and eaten out of.

"They come through here with their tusk and they root up all the dirt and grass," said Jones. "It just looks like someone came through and plowed it up."

Feral pigs destroy every crop, not just watermelon. Once the hogs uproot the plants, the watermelons or crops can't survive.

"You have to re-plow, re-plant, if it's early enough in the season, but when they came through as late as it was, there was nothing I could do," said Jones.

Oklahoma Wildlife Services does what they can to tackle the issue, such as helicopter hunts or setting out traps using state and federal money, but the hog population continues to grow. Jones hopes to get every last one.

"That's what I do, I just trap and as soon as I see them in the trap, I just shoot them dead," said Jones.

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