‘Southern Grit’ dogs give feral hogs a tough time
Amanda and Allen Bronder of Southern Grit Hog Dogs display a feral hog after a successful hunt.
Wilson County NewsOctober 23, 2013 9,759 views 1 comment
Feral hogs destroy property, damage forage and livestock, and are pests that plague ag producers. Free help is available to get rid of hogs, however, from Southern Grit Hog Dogs. Allen and Amanda Bronder raise and train hog dogs. Allen also has income related to the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas exploration. So they offer free help to ag producers to reduce the feral hog population.
“I have seen quite a bit of news about feral hogs and their South Texas destruction,” Amanda said. “They mess with a lot of local farmland. We all know how much land and money the farmers lose to these ... I feel that this would give those farmers and ranchers a heads up in taking control over these pests that cost them so much money.”
The couple started this service after they conducted guided hunts for children, servicemen, and veterans, getting them involved in the outdoors.
Amanda said some people do not like to use guns when hog hunting, for safety reasons. Others complain of the damage caused to the carcass when the hog is shot incorrectly. So the Bronders employ dogs for hunting. If feral hogs have been exposed to hog dogs before, this can create problems. If not, feral hogs are easier to catch compared to hogs that have tangled with dogs in the past.
To protect the dogs from the feral hogs’ sharp tusks or teeth, the Bronders use protective gear, such as tracking collar loops, bay vests, and catch vests. These cover the necks and bodies of the dogs when hunting.
Catahoula and Black Mouth Cur dogs are used as the strikers and the Bronders use pit bulls and American bulldogs as the “catch dogs.”
Two to four “striker” or “bay dogs” are used on the ground to track a hog and bark until the couple can reach the hog. The Bronders then release one or two “catch dogs” to hold down the hog by the legs. Amanda said some of the hogs are taken alive, while others are harvested.
Some customers request assistance to keep feral hogs away from cattle and deer feeders, while others are concerned for their children’s safety, since the hogs are entering clients’ yards.
Milo, corn, and peanut farmers have turned to the Bronders for help, some with immediate needs, with crops ready for harvest.
Meat or training?
Landowners can request hogs be taken live or be slaughtered. Most opt for slaughter, Amanda said.
While the Bronders take animals for their meat, the smaller pigs are given to friends, fed out for meat, or used for training puppies.
In the process, the Bronders have assisted several families by donating the meat.
“You can only fit so much meat in the freezer,” Amanda said.
When Allen is not working his main job in the oil fields, he can be found hunting or training dogs.
The Bronders’ service an area within 1-1/2 hours of Floresville, with most of their current clients from Floresville to the Gillett area. Although the hogs move more at night, the couple also will hunt during the day.
While they do not charge for their service, they do make a profit by training and raising dogs for this purpose.
The couple will train dogs as young as 6 months of age, depending on prior training. Training can take from one month up to a year.
For more information, call 830-299-5737, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/Southerngrithogdogs.
According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, early Spanish explorers are credited with introducing hogs in Texas.
•European or “Russian boars” were imported into the state in the 1930s, and later escaped from game ranches.
•Feral hogs are unprotected, non-game animals.
•There is no season or bag limit. A hunting license and landowner’s permission are required.
•Estimated population in excess of 1.5 million feral hogs in Texas.
•Hogs are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal matter.
•Main damage -- indirect destruction of habitat and agriculture commodities by rooting and trampling activity.