The feral pig problem in Oklahoma County is likely going to get worse. That's because the US Department of Agriculture, who had been trapping and hunting the hogs, says they no longer have a contract with the county.
This past fall agents with the USDA were frequently seen hovering just above the treetops hunting hogs from a helicopter.
“That helicopter, he was getting stuff done,” said Leslie Sharp, a farmer who lives in Edmond.
The hunting and trapping by the USDA came after the feral hog population in the area had been exploding exponentially, ripping into residences yards and farmer’s profits.
“We had probably an acre of sweet corn over here across the road and those hogs got two thirds of it,” said Sharp.
“I wouldn’t have had a wheat crop if Russel (USDA agent) hadn’t eliminated those hogs,” said farmer JC Goyle.
But the USDA says they are no longer hunting or trapping in Oklahoma County. At issue is a $2,400 contract. A spokesperson for one of the commissioners says the county extension office used to pay the USDA for the Wildlife services but decided they no longer had the money. Since then, no-one has brought the budget request before commissioners.
Trapped in the middle of it all? Not the hogs, but those like Leslie and JC.
“This is a never ending deal and if the funds are wiped out or they stop the programs the farmers are in trouble,” said JC.
News 9 has been told that other counties around the metro area do still fund the USDA program.