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Hog Wild Debate over Poisoning Feral Hogs

Kasey Mock - 3/2/17

One thing we can all agree on is that Texas has a feral hog problem! What Texas hunters, farmers and ranchers can’t always agree on is how to control them. This has recently come to a head with the approval of a poison to kill feral hogs by Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Sid Miller.

Almost 6 years since Texas passed a bill to allow feral hogs to be shot by licensed hunters from helicopters, feral hog populations are still on the rise costing the agriculture industry up to 50 million dollars a year in damages. Feral hog populations can multiply by 18-20 percent per year, making this a constant battle for landowners. The idea behind the “helicopter bill” was to shift the expense from the landowner to recreational shooters who would pay for the helicopter experience to kill off the hogs. Thus getting rid of your hogs for free.

Since 2011, the feral hog problem in Texas has reached its highest levels with an estimated 2.5 million animals. Agricultural Commissioner and helicopter bill approver Sid Miller announced that he is approving a new strategy to deal with feral hogs: poison. Called “Kaput Feral Hog Lure” it is a human blood-thinner that proves lethal in hogs. “They’re so prolific, you can’t hardly keep them in check,” Miller told the American-Statesman. Sows have been known to produce two litters a year, typically with four to six offspring in each litter. “This is going to be the “hog apocalypse”, if you like: If you want them gone, this will get them gone.” The product is essentially bait food laced with warfarin.

This has caused concern among Texas hunters, as state officials have downplayed the threat of the poison to other wildlife. Hunters have collected more than 12,000 signatures to oppose the poison. Hunters are concerned with the poison being consumed by other wildlife in Texas, notably black bears who can get into the hog traps that will have bait food, other animals that could eat the bait that the hogs drop, and native animals like coyotes who could eat the poisoned carcass of a hog. Miller seems confident that the hog poison will be the answer to the overwhelming feral hog infestation. The question is, at what price to our other wildlife?

Texas Department of Agriculture has put out a Fact Sheet to address the high volume of questions.

Out of opposition the Texas Hog Hunters Association put out the following statement, encouraging people to sign a petition and support their organization

MAR 1, 2017 - “We are pushing forward and gaining ground, we are planning to move forward and head to Austin to Lobby the State Legislature. As many of you know we are a grass roots organization and funding is very tight, we will obviously have expenses occurred with this so if you have the ability to help financially support this fight we would be most appreciative. There is now a donate button on our website at www.texashha.com if you are able.”

This hog-wild debate is far from over! Follow our blog and subscribe toBucks to Business Podcast to stay up to date on current issues effecting Texas Landowners.

Go get em!

Kasey Mock
Mock Ranches


Sources:

  • http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/sid-miller-approve-new-technique-for-killing-feral-hogs-poison/2vnQ1A9Bdn2aichF58ZRPJ/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/us/13ttporkchopper.html
  • http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/02/21/hunters-fight-so-called-feral-hog-apocalypse-in-texas.html


3 Reasons to Work with a Rural Real Estate Agent

Kasey Mock - 3/2/17

Services Access

Unlike urban residential developments, many rural properties have limited access to community water systems, electrical systems, and roads. Additionally, amenities like high-speed internet or cable service which are readily available in the city or suburbs may be less reliable or more costly to acquire on a rural property. A local real estate agent or broker specializing in agricultural properties can explain which municipal and utility services are available for a given plot of land.

Environmental Issues

Whether you intend to run your farm as a business or a hobby, it’s crucial that you select a property with soil history and environmental conditions that match the crops or livestock you intend to raise. Real estate agents specializing in rural property will know the processes necessary to evaluate the soil for productivity and check your property for things like floodplains, wetlands, and threatened species habitats, which can seriously limit how a property can be used

Rights and Usage

Water is the single most important factor in running a successful farm, and water rights law is very complex. An agricultural real estate professional can explain the particulars of water, wind, and mineral rights for a given property. If you’re purchasing an undeveloped plot of land, it’s crucial that you carefully investigate local zoning ordinances to ensure that you can use a property as you see fit. Finally, many rural properties have easements for road, power, or irrigation access, which means that others can access your property. An experienced agent can explain these easements and what, if any, responsibilities they require from you.

Go get em!

Kasey Mock
Mock Ranches



10 Point Checklist for Land Investing

Kasey Mock - 3/2/17

1. Evaluate long-range historical trends and market projections: A qualified land specialist like those at Mock Ranches can help you determine the best time to buy, and the price you should be willing to pay in order to achieve the desired return.

2. “Location, location, location” also applies to land investments. Transitional land near a city will typically have a higher initial cost, but the opportunity for rapid appreciation over a short period of time is higher than land in a remote rural market. Waterfront properties tend to hold value and appreciate.

3. Room for creativity: What basic land improvements like roads, fencing, brush removal or water can be made to increase land values? Investors should go easy on elaborate improvements like highly customized homes, fancy horse barns or facilities. Buyers will want to make it their own, so investors should simply prepare the canvas for them. While basic land improvements generate a high ROI, more specialized properties are harder to sell.

4. Get to know the land intimately: Nothing beats a day spend outside hunting, fishing, riding horses or preparing the land. Spending time on the land will allow you to learn the key features that make it unique and familiarize yourself with layout. Maps can be very useful tools when learning a property. Contact Mock Ranches for a free property Map

5. Easements and access: It is important to fully understand any easements to or through the land that could impact privacy or future use. Is there a road to the land? Is it paved, dirt, or gravel? How easy will your land be to access? Is there and easement to the land, or are there easements through it? Who else has access to the land and what are their rights. A detailed title report prepared by a title company that understands land transactions is extremely valuable. Alamo Title in Boerne, TX is a good place to start

6. Understand Property Taxes: What are your options for property taxes, and who is collecting them? Texas landowners can qualify for huge property tax reductions under the 1-d-1 Open Space Tax Valuation. This is earned by managing your property for agricultural use, wildlife management, bees, or timberland. This reduced rate can be as much as a 99% reduction in property taxes which lowers the cost of ownership for investors. There are many professional firms to consult with landowners. Contact us for a free land use analysis

7. Check mineral ownership and production: Production of oil, gas, and other minerals can generate large returns for investors who own the rights to them. Some land can be bought as surface space while someone else owns the mineral rights below the ground. Research historical production in the area and know what you own. We recommend a good mineral attorney like Allen and Associates for a mineral title search, Investors can research production trends per county through the Texas Railroad Commission

9. Deed Restrictions: Are there deed restrictions that would prevent a buyer sub-diving the property or using it for a desired use? Examples of this would be commercial agriculture, mining, industrial use, hunting, or creating impervious cover.

10. Cash or Finance: Savvy investors monitor interest rates and compare those to what return they can make on their cash by keeping it. If rates are low enough, it often times make sense to finance land and keep your cash. Lenders like Capital farm Credit or Crockett National Bank have competitive loan products designed for land buyers.


Go get em!

Kasey Mock
Mock Ranches


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