Monday, November 18, 2013

Texas ranchers and farmers are using cell-phone technology to control feral hog population

Farmers and ranchers in South Texas are using smartphones to put an end to the damage caused by the region's feral hog problem, David Sears reports for KSAT-TV in San Antonio. The use of modern technology to stop the area's estimated 5,000 to 6,000 wild hogs has caught on quick, with rancher Brian Heideman saying he caught 29 hogs the first night he used the new technology.

The technology is simple: a 25-foot wide remote-controlled gate on a round pen that can be operated by cell phone, Sears writes. "The gate has a motion detector on it. When it senses something, it sends a text or email to Heideman’s cell phone, along with an attached picture. If he sees he has some hogs in the trap, he hits and button and the gate closes, allowing him to catch the critters from anywhere."

Heidman, who said he's been able to check the trap while being as far as two hours away at a football game, told Sears, “I never thought when I moved back to the family farm (that) I would be using my cell phone to trap hogs and manage the ranch." And catching the hogs by remote control is so much easier than hunting them, Heidman said. He told Sears, "This is the only way to do it. It's so easy." (Read more)

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