During October there was a major spike in reported sightings of feral hogs in Kingwood. At the Nov. 7 Kingwood Association Parks Committee meeting, Ethel McCormick of the Kingwood Management Association pointed out this was one of, if not the highest, single month of reports for as long as the reports have been maintained over the last several years.
She said, “This month we got 55 reports.”
Not only are the hogs extremely destructive, they can be deadly.
Authorities say a pack of feral hogs attacked and killed a woman outside a Southeast Texas home Nov. 26 where she worked as a caregiver.
McCormick explained that while it was good to see people submitting reports, it was not good that there are clearly a large number of hogs in the area and they are doing damage. It was not only the increase in reports which might be the result of better reporting, McCormick noted the KSA volunteer hog hunter reported similar increases. She explained the hogs were in a large area with sightings in Foster’s Mill, Kingwood Greens, Kings Point Village, Reserve at Kings Point, Riverchase, Royal Shores and the drainage ditch along H-E-B near Sand Creek. Maryanne Fortson of Foster’s Mill added the hogs had been seen on the golf courses in the area.
McCormick reported the Harris County Flood Control District advised her they have a feral hog trapper for the county land under their responsibility. They provided his name and contact and she immediately called him. She said, “This is a man who actually has a contract with Harris County Flood Control. He uses dogs and has been doing it for 20 years. He is a very nice gentleman and wants to come by the office, look at the sightings map with me, and pinpoint each report that has come in.”
McCormick explained the trapper wants to try to determine where hogs are likely to be “bedding down” during the day so he can start his hunts there, flush them out and get them. He told McCormick he could possibly get eight to 10 hogs in one hunt. He also noted that he wanted to get contacts for the Clubs of Kingwood golf courses to gain permission to work on their land at the same time.
McCormick provided the appropriate contacts and asked about cost. He advised her he likes to do this sort of work as a community service and has been doing it for 20 years including the Humble area. She plans to meet with him in the immediate future, go over the reports and determine where he will work in coordination with the other KSA authorized hunter. McCormick will also work on making sure appropriate KSA insurance requirements are met.
She said, “We will continue with our regular hog hunter and add a second one for more coverage.” McCormick emphasized the new hunter was highly recommended by the people she worked with at the Harris County Flood Control District and she was excited to get the project started. The committed concurred.
The committee also approved dredging of the River Grove Park boat ramp and boardwalk area for an amount not to exceed $500,000 in total project costs. This revised proposal had been denied by a vote of eight to six in the October meeting in order for representatives to go back to their respective home owner associations to confirm how they wanted them to vote on a half-million-dollar project, even though it was substantially less than earlier proposals. To deny this proposal meant the boardwalk would be removed. However, costs would still be substantial just to get the boat ramp portion of the project done because of the cost of the dredging the boat ramp area and the high fixed cost of mobilizing the dredging equipment, dredging fees, engineering costs and hauling off the dredged sediment, even without including the boardwalk area. The proposal was approved by a vote of 13 to 4. The boardwalk area will be dredged and the boardwalk itself will remain and kept maintained.
In other business, the committee approved $4,689 to replace the water pump for the fountain on the southside pond at the Kingwood Drive entrance. It had broken and Joe Mozzarellas, steward for the Kingwood entrance area, determined it to be more economical to replace it than repair it.
KSA Parks Committee meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the South Woodland Hills Community Room, 2030 Shadow Rock Drive in Kingwood. The public is invited to attend.