A substantial marijuana growing operation was discovered by hog hunters searching for the destructive pests in the Cooper Wildlife Management Area north of Dallas. The crop value may have been as much as $6 million. OutdoorHub blows the lid off this one, weeds through tea details to hash out the essential facts and tries to pot this discovery in perspective.
Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife announced last week that officers raided a large and sophisticated marijuana growing facility in the remote swamps of northeast Texas. About 80 miles north of Dallas and inside the 14,480-acre Cooper Wildlife Management Area, several hog hunters stumbled into a sprawling marijuana farm that held more than 6,500 mature plants.
Texas officials said that if not for the occasional report from hikers, hunters, and other adventurous outdoorsmen, many of these operations would never be found. Even so, illegal marijuana cultivators have learned to avoid the most popular hunting seasons.
“They would’ve folded up shop by October 1 ahead of archery deer season opening, but obviously didn’t figure in the opening of teal and feral hog hunting season in mid-September,” said Texas game warden Steven Stapleton.
“The destruction to the habitat and the damage these people did to the environment is probably the worst part,” said Texas Game Warden Chris Fried. “They cut mature hardwood trees, including a pin oak that was at least five foot in diameter, and cleared parts of a levee that will take many years to recover. The chemicals they sprayed, insecticides and pesticides that contaminated the soil and eventually run off into the streams will have lasting impacts.”