foxnews.comhas a report on the new “sport” of hunting hogs from a helicopter. [Make the jump for the video.] Vermin, revenue, yada, yada, yada. I hate small aircraft. I love rifles. And never the twain shall meet. As Mark himself warned, “There are no accidents, all things have a deep and calculated purpose; sometimes the methods employed by Providence seem strange and incongruous, but we have only to be patient and wait for the result: then we recognize that no others would have answered the purpose, and we are rebuked and humbled.” And/or dead. [h/t to Todd Vandermyde for the link]

19 Responses to What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Heli-Hog Hunting Edition

  1. I love small aircraft. I love rifles. I hate this. Few things churn my stomach more than “sportsmen” hunting from aircraft.

    • Well good thing they aren’t hunting then, its called depredation.

      Learn before you speak. Its illegal to hunt from helicopter.

      • It’s legal in Texas since September 1, 2011 – at least for feral hogs. I wouldn’t call it hunting either though, but as a landowner I understand the need for this. Understand many ranches in Texas are measured in sections, not acres, so this is a practical way to control the exploding feral hog problem and believe me, it is a significant problem. But once again, to emphasize, I don’t consider this hunting.

        http://www.texasmonthly.com/2011-08-01/webextra10.php

      • “Not so different from extreme sports like heli-skiing and heli-hiking, helicopter hunting expeditions or ‘aerial deprivation’ missions to slim down wild boar populations may be the latest trend in hunting.”
        “And in Texas, which has made it legal to for the public to hunt wild hog from low-flying helicopters, it’s open-season all year ’round.”‘
        Sorry, if I am wrong, but you can see from the language used in the linked article how I might have thought people were hunting from aircraft.

  2. Let me fill all of you in; My father and I run a private wildlife consulting company in deep South Texas. My father is a degreed biologist that formerly was state employed, but he decided to go private, and one of the things we get hired to do is get rid of hogs. Firstly, we use shotguns. rifles are too slow and one cannot guarantee a humane kill from a careening helicopter, so we use 12 gauge 00 buck instead. Unless you are a landowner around there, you don’t understand the kind of damage hogs can do. They make holes in fences, letting cattle escape, put giant holes called ‘wallers’ in roads, eat thousands of dollars worth of feed and crops, and are dangerous to people and pets. Contrary to the video, I have not met a single helicopter pilot that will let an unexperienced, trigger happy numnuts into his helicopter. It’s always either me, my dad, or sometimes the landowner, if we feel he has enough sense.

    • As to the ‘what could go wrong’, We’ve been doing this for 10+ years, and nothing major has ever happened, aside from the occasional bullet hole in the skid.

    • +1 I just watched the video. Even though these are ferel hogs and destructive as Wade says, they still deserve a humane death and not to be wounded with poorly aimed fire from a moving platform with what is, at best, a marginal round for that size of an animal.

  3. Feral hogs are an invasive species and a menace. I am for anything that causes their population to approach zero. Anyone who says they like hog hunting is part of the problem. In the past, many land owners have catered to the desire of others to”hunt” hogs. Finally, a niche market has developed that promotes the correct response to feral hogs. Eradication.

  4. Seems to me that the company is charging 400 bucks an hour to give it’s customers a “combat experience”. 19 hogs in two days from a heli doesn’t sound too efficient. I think Wade above has it right. In other videos of aerial hog hunting I’ve seen, the pilot takes the shooter low and right in on em and the shooter opens up on them with a shotgun shooting buckshot. Either way it looks like a heckuva good time.

    • I didn’t hear 19 in two days! If we are doing nothing but looking for hogs, we can do upwards of 400 a day. On a heavily populated ranch, of course.

  5. Even if the hogs are a nuissance this seems unsportsman like. If someone really wants to feel tactical they can hunt hogs in a ghillie suit with a rail coated AR. Or let the wannabe SWAT commandos take them down.

  6. Based on my limited knowledge of the feral hog problem I am ok with this sort of killing to reduce the population. I am not ok with this type of wild animal tracking and killing to go mainstream hunting. I realize that shooting feral hogs that are causing serious and real problems are not the same activity as the unethical mass slaughter of the great bison buffalo herds during the 1800s. Still, I do have that terrible learning lesson image in mind.

  7. If we really want to be picky, we could say that shooting hogs period is unsportsmanlike. If you really want to make it sporting, get naked and go tooth to tooth with the hog. With that said, pest eradication is not a sport. Therefore, if you want to shoot hogs from a helicopter with a Minigun, go ahead.

  8. Oh yeah, blame those that like to hunt hogs. How about putting some of the blame on the landowners. Too many of them will charge $600 for two days hunting and let you take 2 hogs. The place I went, the owner charge $200 per night and you could take as many as you cared to clean. I usually had to call 2 months ahead of time regardless of the night I wanted to hunt. I always saw plenty of hogs. The land owner also gave a strip map to several processors that you could drop the hog off with to donate to hunters for the hungry. Allowing hunting from a helicopter won’t eradicate the hogs because there are too many hogs and not enough shooters skilled at shooting from a moving platform at a moving target.

    • I’ve been wondering the same thing. Is it the other other white meat? Does it go well with applesauce? Can you make bacon out of it? Inquiring minds want to know.

  9. This will fail. There are not enough helicopters or hunters in the state of Texas to stop feral pigs. And shooting from helicopters is just way too expensive, even if they are just going to shoot from the Schweizer/Hughes 300 piston helicopter depicted. This is not speculation.

    I grew up around the eradication of feral pigs and sheep on Santa Cruz Island in the 70s and 80s. Importing large numbers of hunters had little impact on the sheep and no impact on the pigs. The pigs breed fast and they are smart enough to learn how to elude the hunters. They also have very keen hearing and smell, and combined with their smarts they will learn to avoid the hunters.

    Helicopters are really expensive to operate. The itty-bitty Schweizer 300 in the photo has an operating cost of about $250/hr. Also, as a piston helo it has low payload and short time in flight, and will be basically inoperable in a Texas summer due to density altitude from the extreme temperatures. They will need at least a Jet Ranger and that will cost more than $1,000/hr. And they’re going to need a LOT of helicopters, because those pigs spread fast and breed fast. Even Texas isn’t rich enough or dumb enough to pay that.

    TTAG should keep an eye on this story because it is not going to turn out well for the pigs or the shooters.

  10. I am both the pilot, and if i really get to enjoy myself, the shooter. I assure everyone it is extremely safe and very sportsman like. I spend more time on the ground training the shooters as well as being trained with them before our heli skids ever leave earth’s surface. In fact the majority of our time by far is spent training on the ground. Even in flight it is all about safety and all about technique. We make a point of showing the shooters the damage the hogs do while we fly over (which you only get a hint of from the ground. The landowners love the work we do.
    As for sporting, i have blind hunted, stalked, and shot pigs about every way possible, and i assure you heli hogging is not easy. The average shooter misses 90% from a helicopter using an AR rifle variant, hence the use of more humane OO buck 12ga…
    Its all about safety and population control. It’s fun, we make a massive difference, and it is work. Hard work.God bless Texas!

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