August 29, 2011
Helicopter Hunting For Feral Hogs Begins in TX Thursday
By Chad Love
Thursday is the traditional kick-off to many fall hunting seasons, from dove to grouse to...pork choppers? Yes, pork choppers. And according to this story, hunters from across the nation are lining up to be a part of Texas' first helicopter-based hog season.
From this story in the Forth Worth Star-Telegram:
"Pork choppers," Texas' newest weapon in the war on feral hogs, will take to the skies Thursday when it becomes legal for hunters to buy seats on hog-hunting helicopters and gun down as many pigs as they can put in their sights. With more than 2 million feral hogs rooting around the Lone Star State, there will be plenty of targets for aerial gunners willing to pay $475 for an hour of heli-hunting. Vertex Helicopters is already bringing home the bacon as a result of the measure passed by the Texas Legislature this year. The Houston-based firm requires shooters to take a $350 hunting safety course before they can book a hunt, said President Mike Morgan, a former Army helicopter pilot.
Sixty hunters have taken the course, and two more 15-person classes are already filled, he said. "These are people who are really, really serious about shooting things," Morgan said, noting that hunters from New York City, Missouri and Kansas have taken the course, which includes a four-hour class and 30 minutes of learning airborne target practice.
What about you? Given the opportunity, would you pay someone to let you shoot hogs from above? Hunting or simply aerial gunnery? Granted, the feral hog season is all about eradication of an invasive and destructive species, so do the environmental issues feral hogs pose outweigh even the faintest trace of fair chase ethics?