Texas To Allow Aerial Hunting of Hogs and...Wolves or Coyotes?

_--Chad Love

According to this headline and story in the Miami Herald, Texas is set to allow the aerial hunting of feral hogs and...wolves?

Hunters moved closer Monday to being able to use helicopters to kill feral hogs that are damaging the Texas landscape. With no discussion, Texas House members voted 137-9 to give preliminary approval to a bill that would let people hunt feral hogs and wolves from a helicopter. Officials estimate that the state has 1 million to 4 million feral hogs, which cause as much as $400 million in damage to land and crops each year.

Really? Wolves? Is Texas conducting some sort of pre-preemptive strike against wolf re-introduction...or did some copy editor in Miami figure, "Eh, what the heck, wolves, coyotes, they're the same, right?" Maybe we should find a Texas paper to clarify...

From this story in the Dallas News:
_Lawmakers would like to dispatch as many feral pigs as possible to hog heaven. So the House tentatively decided Monday to allow ranchers to rent out seats on helicopters used to hunt feral hogs and coyotes by air on their property. The pork chopper bill hoofed it through the chamber on 137-9 vote, with no debate._

After final passage Tuesday, it will move to the Senate, where it has been hamstrung in the past. The feral hog and coyote populations in Texas are large and destructive. An estimated 1.5 million feral hogs have caused about $400 million in damage to crops, property and fences per year. Both animals prey on young livestock, such as lambs, kid goats and fawns. And authorities are fearful that coyotes could start spreading rabies. The hogs in particular have been a huge problem. "They're starting to encroach in the urban areas," said the bill's author, Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville. Currently, landowners can get a Texas Parks and Wildlife permit to conduct an aerial hunt and hire a helicopter outfit and gunner. To defray the cost, Miller said, his bill would let the landowners sell the passenger side to qualified hunters.

So there you go: Texas is set to allow aerial hunting of hogs and coyotes, and newspaper reporters in Miami think coyotes are wolves. Thoughts?_