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Helicopter Wild Hog Eradication in Texas
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Category: Exotic Animal

This is one HELL of a hog eradication video.  Not only have I never SEEN so many huge hogs but never have I seen so MANY eradicated in one video.  This was funded by a group of farmers who are taking progressive action to reduce the devastation done to their crops by these wild hogs. Each and every feral hog is estimated to cause $1400 in crop damage during its lifetime.

As you can see this data in combination with the extraordinarily high and ever expanding hog population proves to be a very big problem. Through the support of the farmers of Haskell Co. and the efforts of Nueces Helicopters, LLC. the hog population is on its way to a more controllable state as well as a much higher crop yield for the farmers.  If these guys stick with it I feel certain the hog population will be under control in no time. 

For more info visit www.nueceshelicopters.com

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Comments:

Author:Jason Parrish Comment Left:12/01/2009 11:17

Shooting hogs from a helicopter may sound extreme, but their exponential population growth has made them the 2nd most costly species to farmers (beaver is #1) from what I have read. Of course, don't confuse hog eradication (killing) with hog hunting.

Author:wohalliburton Comment Left:12/01/2009 17:44

I lived right next to Haskell County for several years, and the hog problem out there and in adjacent counties is nothing short of astounding.  I'm glad they are doing something about it.  It wasn't unusual to see wild pigs in the 400-500 lb range - plenty of agriculture and not a lot of effective hunting pressure. 

Sounds like they're shooting suppressed rounds.

Author:bryan sand Comment Left:12/01/2009 20:26

red dot or open sites? too many in texas farm land country, as you can see the different spots of crops that were damaged. it is just as bad in the south east as there. outdoor dogs bark all night. and ground nesting birds do not have a chance. yes, hogs eat them also.

Author:TexAr Comment Left:12/03/2009 02:42

That looked like a lot of fun!! Where can I sign up to be the shooter???? Seriously!!!

Author:Capt. Kent Comment Left:12/04/2009 03:48

This is such a waste to me.  There are a lot of us who would like to go hog hunting and have a place to go with the meat but when I ask to hunt I am told I have to pay an outrageous price even though I have several references.  I have a lease in Devine and one day there was a couple of ranchers gripping about hogs so I asked to hunt and told them I had local references as well as TP&W ref. and they said no.

 

 

 

Author:ggonzales Comment Left:12/04/2009 12:38

Where can we get info about participating with one of these helicopter hog hunts, looks like alot of fun, hope they leave some hogs for me!!!

Author:larrymeador Comment Left:12/04/2009 13:47

Some people get all the cool jobs............

Author:franco71 Comment Left:12/04/2009 15:54

I Love hog hunting with dogs. My question is what happens to all the meat? Boy I'd love to get some! It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

Author:termite46 Comment Left:12/06/2009 20:48

This looks like great fun, and help to lower the hog numbers. A win win any way you look at it.

Author:wheeless621 Comment Left:12/11/2009 02:50

Good Pilot. Good shooters. They make it look alot easier than it is.

Now just imagine the damage that could have been done with a mounted Ma-duece or 240.

Author:dluna561 Comment Left:12/13/2009 03:49

It does seem lke a waste of good meat but there's no easy sure fire way to get of hogs. And there are always more hogs. The shooter seemed to be proficient with his gun. It can't be as easy as it looks.

Author:nueceshelicopters Comment Left:12/13/2009 15:25

Glad to see people enjoy'n the video. To answer the most popular question out there : We have talked to a Non-Profit group out of Temple, TX that processes this meat and gives it to the home-less. We have not been back up since I located this group, but feel sure we will both work very well together to give this meat away. To everyone that would like to go do this one day : talk to your local state reps and see if we cant revise house bill 836 and get it passed this next session.

Regard,

Dustin Johnson - Pilot - Nueces Helicopters, LLC

 

Author:ppbrown Comment Left:12/16/2009 15:42

Put this on my bucket list!!!  One Shot, one kill. Awesome Job shooters!

Author:rick.williams2 Comment Left:12/20/2009 15:25

I'm one of the few that agree with Capt Kent. Yes, I know wild hogs have become a problem but this isn't the way to solve it. This is an easy way out for the farmers because they don't want people hunting on their land; but they could charge enough to cover their losses. Killing animals and leaving them to rot is morally wrong. Rick from Alvin

Author:bigbucknrut Comment Left:12/23/2009 08:50

sweet ,

Author:hmeeks Comment Left:12/23/2009 18:47

Very interesting job for the guys at Nueces Helicopters.  No offense to Nueces Helicopters, and I hope you guys make out well.   However, this seems like a very expensive way for the farmers to reduce the hog population, muchless control them long term.  The cost per individual hog eradication has to be very high.  I would think the farmers in the region would work with law enforcement and private citizens interested in hunting the hogs.  Law enforcement could provide background checks, and credit checks could be run by the farm bureau as part of an initial process to determine who they allow to hunt the hogs on their private land (responsible citizens only).   There are plenty of decent citizens like myself who are very responsible and would be happy to help the farmers for FREE, as well as doing other things, even catch thieves stealing diesel (another major farmer problem from time to time).  I find it really odd that the farmers are willing to pay a high price for such a sophisticated hog eradication method AND incur the EXTREME liability of just ONE stray bullet from a flying helicopter hitting someone a mile or more away.  A single accident like that could run well into the 10s to 100s of millions of dollars and take multiple farms under financially, not to mention the negative publicity.  It seems like hunters on the ground could be turned into a small profit for the farmers and totally avoid the liabilities.  Also, the pigs are about the smartest wild animals in North America.  Soon they are likely to figure out that the wirily-bird means death.  They very well may learn to stay in cover during the day and then be in the corn and other crops at night rendering the chopper method useless.

Author:jesusvdsb@hotmail.com Comment Left:12/25/2009 17:42

we have into mexico i do farm in the bravo river near piedas negras i canot finish them nomater whath i do hunt trap werever

Author:Kimber Comment Left:01/02/2010 06:45

I certainly agree with eradication of the hogs, but I definitely don't think all of these were"clean kills."  The wounding of ANY animal wthout the ability to finish the job is cruel.

Author:straybullet Comment Left:01/12/2010 13:03

Hmeeks, the liability of a hunter on the ground firing a stray bullet is millions of times higher than that of a marksman firing from a helicopter. Those bullets are going through a hog and staight into the ground. Zero liability. I hope you guys are successful with the program to collect the hogs and process them. It is a waste to let them lay.

Author:Animal lover Comment Left:01/14/2010 21:41

Author:Animal lover Comment Left:01/14/2010 21:43
Ok straitshooter zero accountability if you are on the ground you are lucky to kill 3 out of 30 and the safest place for bullets to go is strait down where are yours going? Ok the second video from these guys was edited that helped if you want to give the hog meat away you need to buy a bullet proof vest and deliver it to those people too lazy to come and get it because they are to busy trying to buy beer and cigs with there wic cards.
Author:Animal lover Comment Left:01/14/2010 21:54
Helicopter works so well because when you see them you kill them on the ground you get maybe 5 percent and groung hunters just put pressure on them and they move until they get pressure and move back this is a way farmers can stay in business and put food on the table for others sorry capt Kent but you can't get it done on the ground hope you can find a free place to hunt somewhere else .try Afganistan. Capt Kent Maybe you need to realize you are not a hunter but a gatherer because if you can't kill a hog in Devine Co you need to buy your neibor some propane for his gas grill and some bullets so you can give them to a hunter so he can kill you a hog.
Author:jspradley Comment Left:02/05/2010 19:07

I would love to find a place to hunt hogs near Fredricksburg, TX. with a bow or rifle, but no one will allow it without asking for hundreds of dollars. If it is such a bad problem, why does it cost money to solve it? If you have roaches the exterminator does not pay you to kill them....right? I know what you are thinking....You can not eat roaches, but the concept is the same. I am a responsible hunter that would love to help anyone get rid of some hogs if given the chance. I would even pay to process the meat and give it to the land owner,  ANY TAKERS??  jspradley@ikon.com

Author:minnesotabruce Comment Left:02/06/2010 12:04

Dear Capt. Kent,  Go feed your cat

Author:Practical 1 Comment Left:02/26/2010 22:21

The pilot and shooter certainly outsmarted those pigs.  Their effective use of camoflauge certainly gave them the upper hand here - those pigs never saw them coming. (over the rotor wash and sirens anyway)

Author:texasflood99 Comment Left:04/08/2010 08:00

 great new sport,highly skilled pilot,good shootin'...loved the video!...hope it opens up to the public soon!...that's some quick bacon!!!

Author:Centerfire Comment Left:05/19/2010 22:28

I agree there needs to be management in reducing the population of hogs, but leaving meat to rot is a complete waste. This meat could be salvaged and distributed to Federal prison farms or welfare recipients or anyone who needs meat. This can help save State and Federal dollars and the way the economy is going food may not come easy. I know the damage to crops occurs by hogs because I'm a land owner myself, and yes I get aggravated, but I don't call in the slaughter house. I either set traps or let people I know who want meat to come get what they can use. As for the damages caused by hogs, the farm subsidies distributed to farmers is substantial to offset seasonal damages to crops. Also most farmers are covered for damages by Federal funded crop insurance. People that hunt for food should be allowed to hunt on hog infested farms. The slaughtering and wounding in this video should be the last option with added meat recovery solution before they are allowed to hunt by chopper. To back up my comment about farm subsidies and your curious of how much farm subsidies are distributed in your area. Check this web link and type in your zip code.  http://farm.ewg.org/search.php?fips=&regionname=

Author:UmOk Comment Left:05/25/2010 13:58

Well, while that looks like great fun, there's no way a clean kill was made on probably 90%, if any, and that part i'm not a big fan of, along with the inherant waste.  There are hungry folks out there, so while the problem needs a solution, this one comes up short by a long shot, so to speak.

Author:montana guy Comment Left:06/23/2010 15:43

Pretty cool! When can I sign up? What he needs on the helicopter is a M-60 or a mini-gun! One could really nail those hogs then. Have you tried a M-1 Carbine 30 Carbine or a Remington model 7400 in 30-06 or 35 Whelen? The other writers didn't read that the meat was given away and not to rot. Besides, hogs would just eat the dead hogs! and then you'd have more hogs. Hogs will eat just about anything, grain, small game, dead animals, etc.

Author:Ex Para Comment Left:07/21/2010 15:20

We need these guys in Afghanistan & Iraq

Author:montana guy Comment Left:08/26/2010 20:38

Check out the web site    www.feralswinemap.org

Author:Hog Slayer 007 Comment Left:10/10/2010 08:26

To all you "bleeding hearts" out there crying and moaning about "CLEAN KILLS" and "WASTING MEAT" , you obviously haven't seen the damage these stinking pieces of crap have done to the crops and land of these farmers ! Yes if there was an easy way to find them and get the meat to a process plant , that would be ideal , but we don't live in a IDEAL world sometimes ! Hogs are costing ALL OF US in the long run because it drives the price up on produce when crops are damaged . A destructive animal down is a plus no matter what you think about it being cruel . The Buzzards need to eat too crybabies !!! For the guy who asked about optics , open sights are the ONLY way to shoot accurately from a moving aircraft at a moving target this small without a controlled projectile after it leaves the muzzle . Military rounds have computers taking it to the target but this is small arms ammunition here . I use .223 / .308 / and 7.62x39 ( my personal choice when I have one of my AK's  with me ) to shoot Hogs . .300 Win. Mag on longer kills . Our Govt. isn't doing squat to help these farmers control the Hog population nor feed the hungry in America because they are too busy sending American money to help feed the hungry in other countries ! Don't blame Texas boys for trying to get a handle on Hogs . And for the record , wild hog meat is pretty much good for sausage unless you can get them around 80 pounds or so and it tastes great when cooked and seasoned properly if you soak the blood out of it .

Author:txhoghunter40 Comment Left:10/12/2010 21:48

these methods of hunting the hogs is fine.  but i just got back from my deerlease and found out that one week before bow season they used helicopters to hunt hogs on the large ranch next to me and now all of the deer have moved or went nocturnal.  you guys that think this is a cool way to hunt them i saqy send the helicopter your way so i can hunt deer that i pay thousands of dollars a year to hunt but now thier scared to death because of the low flying copter and guns blazing.  so think about that if you have a deer lease that has hogs on it ,  if this is the route they are taking plaese dont do this crap around deer and turkey season. 

Author:RedLeg Comment Left:11/16/2010 15:47

BUBBA, or Capt Kent... from your limited perspective this does look like a waste, but you need to understand that feral pigs cause an estimated $60 million in crop damage and another $100 million in property damage.  Problem is there are TOO many of them.  Several people volunteer to go take a hog or two, but this does not touch the 2 million feral hogs in the state of Texas, which is growing exponentionally.  Maybe one day we can get to a point where we are hunting pigs for sport, but for the immediate future its wholsale slaughter in an attempt to get the population under control. 

Cheers

Regleg

Author:Chick Comment Left:11/26/2010 07:52

You have to see the damage these hogs can do, to understand what is going on. Not only do they eat crops, but they damage the land, and make it harm on combines and other equipment. Plus, they harm the native wildlife, not only by killing and eating young and eggs, but by competing and eating available food sources. Area farmers are scared of people hunting on their property, that they do not know, but, they are foolish for not trying to manage a hunting operation, to augment thier income, and off set some of their losses. And for those of you that do not know it, 99.9% of all boars, of this size, are so rank that they are not good table fare. Boars under 80#, are generally ok, and all sows are good.

Author:VertexHelicopters Comment Left:05/10/2011 18:55

Helicopter Hog Hunting in Texas Made Safer with Industry Leading Aerial Safety Course

Texas is home to a serious feral hog problem; nearly 3.4 million at the last count ranking as the largest feral hog population in the nation. Feral hogs wreak havoc and cause extensive damage to property, livestock, crops and pastures across the state. The Texas Agri-Life Extension Service estimates that statewide annual economic damage caused by feral hogs is near $400 million and expected to worsen in the years ahead.

In an effort to help control this ever increasing population of feral hogs, the State of Texas allows certain helicopter operators to provide aerial hunting of feral hogs under permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Current laws allow for private landowners to contract for a helicopter service to perform this aerial hunting service, but the landowner, or any other hunter they may designate, is not allowed to shoot the hogs from the aircraft.

“There are about 170 permits that have been issued to companies in Texas who are authorized to provide aerial hog eradication” states Mike Morgan, President of Houston-based Vertex Helicopters “Unfortunately, many landowners find that the rates for hiring a helicopter are too costly, so they try to hunt the hogs on their own from the ground, which is slow and cumbersome, and honestly doesn’t even make a dent in the population.”

The State of Texas is voting on a bill that will allow for a change in the laws regarding the hunting of feral hogs from a helicopter which will authorize the land owner, or the land owner’s “agent” (ie, private hunters) to actually hunt from the helicopter.  This will essentially allow the landowner to “sell the hunter seat”, making it much more affordable to pay for the helicopter services.

“We fully support this Bill, but we see a number of potential problems arising when it passes. Our helicopters are flown by highly trained pilots, and the gunners are trained specifically to perform aerial hunting from a helicopter.  This isn’t something that the average hunter is trained to do.” states Morgan. “Hunting from a helicopter requires strict coordination with the pilot, and also requires many different skill sets that are vastly different than normal hunting techniques. We're not exactly shooting from a pickup truck. Shooting from a helicopter isn’t as easy as people think.”

Vertex has developed an Aerial Hunter Safety Course that is specific to hunters who would be hiring a helicopter service to hunt hogs. "This isn’t your normal ‘Hunting Class’, either." continues Morgan, "This is an intensive safety course that will prepare the hunter to be able to know everything that they need to know about shooting from a helicopter, what do to in case of an emergency, and even helps them to understand the liability implications of worst case scenarios.”

"What happens if they accidentally shoot a rotor blade? What happens if they drop a magazine and it goes through the tail rotor?  Things like this can destroy a helicopter.  If it happens, who is liable?  Our course gives the hunter detailed guidance on everything from the type of helicopter to contract, the best choice of weapon, how to shoot effectively, how to communicate with the pilot, and state laws governing hunting from a helicopter. The most important part of our training course is the hands-on actual firing from the helicopter at ground targets while the helicopter is moving.”

“We look forward to seeing this bill pass, but we feel strongly that there need to be very strict safety parameters put in place.  Many of these aircraft cost in excess of $300,000, so if a hunter isn’t operating safely, or accidentally causes damage to a helicopter or injures someone then it’s all over the news with negative publicity. Our goal is to help prevent these problems and to make helicopter hunting a safe venture.”

Vertex Helicopters offers their Aerial Hunting Safety Course at least one weekend per month at a cost of $350 per attendee. The course is an all-day course with 4 hours of classroom instruction in the morning and hands-on training in the helicopter on an active range during the afternoon.  Each class is limited to 12 people to keep the instruction more concentrated, resulting in more interaction and additional time for hands-on training. Depending on the location, VERTEX Helicopters will travel with one of the aircraft to perform the classes for larger groups at remote locations when scheduling allows.

VERTEX Helicopters is a full service helicopter company  located at 8888 W. Monroe Rd at Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas.  They can be reached at (281) 616-5095 or you can visit their website at http://www.vertexhelicopters.com or email them directly at info@vertexhelicopters.com.

Author:Cracker Comment Left:08/07/2011 20:40

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms....

Author:jaylew Comment Left:11/13/2011 23:01

Although I don't think any of the posters on here are PETA types...the fact is that whether a person is a vegan, a meat eater or some version of both...these feral swine are not the cuddly little piggies you see in the movies. The boar have tusks that can lay you wide open....they are omnivores which means they will eat ANYTHING including ground nesting birds and their eggs. They will even eat hog litters of swine from outside their own little herds. They stink..they are nasty...they breed like rats and yes it is important to realize that the men and women who own and work their own farms....7 days a week...are not doing that work to feed feral swine. They are trying to earn a living and in so doing are feeding human vegans and meat eaters all over this country and the world. If a few thousand hog carcasess are left over..or some hogs suffer from a non-kill shot....Oh well. So is the life of a feral swine. If these were democrat gay mexican tranvestites the federal government would be trying to gather them all up in limosines and get them fattened up for future congressional elections...mostly democrat seats but a few would make it to the republican primaries in any case.....but alas they are lowly feral swine...and they could not be eradicated quickly enough for me. Oink.

Author:txhoghunter003 Comment Left:12/25/2011 20:58

The control of these animals is essential, but the waste of the meal is appalling! Yes I know the cayotes will have a field day, but much of this meat can go to providing for the poor and underserved of most counties in TX. Consider gathering some of the dead animals, working with a local food bank, and provide them "harvested" yes "harvested" meats. Don't just do the fun part, killing and not want to do the right thing, i.e. providing a prepared resourse for the poor. I've hunted since I was 4, and even though we did not grow up poor, we always used the meat from our kill for the benefit of others or our animals.  It's the right thing to do!

Thanks and happy hunting and GIVING!

Author:421pilot2012 Comment Left:06/03/2012 05:33

No one is addresing the economic blow-back on this issue.  Just think for a second,  today the price of Swine on the open market is trading at about $.79 per pound.   If all of that feral swine meat were to suddenly flood the open market for free, the price would drop through the floor!  What would that do the Pig farmers???  It would destroy them.  Perhaps, HB 836 was an attempt by Texas legislature to develop a way to control the feral pig population with out destorying the Pig market at the same time.  A lot of folks over the years of posting in the blog have referenced the Idea of giving the meat to those in need.  I believe that this would be a good cause to pursue.  However,  with over 2 million feral pigs in texas alone,  even "average Joe" will be trying to get his feral bacon!!  Again,  that would destroy the pig market by driving down the current market value of non-feral pig.  Imagin if the market price of swine dropped from .79 cent a pound down to .19 cents a pound!  If you are a pig farmer when that happens, it's OVER!!!!  Your business would be in the tank.   So, it makes sense to just call this whole thing an eradication and not a harvest.  Let the hunters harvest and donate as they please.  Leave the eradication to the boys with the helo!!   Just a thought!