Feral hogs are quite possibly the most destructive invasive species in North America today. Since being introduced into the continent by Spanish explorers, wild hogs have gone on to thrive in the warmer portions of the United States.
Their destructive nature costs farmers millions of dollars each year in damage to crops and property. The state of Texas decided to take a drastically new approach to this problem in 2011. Aerial depredation, or hunting from helicopters, was introduced and has since proven to be the most effective means of controlling wild hogs and the damage they cause.
The business of helicopter hog hunting has become a win for everyone in Texas—except the hogs, of course.
With more and more helicopter hog hunting guides opening in Texas, there is more opportunity than ever for people to experience this awesome new form of hunting. Many people may assume that the cost is simply too high, or that helicopter hog hunting is too dangerous, but we have spoken to the experts and compiled a list of three reasons why every hunter should add helicopter hog hunting to their bucket list.
Join the Fight Against Wild Hogs
Ask any farmer in Texas if it’s tough to keep wild hogs off your property and they will unanimously agree that there is a war raging between hogs and farmers. Right now, the hogs are winning, but helicopter hog hunting is helping these agriculturalists tip the scales in their favor and control the exploding populations of wild hogs.
“For every hog you shoot, you’re helping a farmer save a portion of his crops,” says Andy Anderson, owner of Executive Outdoor Adventures. “By doing that, you’re helping someone get food that otherwise would have been eaten by hogs. This affects the cost of food and lots of other factors.”
Andy says that helicopter hog hunting actually helps out everyone in the local communities in this way.
“These farmers are really fighting a war on hogs and the only thing that lets them take their land back is helicopter hog hunting because it is much more effective than any other form of population control,” says Andy.
The Ultimate Test Of Marksmanship
For anyone seeking to test their marksmanship skills to the fullest, helicopter hog hunting is just that. According to Jacey Shack? Owner of S2 Helicopter Services, shooting stationary targets from a helicopter is extremely difficult, but shooting a moving hog really tests his clients’ coordination and ability to properly lead their targets.
“Helicopter hog hunting is ideal and superb for anyone who likes guns and for anyone who’s a hunter or shooter,” says Jacey. “It is perfect for adrenaline junkies or thrill seekers as well because you’re hanging out of a moving helicopter. It’s the most elite thing you can do as a hunter and shooter in terms of testing your accuracy.”
S2 Helicopter Services also accommodates clients who want to test their marksmanship skills, yet don’t want to kill hogs.
“We have a helicopter target range that we use to train our clients or offer a target shooting run for those who don’t want to take part in helicopter hog hunting,” says Jacey. “if you’re just looking to shoot some stuff from the air, we have the perfect set up.”
Jacey, who is a military veteran, says that helicopter hog hunting is the ultimate test of marksmanship.
No Other Experience Like Helicopter Hog Hunting
The biggest reason you should add helicopter hog hunting to your bucket list is there’s simply nothing else like it. For anyone who has experienced helicopter hog hunting, they will attest to the adrenaline factor of screaming through the air, chasing sounder groups of hogs across the Texas, and blasting off plenty of shots from a semi-automatic rifle.
“Most people never have the option to shoot from an aerial platform, much less a moving helicopter,” says Corey Allen, owner of Hogbirds. “Just flying in a helicopter hanging out the side is exciting enough for most people, but when you throw in the fact that you’re taking shots on dozens of hogs and getting a birdseye’s view of the Texas countryside, there’s nothing else like it.”
Hogbirds uses all MD helicopters, which is what is used by most military pilots. Helicopter hog hunting is as close as a civilian will ever get to a militaristic experience of shooting targets from a moving chopper.
“We fly all MD helicopters, which are designed for having people shooting from the sides,” says Corey. “A lot of other guides use regular passenger helicopters that aren’t meant for people to be shooting from. That’s what makes out helicopter hog hunting experience one of the best you’ll find. It’s very close to experiencing what it’s like to be a gunner in a military aircraft during combat operations. Most people love that part of helicopter hog hunting.”
The Hogbirds fleet is quite impressive and actually includes a Vietnam era Warbird helicopter that Corey and his team have restored and use on hunts.
“A lot of people like to fly in the Warbird since it saw combat in Vietnam,” says Corey. “There are eight bullet holes that we patched in the tail boom and it flies just like it did back when it was used in wartime. I mean, where else are you going to get the opportunity to fire a weapon out of an aircraft like that except helicopter hog hunting?”
There are plenty of other reasons we could think of to encourage someone to experience helicopter hog hunting. For more information on the guides listed in this article, visit our helicopter hog hunting guides page here.