Choppers for Wild Boar Hunting
Feral hogs across the country have over the past few years become big news. This is because these invasive aliens have exploded in population and are on the verge of crashing the eco-system in some areas. With this threat growing at such a rapid pace, they have called in the cavalry in Texas. The air cavalry.
Centuries ago, European colonists brought over from the Old World stocks of animals. These included of course chickens, cows, horses, and pigs. Some of these pigs escaped captivity and quickly became feral. Over the past several hundred years, these feral pigs, intermingled with Russian boars that escaped from hunting preserves, have taken over their environment.
They are shown to carry as many as 30 diseases, have caused more than $1.5-billion (with a B) in crop and property damage per year, and are taking their toll on native species. According to information in a study done by Texas A&M University found that the number of feral pigs is likely to triple in five years in the state of Texas if serious efforts are not made to reduce feral-pig populations.
Texas, along with many other states that have wild pig problems, has few limits on how these creatures are taken. Unlike most game that has to be harvested in rigid seasons and are subject to limits, quite often wild boars, Javelina and the like can be taken year-round by almost any means short of nuclear warheads. One of the most popular means of doing this is by helicopter
(Cedar Ridge Aviation photo)
The concept is simple, take a pilot in a light utility helicopter, put a shooter in as a passenger, and head out to a wild hog area that is clear and open to hunting. The armament of choice can be almost any firearm capable of taking down a hog (.223 and above) with emphasis on auto-loaders. The helicopter can come in low and slow, just hovering over a running group of wild hogs, allowing the shooter to take their shots from above.
(To paraphrase a movie quote, "Any piggy who runs is a Javalina; any piggy who stands still is a well-disciplined Javalina...")
Book your own trip
There are several outfitters in the business across the country. As an example, Cedar Ridge Aviation has been conducting overflights of a 300,000-acre hunting lease with small Robinson R22/R44 helicopters for several years. On their website, they say that "70% of feral hogs must be culled in order to stabilize the population. Even though we have taken nearly 17,000 hogs in the last four years (!), more must be done. 70% harvested of the state's >2 million hog population? You do the math. Now it's your turn to book a seat helping us rid the hard working farmers and ranchers of the Lone Star State of this overwhelming vermin."
(Cedar Ridge Aviation photo)
For about $2200 per person, you get an overnight stay along with a 2-hour flight. They are providing Black Rain Ordinance AR15s with .223 Softpoints in a 50 round XProducts Drum Mag in the all-inclusive package.
Other hog-chopper outfits include BCB Outfitters, Lone Star Ranch Hunts, and Heli Hunter. Each will provide you with your very own Texas "Death from Above" experience.
Be careful though, as many of these small helicopters fly fast and close to the ground. Check your potential outfitter's safety record and be sure to use all safety equipment issued including aviation grade earmuffs, safety goggles, harnesses, and gloves. No less of a legend than gunwriter and trainer Massad Ayoob found himself injured in a helicopter crash in January of this year while hunting for wild hogs via chopper.
If it can happen to Mas, it can happen to anyone.