Helihogging Takes Off in Texas

Aviation International News » July 2012
July 5, 2012, 3:55 AM

Texas ranchers are making a few extra dollars while ridding their property of destructive feral hogs. A new Texas law allows them to sell permits to sportsmen who pay $300 an hour and up to fly and shoot. More than 1,700 “Aerial Wildlife Management Permits” have been issued since the law passed last September.

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Mike Morgan - VERTEX Tactical Aviation
on July 6, 2012 - 12:46am

This is another example of how media outlets aren't checking their facts...

Tex's landowners, in NO WAY, are being allowed to "sell permits" for any type of HeliHogging operations. The state of Texas has allowed Helicopter operators, who are acting a "sub agents" to allow private hunters to purchase the rights to participate as "gunners" and to occupy the gunners seat in ongoing aerial hog depredation hunts. While certain landowners may now sell the "seat" to private hunters for an aircraft they may have "contracted", they are in no way selling "permits" to do helicopter hog hunting. Permits are issued to the helicopter operators from the state of Texas (TPWD), and the individual operators can then, acting as an authorized "land owner appointee" authorize individual private hunters, with permission of the primary landowner, to act as a sub agent. Anything else would be considered "sport hunting" and this is NOT a "sport hunt"!! This is an ongoing aerial depredation program, and this has allowed private hunters to be able to subsidize a huge portion of the costs of this program, instead of landowners having to bear the full brunt of the costs. You can find out more about how this program really works at our website at http://www.helicopterhuntingsafety.com or you can find out more "accurate" information by calling us at 281-888-9620.

This same story has been pushed out by so many different media outlets, none of whom have checked any of their facts.

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David Lombardo
on July 8, 2012 - 8:19am

Mike Morgan has his story straight and particularly when it comes to the press and hunting issues. Feral hogs cause millions of dollars in damage to farms and ranches all over the U.S. In this, one of the more intelligent approaches to predator control, the government is mitigating what would be a major expense by contracting out the culling through a third party who can then sell the right to hunters.

It's a rare form of someone in government actually doing something that's a win-win for everyone: Landowners get assistance in the control of a particularly nasty and destructive predator, government spends very little in providing the service, 3rd party operators get otherwise unanticipated business and hunters get the opportunity to participate in a structured hunting program.

Here in Illinois we have a horrendous deer problem. The constant loss of habitat to subdivision construction has put intense pressure on the deer population which increases disease within the population which results in the slow death of many of the herd. The other probelm with too many deer per acre is they cause millions of dollars in crop and home garden damage and numerous deer v. car related deaths annually.

Illinois came up with a similar concept to sell the rights to harvest more deer than the normal hunting season quota. A number of my instructors and students in my shooting school applied to be qualified for the program. These are expert rifle marksmen who would have been required to prove their skills to qualify.

The plan called for culling the herd with minimal economic impact to the government by providing select hunters with another opportunity to do what they love for a fee thus making it an income source for the state.

The press, fueled as always by the anti-hunting contingent, screamed bloody murder and the program was cancelled. They would prefer that deer suffer lingering illness, farmers suffer crop damage, and people die on the highway in deer-related accidents than allow hunters to go afield and enjoy their sport. while generating revenue and providing a service. In my book it's Illinois 0; Texas 1: Press 0.

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