Skip to comments.Feral hogs may face aerial attack at Balcones Canyonlands refuge [TX]
Posted on 01/25/2011 10:26:29 PM PST by smokingfrog
Population control efforts are falling short; officials mull using helicopters.
Hoping to combat the destructive impact of feral hogs on the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge northwest of Austin, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering culling the hogs by shooting them from a helicopter.
For years the refuge staff has tried to keep hog populations down by trapping them or killing them in one of several late autumn hunts but to little avail. Rooting aggressively for food and willing to wallow in anything that looks like a comforting depression of mud, the hogs have caused widespread damage to pastures, according to refuge manager Deborah Holle .
The refuge, formed in 1992 to protect habitat for two endangered songbirds, comprises about 23,000 acres in Burnet, Travis and Williamson counties. There is no evidence that the hogs disrupt the life of the songbirds, but they do wreak havoc on other wildlife in the refuge, Holle said, outcompeting them for food and destroying their habitat.
Under the Feral Hog Management Plan, approved in 2001, hunters can shoot the animals during the refuge's "Big Game Hunt." The federal agency is considering amending the plan to allow for aerial shooting, which it calls a "successful and accepted means of hog control" in a news release. "Aerial shooting can be a cost-effective method for reducing the number of feral hogs occurring in high densities."
(Excerpt) Read more at statesman.com ...
Sounds like fun, but probably not a good idea in the long run.
Break out the predator drones!
I'm ready. Let's go make some spareribs!
Well .. that was something ... thought the headline read Federal Hogs.
Any way we can scoop ‘em up and carpet-bomb them over the Middle East ?
This problem would be over if TX offered to pay me to get the job done...
I'll bring the grill.
I believe it.
Turn loose the Texas Cowboy Shoot crew out there and I believe we can take care of the problem for them.
Time to load up the AK and get down to TX before they are all gone.
It's under the Fed's control, not TX..maybe they can pay. I actually think they should let TX handle this, then the state should sell raffle tickets to folks who wanna shoot hogs from a helicopter..I also like the idea of predator drones..Gamers could buy tickets to that raffle.
If those gubmint workers can only manage to trap 40 hogs a year, they’re doin’ somethin’ wrong.
I just need a 5 man crew with automatic rifles, air drops for ammo, food & water.
Not only that, they release them after sterilization.
Don’t need helecopters. Just let people shoot ‘em at night with spotlights.
What is the deal with aerial shooting? It that focus-grouped to cause commies to wet their panties, or something? What is the big deal with shooting some non-native livestock that are out of control? I wish they would just allow more hog hunting seasons. That would probably do it. And offer a reward for boar’s teeth. Cut the number of boars that can service the herd.
Somebody has been watching too many Hollywood movies...
or they they can charge people some big bucks for an aerial hunting permit?
Not too familiar with that terrain — is it easier than shooting from horseback?
Nueces Helicopter Pig Hunt (no music)
This feral hog eradication program is funded by a group of farmers who are taking progressive action to reduce the devastation done to their crops by these animals. Each and every feral hog is estimated to cause $1400 in crop damage during its lifetime.
Never been in that particular area, but I've been all around it. My impression is the refuge would be in pretty broken country -- lots of small canyons, gulches and gullies.
I have been wanting to go hog hunting in Texas, but the land owners want hundreds of dollars to let me shoot them. As long as land owners make money from the hunts, there will ALWAYS be a hog problem.
You can shoot them from helicopters in the public lands, but the private lands surrounding the park are safe breeding havens.
A few hundred buffalo hunters eliminated millions of buffalo. Its a problem with a solution. Pass a law that defines a wild hog as “any hog not fenced in” and declare open season.
gimme my baby back baby back baby back.....
Don't exactly know what timing has to do with it. I hunt and kill feral hogs year 'round on my Texas lease about 200 miles north of this spot. In Texas, there is no "season" nor limit to feral hogs. All feral hog hunting is controlled (or should I say uncontrolled) by the state, not the Feds.
My last hog (about 2 weeks ago) was 165 lbs, field dressed. No, it doesn't taste like chicken!
That’s just down the road from LaRue. Bet they would help solve that problem.
A 243 used to ride beside me when out on the ranch, perfect medicine for the occasional coyote. Now that the feral hog’s have showed up the 243 sits at the house and a Panther Arm’s LR 308 rides shotgun. I want to get as many of them as I can as fast as I can. I’ve killed 17 since the first of the year and I’m not making a dent in them. they flew the ranch to the east of us and got over 100 the first month. Only way they’re going to fly this ranch is if I’m the door gunner.
Why were the pilot and shooter wearing camo?
So the hog’s wouldn’t see them silly!
Federal hogs=feral hogs.
Bout the same.
Both reproduce at an alarming rate and do lots of damage.
Feral sows can produce 3-4 litters/year.
But on the good side, feral piglets are very tasty and tender. Just make sure to kill the sow first. They can be particularly nasty.
Feral hog hunting time!
Actually, no it won't. I talked to a DFW employee who is intimate with the pig problem here, and he made the comment that statistically it is no longer possible to eradicate feral pigs in Texas; the goal now is to simply keep the numbers down. We are losing that battle also.
People think all Texans are driving around the country looking for stuff to shoot, and that is not the case. Many of us are stuck in cubicles.
Question: is it super gamey tasting, and can that gamey-ness be mitigated?
I ask because I am gearing up for my first-ever pig hunt, down in Victoria. Bloomington, actually. I am assuming I will turn all the usable meat into sausage so as to hide the funky flavor.
Look, I don't think that. I want to come down and help y'all shoot 'em. And I have no problems with aerial shooting, as long as the meat is saved.
But thanks for the inside info.
Sadly, the meat IS left to rot.
I met a guy a while back who liked to go on helicopter shoots, with the landowner's blessing. He used a DPMS .308, and said that the harness/seatbelt they used allowed him to hang almost entirely outside the helo as the pilot circled. He claimed to have killed seventy pigs in one day. I asked what he did with all the pigs, and he said "we leave them there to rot".
That seems counter intuitive, as the remaining pigs will gladly eat their dead friends. It simply creates another food source for the remaining pigs.
Thus, it seems like a poor idea to me. Not the helo aspect, but the leaving of the carcasses.
Open season on them here in Mississippi, you can hunt them with dogs, put out bait, catch them in a pen. Here you are allowed to do almost anything to get rid of them, they breed like cock roaches.
It may be that the hunter problem is a bigger problem for land owners than the hogs. Otherwise the price would come down.
My cousin hunts prairie dogs in SE CO, and there the land owners welcome him, give him the access he wants, all for the asking.
Gestation is 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days. Add in a few weeks to nurse the baby pigs and you're at 5 months before she will breed again.
I'm quite sure they said that about the buffalo too.
Never trust the judgement of a government employee, as the power of the free market is unknown to him.
I think my tagline fits here too.
But the buffalo don't breed like rabbits, and back then there was an economic incentive to kill buffalo. With pigs, not so much.
""...there was an economic incentive for hunters to kill buffalo. ..."
I know landowners have a big incentive to eradicate pigs, but hunters, less so.
Yes, the economic incentive (buffalo hides) was nearly everything in the hunts, but today hunters are looking for the sport, and are willing to spend a lot of money to achieve a good hunt.
Packaged, presented, and delivered properly, I’ll bet a trip to hunt wild pigs could become a hunters dream every year.
The primary obstacle, I’m sure, is some bored government employee sitting behind a desk somewhere. He needs to be found.
Everything is BIGGER in Texas!
I noticed that.
There was also a political incentive. Without buffalo to provide meat and fur, the Indians could not live in the area. If you wanted to get rid of the Indians, you got rid of the buffalo.
Bury all dead hogs near muzzies with a plaq saying ‘’ Here lies Aronald, our family pet of many years, may he rest in peace.’’
I’ve heard that they are reproducing at a rate that will eventually outnumber the wildlife in the US.
Turn a negative into a positive. Hunt them down in each state, process them and feed them to the prison populations. Will save the federal and state governments billions of dollars.
Sows do not have any “gamey” smell or taste, but boars can ruin a good mess of sausage.
Is this a blood libel against feral hogs?