Rick Perry Amps Up Aerial Hunting of Destructive Wild Hogs


Now add a helicopter to the mix. Photo: miatamaniac92 under a Creative Commons license.

Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law a bill legalizing the hunting of feral wild hogs from helicopters. The arguments for the law are simple: the state's 2 million hogs are over-populating and cause $400 million in damage to crops annually, and it's a lot easier to hunt them down from the air. The hogs can weigh up to 400 pounds and run at 35 mph, advantages wiped out by an automatic rifle and a low-flying helicopter.While the 1972 Federal Airborne Hunting Act made aerial hunting illegal, Texas has been issuing permits through a loophole that allows it for the protection of "land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops" for more than ten years.

The new law makes it legal for those holding permits (usually helicopter companies) to accept fees from individuals joining in the hunt. So now anyone who pays the fee and takes a helicopter safety class can join in on the fun.

Now, Rick Perry isn't shooting endangered wolves; the wild hog population is too large and causes economic damage. But it's an especially Texan way to take on the problem- Chinese villagers faced with invasive boars are using vuvuzelas to annoy the animals away.

Called the "Pork Chopper" bill, the new legislation also makes noodling legal.

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More surprising ways to deal with invasive species:
GPS-Bearing Invasive Trout Are Used as Moles to Find, Destroy Their Own Eggs
Eating Aliens: Are Invasive Species Ethical Food?
In the Fight Against Invasive Lionfish, Florida Sponsors Fishing Derbies

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