Property Owners May Be Able to Shoot Feral Hogs From Helicopter - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Property Owners May Be Able to Shoot Feral Hogs From Helicopter

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GRAYSON COUNTY--It's a farmer's nightmare--losing crops to feral hogs as soon as seeds are planted. A Texas bill may allow property owners to shoot the animal from a helicopter.

Howe farmer Scott Renfro lost 5 acres of crops to feral hogs this year, but that doesn't compare to the more than 20 acres of crops he lost during a previous planting season.

"It's very disappointing for the hard work you put into it to go out there and get your field ready to plant," Renfro said.

Monday, the Texas House approved a preliminary bill that would allow helicopter pilots to provide rides to people who want to shoot wild hogs on their property. It has yet to make it to the State Senate.

"They know when the corn goes in--maybe it's like a dinner bell when they hear the planters go in and the next night they may go in there and they may tear up 30 acres of crops," Chuck Jones said, Grayson County Agriculture extension agent.

Currently, most farmers hire trappers or canine services to get rid of the pest. Some shoot the animals themselves.

"If they're depredating, land owners or their agents or lessee can hunt them without a license if they're being destructive," Dale Moses said, Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden. "If you're hunting them recreationally, you have to have a hunting license."

Moses said that state and federal law currently prohibit recreational hunting from an aircraft. Renfro still wants to see how exactly the potential law would work.

"I think it's a good thing to do if they hopefully have the program right where it has the right people and the right circumstances to do it," Renfro said.

If lawmakers approve, farmers may have another option to exterminate pests on their land.

Jen French, KTEN News