Taking aim at feral hogs... from the sky - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Taking aim at feral hogs... from the sky

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Skyhunters Outfitters takes hunters aloft to eradicate feral hogs. (KTEN) Skyhunters Outfitters takes hunters aloft to eradicate feral hogs. (KTEN)
Feral hogs caught by a trail camera on land in northern Denton County, Texas. (KTEN) Feral hogs caught by a trail camera on land in northern Denton County, Texas. (KTEN)

HONEY GROVE, Texas -- In the last decade, the wild boar population has exploded across Texoma. Some landowners say they've spotted up to 75 in a sounder of swine.

"They're a nuisance, and there needs to be something done for sure," said Honey Grove wheat and corn farmer Jesse Shipman. "There's nothing more aggravating than waking up and seeing 50 acres gone overnight."

The boars leave behind gaping holes almost three feet deep, and with farmers trying to plant wheat and corn for the spring, they can't afford the time or money to replant.

"It's not like I have anything else to do around here," Shipman said. "Once I got out and put all that time in there and do it, and then have to do it again, it messes everything up for the whole year."

Meet Chris Hitt, the owner of Skyhunter Outfitters. He uses a helicopter in his arsenal to help eradicate feral hogs for landowners.

"They said, 'Come out here, bring your helicopter, bring your guns, we need some heavy firepower,'" he said.

Hunters come from all over the world for Hitt to take them up and shoot boars in approved areas at zero cost to the property owner.

"I love it," Shipman said. "It's no cost to the farmer, and they don't get it 100 percent, but anything is better than nothing."

Hitt concedes that the sharpshooters he takes aloft can't eradicate all the unwanted swine, but with each flight, these Skyhunters are helping farmers and ranchers to cope.

"I'm really grateful they have allowed me to come out here and set up a business," Hitt said. "They are like second family to me out here."

Skyhunters Outfitters is looking for more land to hunt on. If you are a farmer in need of their services, visit the company's website.

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