Texas Approves Aerial Hunting of Pigs and Coyotes


Texas Governor Rick Perry just signed a new law, referred to as the “pork chopper bill,” that now makes aerial hunting of feral pigs and coyotes legal as of September 1.

While Texas laws have previously allowed for aerial hunting, (last year, hunters holding land owner’s authorization (LOA) permits killed 14,811 pigs from the air), the new change will allow any hunter with a license to lease hunting rights from landowners and rent seats on helicopters and act as gunner. The law was passed in an effort to deal with the state’s estimated two million feral hogs that are causing millions of dollars of damage to property, agriculture and wildlife, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Vertex Helicopters, based in Houston, will offer its services and require hunters to take a safety class costing $350, in addition to charging $450 an hour with a minimum of three hours in the air where hunters can blast away with semiautomatic rifles and kill as many pigs as they want and/or can.

Opponents of the new law argue that aerial hunting is an inhumane means of trying to control populations of wild pigs, as pigs are more likely to be simply wounded. Other problems with managing numbers also arise when considering their population growth and spread, as hunters themselves have been contributing to their reach by trapping, transporting and releasing them to create new hunting populations.

“Most important, we must deal with the hunters who are helping pigs spread. Laws on the transportation and release of hogs should be toughened so that the penalties reflect the damage done. A new North Carolina law, to go into effect Oct. 1, moves in the right direction by setting the penalty for unapproved transport at up to $5,000 per hog,” wrote Mark Essig in an opinion piece in the New York Times. Similarly, New York is currently considering a ban on canned hunts in an effort to prevent wild pig populations from exploding.

Meanwhile, Texans are gearing up for the three-month “Get the Hogs Outta Texas” competition, where the top five hog-killing counties win a total of $60,000 in grant money.

Photo credit: Gerard Eviston via flickr


Elise Swansborough

Why am I not surprised to find Rick Perry's name attached to this?!
Introduced species that go feral can become problematic, look at Australia and cane toads.
But it's not the animals fault for following its own nature.
There are better and more humane ways to deal with the this instead of turning it into a blood frenzied big fun game.
Hunting from the air is not hunting; it is slaughter.

Jeaneen Andretta
Past Member 3 years ago

Only mankind could think of killing innocent coyotes and pigs from the air. How did we ever give ourselves the name kind, man yes, kind no, I hope there are some good kind people in Texas, but it seems harder and harder to believe.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad3 years ago

I think that since everything in Texas is supposedly big...I think they are due for a major big arse kicking to do this...In reality, only small minded so called men see it fit to be chicken poop and shoot an animal from the air...Maybe, just maybe we may hear of some of those helicopters having some unexpected landings that don't fare so well!!!

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Beth K.
.4 years ago

Pego, you do realize that if they didn't shoot the wolves and the coyotes, they would eat the pigs?

Nick Lesseos
Nick Lesseos4 years ago


Past Member
Past Member 4 years ago

The petition is being run with a double meaning.
Coyote act as scavengers, clearing away other dead animals.
I am against the aerial hunting of wolves, coyote, deer, bison and most of Gods animals.
Hike your lazy ass out to a range and do your hunting on foot.

Having made that position clear, I strongly approve of aerial pig shooting.
IT'S A PIG. You can't eat it. It's an abomination and a foul meat.
It serves little purpose other than to stink up breakfast establishments.
And yes there are pilot and fuel fees, but $450 an hour is too steep for me.

Glenn Blackwell......Jackson, Mississippi

Penny L.
Penny L.4 years ago


Engele van Zyl
Engele van Zyl4 years ago

Why not rather use the $60,000 to start up a sanctuary or reservation for these animals instead of just killing them off for sport.