Hunting Wild Feral Hogs by Hot Air Balloons – The Newest “Sport”?

What kind of adventurous hunts have you been on? Have you ever hunted an animal from helicopter before? How about a hot air balloon?

If you haven’t … then you might finally have an opportunity! In Texas, lawmakers have approved a bill, House Bill 335, for hunting wild boars and coyotes from hot air balloons as reported by the Associated Press. However, it still requires a license to hunt feral hogs and coyotes from a hot air balloon. The Bill passed the Senate on Wednesday May 24th, but it now has to be approved by the Governor, Greg Abbott in the next coming weeks.

Why Would They Approve This?

Feral hog hunting in many places isn’t just sport, but also a necessity because they can damage farmland and crops because of their size and sharp tusks. There is a growing number of wild hogs in Texas (estimated at two million), and this results in over fifty million dollars of damage annually. They are becoming fearless as well as many don’t even mind the sound of barking dogs anymore, and will still approach and come on to a homeowners property, potentially destroying it.

What you might not know is that feral hogs breed at an incredibly high rate, and don’t even have any natural predators (well, maybe besides for us). It’s resulted in an increase of wild hog population, which is now a major problem in Texas, and quickly spreading all across the state. They aren’t just nuisances because they’ll tear up the roots of pastures which ruins the land, sometimes they tear up fences so that livestock can escape. Sometimes they’ll even eat baby livestock. If not that, maybe you’ll find a wild hog digging up cables, or running across the street causing car-accidents. So, it is no surprise that lawmakers want to do something about it.

Why Hot Air Balloons?

Currently feral hogs are allowed to be hunted from helicopters. While that may seem unconventional, the downside is that it is expensive, and often not even successful because it is so loud that it frightens the boar away.

Hot air balloons are interesting because they are a quieter alternative. It makes sense. On a hot air balloon, you have a more stable and calm platform to shoot from, as opposed to a noisy and vibrating helicopter. There is less movement in a hot air balloon than in a helicopter, so you can also cover more ground.

Here’s What You Need to Know

This is unprecedented – atleast I’m certainly not aware of any type of hunting that is currently done by hot air balloons. Because of their nature, and classification of feral hogs, Texas allows for year round hog hunting. Due to their abundance and tendency to cause damage, hunting wild hogs are a special case.

This could very much become a reality over the next few months. It’s a follow-up measure to a previous plan from Texas which was to poison wild boar with bait. So, if you’re interested in calmly floating in the air while hunting feral hog, you might just have that opportunity.

I would absolutely consider this … the calm alternative to the numerous other ways that you can hunt boar. In a previous article, I took a look at the best hunting hog knives, and how to hunt wild boar up-close. If you are interested in hog hunting it is worth a read.

But otherwise, it certainly remains to be seen if there will be any political reporkcussions as a result of this.

I know that I’ll be keeping my eyes on the Governor’s decision. It would make for  a truly unique hunt.

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