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Old April 18, 2013, 04:10 PM   #69
eskinny
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2013
Posts: 9
I started helicopter hog shooting this year, we went twice in central Texas just before the leaves came back on the trees. We flew on a good friends place that is approx 10,000 acres, on the initial trip we had Landowner permits for his place and 2 others making up nearly 15,000 acres total. By the time we got ready for the second flight we had 7 more neighbors signed up and a little over 30,000 contiguous acres.
To the point of economic feasibility, on the 10,000 acre farm alone they estimate between 5 and 10 acres lost per night during the planting season, some of which can be replanted and some is just lost depending on how far along the crop is. Then there is the loss of crops throughout the growing season and loss of pasture land throughout the year. After much discussion between a group of lifelong farmers and ranchers it was decided that you could conservatively estimate $5,000.00 in damages per year per 1000 acres in that particular area of the state (among the most dense hog populations in Texas). This year on the primary farm, during corn planting they lost 0 (zero) acres to pigs, and nightly hunting since has been pretty skinny to say the least.
Each trip was approximately $4500.00 for the entire day (6-8 hours flight time) it was a 4 place helicopter so we ran 3 shooters per 30-40 minute trip. We had 12 guys the first trip and killed roughly 200 pigs, the second trip we only had 5 shooters and killed roughly half as many pigs. I paid for one trip (because I brought along customers) and my friend paid for the second trip, the neighboring farmers offered to split the cost both times and are already planning on fall shoots as soon as the trees drop their leaves.
We shot pigs primarily with AR's but also mixed in some AK's, a 6.8 and a .458 SOCOM, as well as a shotgun or 2. Since most of the shooting was in pretty high timber the rifles worked best. I will say that in my opinion this type of control is the best possible hope for getting pig populations down in a given area, but it will still take a concentrated sustained effort over multiple years to do so.
Yes, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on, times 10.
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