View Full Version : Hunting from a helicopter

March 10, 2008, 03:26 PM
A pitcher for the Florida Marlins is catching some heat for hunting hogs and coyotes from a helicopter.

Is this legal? Has anyone here ever done it?


March 10, 2008, 05:20 PM
Not sure about legality....I'd guess it isn't.

Years ago wildlife personel used the technique to thin out wolf packs in the Rockies. Something that's not widely known....close aquaintance participated and told how it was done. They would capture a wolf and outfit it with a transmitter collar, hence called the "Judas Wolf". It would return to it's pack leading shooters to the others, thus betraying the pack. Shooters thinned them out using automatic rifles, helicopters, and fixed wing aircraft.

March 10, 2008, 05:33 PM
Funny this comes up now, I actually just saw a video on youtube recently of a guy dinging a deer from a helicopter. It wasn't in the US, and I can't say it seemed particularly sporting.
Given the number of big-city media outlets that employ dedicated outdoorsmen as op-ed reporters (*crickets*), I think the first commenter to the article raises a good point. While I'd love the opportunity to go hog hunting, I don't really have that chance, because (thus far) it seems like the state DNRs and their policies have prevented feral pigs from becoming the nuisance they are further south. Despite my lack of experience, I have a sense that hogs (and coyotes) have always been regarded with some disdain, and many public and private entities have encouraged their culling. I am not suggesting we condone helicopter hunting, but there's probably a flip side of the coin being underrepresented here. I do think the protesting groups are abusing an opportunity to get the uninformed riled up. If they love hogs and yotes so much, how about spending this time to relocate them to a place where they can't be hunted. They can try their own back yard first and let us know how that goes.

March 10, 2008, 06:29 PM
I think bclark1 summed it up nicely. I don't hink anyone could call it hunting, but it has been used as a succesful culling tool. In some places, like thick Florida swamps, it may be an appropriate tool, but thats for the local DFW to determine, not news reporters and activists.

March 10, 2008, 08:27 PM
For game animals in Florida, it is definately illegal. However hogs are not considered game animals here and coyotes are considered pests. Therefore, I doubt if he was doing anything illegal.

March 10, 2008, 09:22 PM
I've hunted with government hunters from choppers as well as small planes. I don't believe it's legal for just anyone to do it but the government uses it for predator control, owning a cattle ranch in montana with a huge population of 'yotes during calvin' is not an ideal situation for making a living. I believe that aircraft are a useful tool for predator control by the government or government liscensed hunters, but not for some dandy that can't sneek within shootin distance of a deer or pig. It is not sporting (exciting as hell though to drop down in a 2 seat bush plane tree level to watch the pilot pop a 'yote with a sawed off loaded with 00 out his window). Predator control is one thing, calling it sporting is kinda tough to justify though for at least this fella.

March 10, 2008, 09:26 PM
Like Doyle pointed out hogs aren't game animals in FL as long as he wasn't hunting on WMA land, he was shooting a nuisance animal.

March 10, 2008, 09:39 PM
In most states, hogs are considered nuisance and non game or "exotic" In TX, it is legal to take exotics or hogs from a Helicopter. You can take them by just about any means that floats your boat. spotlight, airplane, traps, you name it, whatever. I'm sure the ATF would have something to say about the "other" methods they might enforce...otherwise, knock your socks off. We routinely spotlight, and a buddy of mine likes to pop em w/ his night vision scope.

March 10, 2008, 11:00 PM
In Florida hogs are considered game animals if on state run lands and if on private land they are livestock. No lights allowed even for my nuisance permit. Helicopter hunting is limited IIRC to state officers or state contractors of which I am not...

March 10, 2008, 11:07 PM
My logo...
All you need is a curr dog a bulldog and JUNIOR!!!
BAM caught hog...
Sometimes they don't run so big but try to hit this one from the air...

Lawyer Daggit
March 10, 2008, 11:17 PM
In Australia National Parks and Wildlife created a media storm the other year when they decided to thin out wild horses in a remote national park by using shooters from helo's. It resulted in a PR nightmare with photos of wounded horses hobling about etc.

T. O'Heir
March 11, 2008, 08:09 PM
Totally illegal up here. No loaded firearms in or on any kind of vehicle.
Shooting from, herding or driving wildlife from an aircraft is illegal in Florida too. It's on Page 12 of the Florida Hunting regs.

March 11, 2008, 10:22 PM
Hunting from a helicopter

That's not hunting, it's a disgrace! Hunting is supposed to be a sport and challenge, not a slaughter. It's people like him that give the rest of us a bad rap. He and the pilot should be arrested or at least heavily fined!......:mad:

phil mcwilliam
March 12, 2008, 05:33 AM
My brother in law worked for Pastural Protection - checking rural properties for weeds, & feral/pest infestation. It was his job to monitor and control feral animal populations on the ground & when infestations were bad enough it was more economical to helicopter shoot with professional shooters. On one occassion my brother in law was invited up shooting with them & recalls being strapped in a harness sitting in the doorway of the helicopter with feet on the rails blasting away with a Ruger mini-14 at mobs of pigs. The tally for that day was over 70 pigs. Certainly not hunting, but in some circumstances pest eradication is necessary. Not the type of thing you'd take a novice on.

Art Eatman
March 12, 2008, 09:44 AM
Wrong, TPAW. Given the magnitude of the feral hog problem in Texas, think of it as killing 200-pound rats, any old how you can.

I don't have the photo on this computer, but there's one floating around the Inet now that was taken from a deer blind near a feeder. Some 120 hogs gathered up.

The (bleep) things kill lambs and kids. They can devastate a planted field in a night. They can make a grassy pasture look like some drunk got turned loose with a backhoe--as they did in my west pasture on the old ranch down below Cuero.

During the big 1998 flood on the Guadalupe, my cousin trapped 34 hogs up by the house. Made only a small dent in the population...

Hunting? Not really. Sure, you can make it sporting if you want. But really, to be accurate about it, it's nothing but pest control...


March 12, 2008, 04:38 PM
Hunting? Not really. Sure, you can make it sporting if you want. But really, to be accurate about it, it's nothing but pest control...

I suppose in your part of the country you might consider it that.

Art Eatman
March 12, 2008, 07:38 PM
Yeah, well, some folks don't like to be bum-deep in pig poop.


The NPS folks at Big Bend National Park about had a squalling fit about a batch of wild hogs seen working their way southward toward the park. Don't know where they originated, but they were working down through desert country, of all places!

Now, imagine NPS folks taking part in a hog-killing effort! NPS? Yup. The last thing they want would be for hogs to get started (rooted?) in the Chisos Mountains part of BBNP. They'd be there forever, tearing up the most beautiful part of the whole park...


March 12, 2008, 09:05 PM
I know that here in south dakota they have two state planes w pilots they use for predator control. First time I walked by the plane and saw a rem 870 tucked in beside the seat, kind of made me wonder. After I asked around I found out it was the state gfp pilot. My next question was how do I get that job. Also know an old cropduster around here that used to hunt coyote from a helicopter. As far as I know unless you are with gfp, you can only hunt non game species (coyote, varmint) and only on private, or your own land. Right now there is a lot of controversy over this, one of the pilots had a little crash, totalled out the airplane. Luckily pilot and game warden both walked away.

March 13, 2008, 12:49 AM
Time to call in the gunships!....:eek:

March 13, 2008, 07:43 PM
I have a friend who regularly hunts yotes via fixed wing aircraft here in Wyo. They are under contract w/ the feds to do this. I guess the biggest challenge is to not shoot the tire w/ the 12ga. No hogs here yet that I know of, I guess they have them just south of us in Colorado.