State Rep. Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) has authored a bill that may allow landowners to lease their land to hunters who wish to hunt hogs from a helicopter. It might sound a little crazy, but Miller said that it is a good way to control the hog population.
“Hogs cause problems all over the state, they tear up the land,” Miller said.
Currently, landowners can pay for an animal depredation service which allows professionals to fly over their land and cull the hogs from the air. While this service is available, it is very expensive. Miller wants those same landowners to be able to make money instead of losing it.
“It would be an economic development for rural Texas. I’m not saying it’s going to be a huge industry, but there are many benefits,” he said.
Some of these benefits would include an end to the over-population of hogs throughout the state, increased cash flow to rural Texas and to the landowner, a slow down of hog damage and money in the landowners’ pocket.
Although the bill has many benefits, it also has some doubters. Some say that hunters will not be able to accurately discern what animal they are shooting at, which Miller says is “preposterous.”
“Hunters would have to be within 50 yards of the hogs to shoot them. That is the distance between one bar ditch and the other. I think you can tell a poodle from a pig at that distance,” Miller said.
HB 836, has just been filed, and so far, Miller said he has heard only positive statements about it. Miller acknowledges there will be people who oppose it, but says he has not heard from them yet.
The specifics of the bill, such as times, rates and limits, would be hammered out by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service upon its passage.
Miller feels that something has to be done about the hog population in the state.
“It just gets so bad in certain areas, landowners would have to be pretty desperate to call in a depredation service because it is so expensive. This bill would give them an option that would allow them to make money,” he said.