Helicopter Hog Hunting Trip Information
There are many different ways to fight the hog menace that plagues the great state of Texas. However, one of the most entertaining and exciting ways is through helicopter pig hunting! This exciting solution to a growing porcine problem is a fun and productive way to spend a vacation, as it helps fight off the wild hog population and spreads awareness.

The Helicopter Hunts

On our helicopter hunting trips, you’ll be taken up in one of our helicopters and be given one of our suppressed AR-15 rifles. We will fly you over the pigs, and you get to gun down as many of them as you’d like. Normally, when hunting wild hogs you will have many shot opportunities in 4-8 hours of flight time. ; however, this ultimately depends upon the size of your group and your shooting abilities.

Helicopter Options

Texas Specialty Hunts has a variety of helicopter options to suit a variety of different hunt lengths and group sizes. Our available helicopters are listed below.

  • R-44 Helicopter
  • R-66 Helicopter
  • MD-500E Helicopter
  • A-Star H125 Helicopter

Our helicopters can handle different weight limits, and they typically consist of two hunters per flight. Texas Specialty Hunts is the only company in the states that offers year-round helicopter hunting trips every day of the week. We do our part in this war, , and we want to give you a chance to participate, too.

Hunting wild hogs from a helicopter is a great way to spend your time down in Texas. Our helicopter hog hunts are very popular among the military veterans who miss the excitement of firing at moving targets. However, it’s also very popular for people who just want to ride a helicopter and shoot some guns. If you’re interested in joining the fight against the porcine menace, you can schedule your helicopter hunting trip now!

Texas Parks & Wildlife Facts and Laws on Helicopter Pig Hunting

Aerial Wildlife Management Permit FAQ

Q: What changed as a result of House Bill 716? A: A qualified landowner’s agent may now contract (pay) to participate as a hunter or gunner to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes from an aircraft.

Q: What is a “qualified landowner or landowner’s agent”?
A: A “qualified landowner or landowner’s agent” is a person who has not been convicted of, pleaded nolo contendere to, or received deferred adjudication for:
• AParks&WildlifeCodeviolationthatisaClassA misdemeanor or felony (not including Water Safety Act violations); or
• A violation of 16 U.S.C. §§3371-3378 (the Lacey Act), to include deferred adjudication, pre-trial diversion, and assessment of civil penalty.

Q: If a person is “qualified” to be a landowner’s agent, what do they need to do to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes from an aircraft?
A: The person must place on file with Parks and Wildlife a completed Landowner’s Authorization (LOA) to Manage Wildlife or Exotic Animals by Aircraft (PWD 0353 – L0200). The LOA is not valid until it is signed, stamped and issued a LOA number by Parks and Wildlife Permits.

Q: Who can pay a helicopter permittee to participate as a gunner for the purpose of managing feral hogs and coyotes?A: Only a qualified landowner or landowner’s agent.

Q: Can a person just show up on the day of a hunt and pay to be a gunner?
A: No. A completed LOA must be on file before a person can pay to be a gunner.

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Q: How long does it take to process a LOA and return it so that a qualified agent can pay to be a gunner?
A: Processing time varies based on numerous factors. Permittees and those wishing to be a qualified landowner’s agent should plan ahead to ensure that the required LOA is on file prior to conducting any management of feral hogs or coyotes.

Q: If a group of people wish to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes from an aircraft but only one person is actually paying the permittee, does everyone in the group need an LOA on file?
A: No. The person paying must be “qualified” and must have an LOA on file. Non-paying gunners are recorded on the permittee’s daily flight log and reported to the department quarterly.

Q: Can a permittee also be a qualified landowner’s agent and then accept pay from anyone to be a gunner?
A: No. Only a qualified landowner or landowner’s agent may pay to be a gunner.

Q: Is a Texas hunting license required to manage feral hogs and coyotes from a helicopter?
A: If a person is a landowner or landowner’s agent, he or she may hunt nuisance feral hogs and coyotes on the landowner’s property without a Texas hunting license.

Q: Does a person acting as a gunner need landowner permission to hunt feral hogs from an aircraft?
A: Yes. A person may not hunt feral hogs or coyotes on private property without permission from the landowner or landowner’s agent.

Q: Is sport hunting from any aircraft for feral hogs or coyotes legal?
A: No! It is a violation of both state and federal law to sport hunt from an aircraft.

Texas Monthly

​In an aerial hog hunt, the helicopter hovers only twenty feet above the scampering hogs.

With my legs dangling out of the side of the helicopter, I scanned the ground below me for any sign of feral hogs. I was entering the second hour of my aerial hog hunt and had yet to hit anything. We had seen more than forty pigs, but it turns out that my single trip to the gun range and one practice run shooting from the air had not adequately prepared me for my first-ever hunting trip, which entailed gunning down a sprinting pig from a moving helicopter.
As we flew over a small reservoir on a 25,000-acre spread of land, we spotted a sounder of hogs—two sows and their piglets—lounging in the shallow water, seeking respite from the 103-degree heat. The pilot, Dustin Johnson, maneuvered his Robinson-22 helicopter over the group, flushing the pigs out of the water and onto a nearby wheat field. Terrified by the sound of our blades and the rat-tat-tat of my gun, they ran at a fast clip in single file, with striped young piglets bringing up the rear. It was dusk, and this was my final chance to score a kill. I stared down the barrel of my AR-15, gripping the trigger.
Aerial hog hunting is having a moment in Texas thanks in part to Stephenville Rep. Sid Miller’s “pork chopper” bill, which passed the state legislature this spring, and in part to the booming hog population. Miller’s bill makes it legal, as of September 1, for sport hunters to rent the gunner seat on a helicopter to shoot hogs or coyotes. (Under current law, landowners can contract a helicopter company to control the feral hog population on their land.). He filed the same bill during the 2009 legislative session, which died in the Senate, but not before being ridiculed by the press and the public.
The feral hog menace is no joke: Texas has more than 2.6 million feral hogs—that’s enough to replace every man, woman and child within Houston’s city limits—and left unchecked, that population can double every five years. One legislative estimate put hog damage—from broken fence posts, lost livestock, ruined crops—at $400 million per year. They’re also increasingly encroaching on urban areas: in the Dallas suburb of Irving, 239 hogs have been trapped since last October. “I think when people got home and heard from their constituents, they found out this is a serious problem, not a Sarah Palin moose-hunting joke,” Miller said.
Hunting from a helicopter is “probably one of the most effective ways to take out a large number of feral hogs,” said Scott Vaca, Assistant Chief of Wildlife Enforcement at Texas Parks and Wildlife. “They get educated to traps very quickly. With aerial gunning, you can get to places that maybe you can’t drive to, but you can fly there and find them and flush them out of cover.” Since 2004, aerial gunners have killed some 79,000 hogs. But wildlife officials estimate that, just to hold the population steady, sixty percent to seventy percent of the state’s hogs must be killed every year. Under the old law, only the pros could aerial hog hunt, and they charged landowners up to $600 an hour for the service. Now, people looking for a novel hunting experience will pay for the luxury of shooting from the air, which will shift the cost from burdened landowners to enthusiastic sport hunters.
I didn’t want to just get in a helicopter and start shooting. Before taking to the skies,
I furiously took notes as Vertex President Mike Morgan flipped through a PowerPoint presentation about the safety concerns presented when unloading a semi-automatic rifle from a helicopter. Morgan, whose muscles filled out the Vertex employee uniform of a tan flight suit, is an Army-trained helicopter pilot who flew scouting missions during Operation Desert Storm. “We’re here basically to exterminate these 400-pound rats,” he boomed.
Tough façade aside, safety and professionalism are foremost in Morgan’s mind. A slew of helicopter hunting videos have cropped up on the Internet, and he screened several during the class as cautionary tales. In one, a man aimed a loaded AK-47 at the cameraman. Another showed a man pointing his weapon up into the rotor system. In a third, a national ABC news spot that aired in May, an Abilene-based helicopter pilot flew his chopper under a set of wires. That’s one of the most dangerous things a pilot can do, Morgan said. “Over 95 percent of wire strike accidents are fatal.” If people get to the skies and start acting like cowboys, accidents will happen, a major concern for the fledgling industry. “A lot of people think it’s a legalized sport now,” Morgan said. “It’s not a sport; it’s an extermination program.”
After four hours in the classroom, we flew out to Anahuac for an afternoon of aerial target practice. For the first twenty minutes of the hour-long flight to Anahuac, I clutched the helicopter’s doorframe in fear. The doors had been removed—the better to shoot out of the chopper—and so the only thing separating me from the ground was my seatbelt, which I checked several times out of anxiety. Morgan calmed me over the headset and, by the time we reached Baytown, I felt confident enough to remove my hand from doorframe to send a tweet. (“This tweet comes to you from a helicopter. #thismodernlife.”)

Because of me, there’s one less feral hog roaming around Texas.
*Correction: The original version of this story stated that Ted Nugent killed “more than thirty pigs.” He, in fact, killed close to 150 pigs, because he’s Ted Nugent.