Texas is living up to their batshit crazy, cowboy reputation in a major way, as they are in the process of making it legal to hunt feral hogs from hot air balloons. House Bill 3535 made it through the Senate, and now, it will move on to Governor Greg Abbott. He’s expected to sign the bill because nothing is more badass than lighting up a hog from the cozy perch of a hot air balloon.
But much to my disappointment, this bill isn’t actually about killing animals in extravagant fashion. These hogs are a real annoyance for Texans, and they are hoping that this is the best way to keep them from wreaking havoc.
But why hunt down these delicious pork products? As it turns out, feral hogs can be a major nuisance animal, rooting up gardens, destroying crops, and damaging fences. According to researchers at Texas A&M’s Agriflife Extension program, they cost over fifty million dollars in damages per year.
They also breed quickly, and have few natural predators in this day and age. That’s led to a population boom in recent years. “We predict that large portions of the USA are in immediate risk of invasion,” researchers at USDA’s National Wildlife Research Center claimed in a paper back in February.
It’s already legal in Texas to hunt feral hogs from a helicopter, but that hasn’t been very effective. It’s too expensive and the loud noises alert the hogs to scurry away.
These hogs may be crafty, but their day of reckoning is coming. Have fun trying to escape from the quiet clutches of a hot air balloon. Eat lead, varmints!