Skip to main content

8 Reasons Helicopter Hog Hunting Should be on Your Bucket List

8 Reasons Helicopter Hog Hunting Should be on Your Bucket List

Wild pigs are a major problem in America, and they pose a significant threat to our native game species. Hogs were brought to this country by farmers and hunters over a century ago, but since that time the pigs have managed to escape captivity and have taken up residence in 45 of the 50 states.

Wild pigs damage agricultural crops, pastures, residential areas, and levees, and they pose a significant threat to native wild game populations. A variety of different methods have been employed to control hog populations, but very few have proven effective at significantly reducing the number of pigs in an area.

One method that has proven effective in many areas, however, is shooting hogs from helicopters. Unlike other methods that take only a select few hogs from a much larger population, helicopter eradication has proven to be an effective means for controlling hog populations. Each year more and more people are catching on to helicopter hogging, and once you've tried it you'll understand why.

Here are eight reasons you need to scribble "helicopter hog hunting" on to your bucket list today.


1. Protect Native Species

Hogs aren't native to this continent, so they provide competition for limited resources and place native species at risk. Deer, wild sheep, elk, and wild turkey are but a few of the species that compete with pigs for resources, and in areas where pig populations are high and where resources are highly limited, these native species can face die-offs. Reducing hog numbers preserves wild game.

2. Protect Farmers and Food Prices

Wild pigs thrive in agricultural areas, and a single large sounder (group of pigs) can wipe out an entire crop field in a single night. Farmers who raise peanuts and corn are particularly at risk, and wild hog crop damage is estimated at 1.5 billion a year. This loss, in turn, drives food prices higher as crops are limited.

3. Learn About Wildlife

Any days spent riding in a helicopter in search of hogs is like a master's course in ecology. From the air you'll see a variety of wildlife that you wouldn't otherwise see, and you'll find out where game animals spend their time. That's not to say that you are using hog hunting as a means to scout for other game, but rather the things you see will make you a better hunter. Spending time in the air will help you learn to identify likely bedding and feeding habitat and better understand where wildlife species spend their days.

4. It's Effective

Trapping and hunting pigs on the ground may put a small dent in the population, but with each sow becoming sexually mature at 6 months of age and capable of producing up to 20 piglets a year, ground techniques aren't very effective at reducing hog numbers.

Aerial eradication efforts, however, have legitimate potential to reduce the number of hogs in an area, and even though hog hunting is expensive, it actually makes a significant difference in the number of pigs in an area — and the amount of damage they cause.

5. Become a Better Shooter

To say that shooting hogs from the air is difficult would be an understatement. It's hard to hit a running target on solid ground, and when you're in a moving helicopter it's even more difficult. You'll immediately understand the value of a good, crisp trigger, and you'll learn not to squeeze your rifle too hard (tense muscles make the sights jump with the vibrations of the chopper). If you are one of the millions of Americans that now own an AR-platform rifle, then you already have the perfect gun for aerial hog eradication. Buy a good reflex or red dot sight and a few 25 round magazines and you're ready to go.

6. Boost Local Economies

Remote regions of the country that have already seen economic loss due to hogs are benefitting from aerial hog shoots. These rural areas not only benefit from reduced hog numbers, they also reap the financial benefits of having more sportsmen in town spending money on things like licenses, food and drinks, and hotel rooms.

7. Meat to Eat

Wild pigs, particularly small pigs, provide a low-fat, inexpensive alternative to farm-grown pork. After a pig is down, partners on the ground can be radioed to pick it up, or sometimes the position of the pig can be marked for retrieval later. In many cases the landowner has right to the pigs you take, so always be sure and check with them before taking any meat.

8. It's Fun

There's nothing quite like taking pigs from a moving helicopter. It's exciting and extremely challenging, and after you've done it once, you're likely going to be hooked for life. It's more fun if you are shooting well, but that comes with time, and after a few pigs you'll get the hang of shooting from the moving helicopter. Not only are aerial hog shoots a lot of fun, you're helping protect local farmers and save native wildlife.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Kevin Steele sights in his CZ .557 carbine rifle that he plans to use on a Colorado elk hunt.

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters.2020 ATV Buyer's Guide Wheels Afield

2020 ATV Buyer's Guide

Rick Sosebee - June 23, 2020

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters.

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the new, feature-packed Model 2020 Waypoint bolt-action rifle.New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See Guns

New Springfield Model 2020 Waypoint Rifle is a Must-See

Petersen's Hunting Staff - September 29, 2020

The famous gunmaker – Springfield Armory – stakes its first flag in the hunting world with the...

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been7 Favorite Truck Guns Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd? Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

See More Trending Articles

More Other Game

Roebuck are to Europe what whitetails are to the United States. Here's all you need to know about this different kind of deer.Roebuck: Europe's Answer to the Whitetail Other Game

Roebuck: Europe's Answer to the Whitetail

Craig Boddington

Roebuck are to Europe what whitetails are to the United States. Here's all you need to know...



Bear cubs are incredibly cute and cuddly, but from at least early adolescence onward allThe Trouble with Bears Other Game

The Trouble with Bears

Craig Boddington - June 13, 2016

Bear cubs are incredibly cute and cuddly, but from at least early adolescence onward all

Kevin Steele and Tony Miele arrive in Texas to hunt with James Jeffrey of Lost Horizon OutfittersPre-Christmas Handgun Fallow Deer Hunt Other Game

Pre-Christmas Handgun Fallow Deer Hunt

PHTV Adventures - June 27, 2017

Kevin Steele and Tony Miele arrive in Texas to hunt with James Jeffrey of Lost Horizon...

Hunting spring gobblers can be challenging enough! Here's how to not beat yourself.3 Run & Gun Mistakes Every Turkey Hunter Makes Other Game

3 Run & Gun Mistakes Every Turkey Hunter Makes

Tony J. Peterson

Hunting spring gobblers can be challenging enough! Here's how to not beat yourself.

See More Other Game

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now