It’s still up in the air, but in an effort to control destructive populations of feral hogs and coyotes, Texas may allow shooting these species from hot-air balloons.
Sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Keough, H.B. 3535, if passed, would take effect on Sept. 1. The bill directs the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission “as soon as practicable after the effective date” to “adopt rules as necessary to implement ... using a hot-air balloon to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes ... .”
The bill’s passage would add another airborne method of taking pigs in Texas aside from shooting them from a helicopter. Hot-air ballooning, which according to the bill would require a special permit, could be a cheaper method, although balloons lack the speed and maneuverability of helicopters. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department estimates more than 1.5 million feral hogs live in the state.