The Texas House gave a final OK today to the "pork chopper" bill and sent it off to the governor's office. The bill would allow licensed hunters to hire helicopters and contract with landowners to shoot feral hogs and coyotes on their property from the sky. The Senate approved the measure last week but changed the wording of the bill slightly to give the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department more authority to regulate who can pay for helicopter hunts.
State Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, said feral hogs are becoming problematic even in urban areas like the one he represents, and asked whether feral hogs had any natural predators.
Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, the author of bill, said no. "Man is the biggest predator, and I'm trying to increase that predation through this bill," Miller said.
Check out the Tribune's interactive data visualization to see the current demand for helicopter hunting by landowners, how many hogs Texans have already killed from the sky and landowners' reported reasons for needing to kill hogs.