Feral hogs are a big problem in Texas, destroying crops and property. It has long been legal to shoot them from helicopters. This column has noted before that senior citizen gun enthusiast Ted Nugent has bragged about engaging in the practice of gunning down hogs from the sky and leaving their corpses to rot on the prairie, a hobby that well may put a dent in the feral hog population, but also supplies ample food for coyotes and flies, two other species Texans are not so fond of.
Hunting from helicopters has its issues, though. Feral hogs, not being nearly as stupid as Ted Nugent, quickly learned to run away from the sound of a helicopter, and pursuing them at speed made it difficult to take aim. Thus, the hot air balloon solution. A hot air balloon is very quiet. Even the hissing of its propane burners cannot be heard from the ground once it gains a few hundred feet in altitude. It’s also very stable, since it goes with the wind instead of into it. A man can relax with a sandwich, a six-pack and an AR-15, and bullet hogs all day long without fear of his aim being spoiled by the buffeting of his aircraft. When he is out of ammo or propane, all he needs to do is find a flat spot (of which there are many in Texas) to land on and hope that his wife remembers to come out and pick him up.
The surprising thing about the Texas Legislature legalizing hot-air balloon feral hoggin’ is that it was not illegal in the first place. Nobody was doing it, but not because it was against the law. Texans were using their hot air balloons like we Californians use ours, to rise a thousand feet into the sky, enjoy a bottle of champagne and a purty sunset, put it back on the ground and go have sex with our date, because that’s one of the unwritten rules of romance in our era—if you take a date on a hot-air balloon ride, they more or less have to put out when you’re back on terra firma. If you don’t believe me, ask Abby.
So, what the Legislature was really doing was reminding the hot-air folks of Texas that they could be up there shooting hogs as a prelude to romance. Nothing says “I love you” like dispatching a few new souls to Hog Heaven in between sips of bubbly and your date, who was probably quivering in terror at being way up in the sky without being surrounded by a nice safe airplane, will probably forget her fears and join you enthusiastically on your mission of killing a few of God’s perfect creatures, and then not even making bacon out of them.
Or she might not—girls can be tricky that way. Even if you have to go out ballooning on your lonesome, though, you should be doing your duty by the state of Texas. Kill some of those damn hogs. As long as the wind blows you towards them, instead of towards El Paso.
Oh yeah, there is that. Next thing the Legislature will legalize will probably be importing and restoring Stukas so Texans can just strafe the hogs like they were Russian infantrymen.
Why doesn’t the Nuge own one already?