My relief came  when the 85th Texas Legislature failed to pass a useless bathroom  ban bill that would make Texas less friendly to transgenders and their families.  Gov. Abbott, who had failed to get support for this and faced opposition from many sides, was so determined to get something on the books that he has called the Legislature back into  special session July 18.  Well, to be honest, he said they did not finish their work in their allotted 140 days so a special session needed, but obviously he would not mind it being brought up again.   On May 2 of last year I wrote about my concerns in a post,  “Monday Madness: Writing on the Bathroom Wall,” and still oppose such legislation.  For now I will focus on the lighter and more positive side of Texas politics.

Kudos to the 85 Legislature for getting  essential bills passed in the regular session with apparent bipartisan support!  I had tried to keep up with what the Texas politicians were doing with the budget and bathroom issues, but did not know about the hog issue until I read a post by blogger Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge titled, “No Lard, if by Land.”  Only in Texas!

It seems the Gov. signed  HB3535 into law that will allow “taking certain feral hogs and coyotes using a hot air balloon” that will be effective September 1, 2017.  Parks and Wildlife will apparently be charged with working out the details of how it will be implemented and which “qualified landowners or landowners’ agent…may contract as a hunter or observer…to take depredating feral hogs or coyotes.”Granted, wild hog population has increased and a pack of hogs can do a lot of damage to crops and the environment and create havoc for even some deer hunting. They breed readily and have no natural predator.  It is a serious problem to farmers and ranchers.   In the last few months a form of warfarin, basically rat poison and used as a blood thinner for humans, was considered as a way to get rid of them but it seemed it was a slow and inhumane  death as well as having other concerns about the viability of the idea. Feral hogs can already be legally hunted by helicopter, but that seems more like brutal warfare with visions of hunters hanging out the side of a noisy chopper.  The hot air balloon approach seems more sporting somehow, but I do wonder how it might work out.

Will it catch on as a romantic flight as the balloon drifts over the unsuspecting hogs?  Will hunters prefer guns or bow and arrow?  What about the pictures hunters seem to favor posed by their kill?  Will there be wine, cheese, crackers and pate available in a wicker basket?  What should one wear?

Silly me to want details but I can’t help but think of the possibilities to add a new dimension to hunting while helping to get rid of animals that are a nuisance and help the environment .  I envision camouflage balloons.  What else!  And maybe pink camouflage balloons for the lady hunters!

I really liked Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge’s post  (especially the title), but I could not resist writing about it also.  Check that post out; it contains some good links.

With all sincerity I hope this new approach works and look forward to seeing those camo balloons gliding in the blue skies of Texas!  For those who think we are making this up, here is a link to HB3535 signed into law June 12, 2017.

Learn more about feral hogs from the Texas Parks & Wildlife.


  1. Arrgh, just left a long Long comment here JO only to click something with my keyboard and have it all vanish.. Grrrrrrr..
    Mankind never seems to understand how his own interference through out the years have affected the imbalance of species We bemoaned the population of rabbits here in the UK bringing in the horrendous disease of Myxomatosis a horrible long painful way for the rabbits to die..
    I wonder if the Wolf had been left alone, there would have been so many hogs around? as that was why we had more rabbits, because we hunted the Fox its natural predator..
    Nature usually always has her own means of culling..

    Even the human populations!! ;-(

    Lovely to see a post and yes it makes you wonder as I see camouflage balloons.. 🙂

    Hugs and Love your way..
    Sue xxx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grr…I do that all the time too but never know what key I hit to delete everything! Apparently pigs were brought in by the Spanish for meat but with the wide open spaces many roamed freely. In the 1930s Russian boars were brought in for sport hunting and they too eventually roamed and crossbred with the hogs already here.As you wrote, man doe not always consider the results of changing the balance of nature. Thanks for sharing the bit about the rabbits and foxes!


  2. Feral hogs? I did not know there was such an animal. And no predators? You say there is open hunting on them. Can they be eaten? What do they do with the animals once shot? A very interesting post, Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Basically, these feral hogs were brought in by the Spanish for their meat and settlers appreciated them. Many roamed on their own and multiplied in the open ranges. In the 1930s Russian boars were brought in for sport hunting and they escaped to roam and crossbred with the feral hogs. The feral hogs today are leaner and more muscular than domestic hogs. Yes, they can and are eaten. The older males will have more of a rank taste and are not that desirable. Some are sold for pet food. My nieces says her pastor processes them and then sends them to a ministry in Mexico. If cooked properly, it is quite good.Their only predators seem to be hunters. Many in my family hunt Husband and I don’t. Thanks for your kind words! It was rather hard to combine my thoughts about the Legislature in a cohesive way.


  3. My brother once rescued some feral baby pigs , raised them and released them back into the forest. In Germany wild hog meat is served in many restaurants. I don’t like the idea of just killing them for fun.
    Jo, keep up the good work with your Texas politics. We all need to be more proactive in these times,

    Liked by 1 person

    • My niece recently rescued a baby feral hog and nursed it back to health. They do hunt hogs so I am not sure she will want to release it as her youngest daughter became attached to it.

      The meat is good if cooked properly. I am sure you could do wonders with it! I don’t like killing for fun either. Some of what I wrote was tongue-in-check. Husband and I don’t even hunt.

      Texas politics is always a bit crazy. I fear what they will pass in this special session. We can only do what we in with our actions and votes where we are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


    • It is hard to find anything positive with Texas politics, especially those who, well, I won’t even go there! Husband went up in a balloon in New Mexico years ago but I followed along in a bus that was to pick him up. I knew you had a kind heart! Husband and I don’t hunt although many in our family do. Thank you so for the visit and support for all people!!!!! I fear what bathroom ban may be passed in this special session.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a proud vegan Canadian with strong views about abuse of animals I wanted to dodge around this post and comment on your Canada Day post, but strangely I couldn’t find where to do that there.
    Sooooo, I’m doing it here.
    150 is a white colonization birthday that ignores the reality that this land was hunted, farmed and inhabited for thousands of years before the whites arrived. Our present Feds are committed to reconciliation with the first nations people and this can only be good intention, however, I am concerned about carelessness and a lack of attention…
    As of this year I have been in Canada for 50 years. I came in 1966 escaping the suffocating social ambiance of England. I have never regretted my choice.
    Canada has been more than good to me in every way. I have accomplished more here than I had ever imagined I could. I am blessed to be here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For the Canada post I closed comments from the beginning. So sorry that you had to come to the post on hunting animals to comment on your country. Husband and I are not vegetarians but we eat very little meat. Most of my post was tongue in cheek.

      Congratulations on being in Canada for 50 years! These days Canada seems more welcoming to new people than the US and certain of our leadership have become an embarrassment. Some of us even threatened to leave and move to Canada. It is good that it worked out for you and you could fulfill your potential. Recently I read some of the history of the injustices in Canada’s past toward those who were there originally. And I read today, as you do, that the government is trying to make it up. Still, as you said, you are blessed.

      Thank you so much for taking time to share. I continue to enjoy your posts and count you as one of my Canadian friends! Wishing you continued success!

      Liked by 1 person

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