Tourists looking for ever more thrilling holidays are taking to the skies above Texas to shoot wild hogs as part of the state's effort to limit the spread of an invasive species that annually causes millions of dollars in damage to farmland and livestock nationally.
For up to $50,000, people can hunt the feral hogs from a helicopter and even use a machine gun to mow them down.
"There's only so many places in the world you can shoot machine guns out of a helicopter and no one shoots back," said Chris Britt, co-owner of HeliBacon, one of the companies offering the aerial hog hunts.
HeliBacon says its customers alone gunned down about 10,000 feral hogs in the last 18 months, but that barely makes a dent in the Texas' population of more than 2 million, a total higher than any other state.
There were 2,752 helicopter hog hunts in Texas last year, up 81 percent from 2011, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department data. About 34,400 hogs were killed in those hunts, up 53 percent.
The total U.S. population of the hogs is estimated at more than 6 million, and state and federal government officials are increasing efforts to rid themselves of the pesky animals.