LAFAYETTE, La. (CBS Houston) — Drones are known as one of many tools that help the United States fight terrorists, but now hunters are using them to get rid of pigs.
Farmers are using the services of two men who modified a remote controlled aircraft to hunt for wild pigs. The pigs are extremely destructive nocturnal animals that easily wipe out farmer’s fields.
“It’s not hunting,” James Palmer told WFAA. “It’s extermination.”
Palmer and hunting business partner Cy Brown spend weekend nights patrolling the fields for the hogs using the invention they call the “Dehogaflier.” It uses a thermal imaging camera and a laser to track down the animals in the darkness.
Brown flies the plane while Palmer uses night vision scope to move in once he gets the word from his partner over radio.
Farmers are happy the two men are helping them get rid of the hogs.
“I had a 40-acre field,” one rice farmer who did not want to be identified explained to WFAA. “The whole thing was wiped out.”
Farmers can lose up to as high as $1,000 an acre when pigs invade their crops.
Instead of wearing boots in the fields, the pair hunt barefooted so they can sneak up on the hogs easier.
At night they may hunt pigs, but the men spend their days developing electronics to earn a living. Some of their clients include the defense department.
Palmer, who has two engineering degrees and an MBA, founded Raven Research and Development. A company that employs both of them.
One thing that both Brown and Palmer hope for is that the FAA changes the laws for drones.
“The FAA should be changing its laws for commercial use in 2015,” Palmer said to WFAA. “And we plan to be on the forefront of that.”