Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our visitors have never had the pleasure of shooting high powered rifles from a helicopter before.  Therefor we've provided answers to the most commonly asked questions below.  As always, feel free to contact us if you can't find the answer you're looking for.

 


 

Aerial Gunnery

Q.  Do you offer an aerial gunnery course?
A.  Yes we do. We offer an aerial gunnery course either before a hunt, or during a scheduled aerial gunnery weekend in which we give people instructions on shooting from a helicopter and then let them shoot from a helicopter at a course of steel targets from various distances, altitudes and speeds. Or we can set up a private aerial gunnery event for parties of 6 or more.

 

Booking

Q.  Who do I talk to about a corporate event?
A.  Contact Jeremy Stillman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q.  Who do I talk to about a charity fundraiser?
A.  Contact Michelle Nations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q.  Who do I talk to about a sightseeing or non-shooting related flight?
A.  Contact Jeremy Stillman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q.  Can you come to our property?
A.  Absolutely! However we have to get there from the Temple airport, the helicopter does travel at about 165-180 MPH in a straight line so we can get places pretty darn quickly! However the helicopter still costs us the same amount to operate per hour whether we are hog hunting or flying to a property so we still have to charge from the time we take off until the time we land. Contact Jeremy Stillman about this so we can set up a Letter Of Authorization (LOA) and get it on file with the state.

Q.  Can you put together a special package for our party, event?
A.  Absolutely! Contact us for more information at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q.  How do I book a hunt or
confirm date availability?
A.  Check out our "Book Now" page, or you can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Firearms & Equipment

Q.  Are guns and ammo provided?
A.  Yes for hunts, we provide suppressed short barreled AR rifles and ammo. For aerial gunnery our firearms you are welcome to use our firearms but you either need to bring your own ammo or purchase it from us.

Q.  Can I use my own guns and ammo if I want to?
A.  Yes you may. However you cannot have an aggressive muzzle device that directs energy back into the aircraft.

Q.  What is the appropriate attire for the shooter?
A.  We advise laced shoes/boots and pants. T-shirts are fine.

Q.  Do you allow Go-pro cameras?
A.  Absolutely, however if you get some awesome footage please share it with us!

Q.  Who provides your night vision equipment?
A.  We are partnered with TNVC (The Night Vision Company) who graciously provides all of our night vision equipment that we use to both spot the hogs from the air as well as see and engage them from the ground. Please check them out if you are looking for any night vision equipment, and let them know we sent you!

Q.  Who provides your ammunition?
A.  Freedom Munitions provides all of our ammo. www.freedommunitions.com

Q.  Who provides your firearms?
A.  We are partnered with TRIARC Systems who manufactures all of the firearms we use in the helicopter.

 

Helicopter

Q.  What is different about the MD-500 verses the Robinson 44 that most people use?
A.  Our MD-500 is a turbine powered 5 bladed helicopter designed as a stable shooting and observation platform for the military. The MD-500’s reserve power and performance allow us to operate much safer and well within the aircraft flight parameters for a hunt. The Robinson 44 aircraft is an excellent civilian aircraft, it's gas powered engine and 2 blade design keep it’s acquisition price and operating costs down around ¼ the cost of an MD-500, however its limited speed and capabilities make it a less desirable aircraft for hunting and shooting applications.

Q.  Can I talk to the pilot and other people on board while shooting?
A.  Absolutely. Everyone in the aircraft will have a headset and microphone so they can communicate with everyone else in the aircraft.

Q.  What is the weight limit for your MD-500 helicopter?
A.  The MD-500 is built as a workhorse, we can accommodate shooters that weigh over 300lbs without problem.

Q.  How do you secure the shooter in the helicopter?
A.  We use a special military gunners harness that goes around the shooters waist and secures them to the aircraft.

Q.  Can I shoot from the helicopter at night?
A.  For safety reasons we do not shoot hogs from the helicopter at night because we fly much higher than normal and target identification would be too dangerous. We use the helicopter to locate the hogs then guide in ground based teams to eradicate them!

 

Hog Hunting

Q.  How many pigs do you usually get in a hunt?
A.  Our average for a 2 hour hunt is 15-25 hogs.

Q.  How long is the hunt?
A.  A 2 hour hunt is over 2 hours of flight time in the helicopter. It typically takes about 5 hours of time for a 2 hour hunt.

Q.  How many acres do you hunt on?
A.  We have over 130,000 acres of property to hunt on (and growing).

Q.  How many shooters do you have at once on a hunt?
A.  We put two shooters in the aircraft at a time, one on each side of the aircraft.

Q.  How long of a hunt can you do?
A.  We can fly upwards of 10 hours a day per aircraft.

Q.  How many people can you accommodate in a day of hunting?
A.  Assuming 2 hours per shooter we can typically accommodate groups up to 6 people in a day. If you wanted to do shorter hunt durations we could easily get in 10-12 hunters in a day.

Q.  Do you offer night time hunts?
A.  Yes we do. We offer a few packages including one with helicopter air support.

Q.  When is the best time of year to hunt?
A.  Anytime! The hogs are always out there somewhere, always breeding and always eating! Sometimes they’re in the fields of freshly planted corn seeds, sometimes they’re in the wallows, from the air there is no place for them to hide!

Q.  How far is the average shot?
A.  Our average engagement is about 25-35 yards, we typically get as low as possible while maintaining a safe distance above any tree’s, if the hogs are in a wide open field running, think in feet not yards!

Q.  How many acres will we cover on a hunt?
A.  On a 2 hour hunt we will probably cover 20,000-30,000 acres.

Q.  What should I practice before my hunt?
A.  Since the shots are pretty close the ideal preparation revolves around safety. The most crucial safety aspect that the helicopter introduces is that “up” is no longer a safe direction to point a firearm, this becomes especially evident during reloads. The best way to practice this is with EMPTY magazines and an AR, seated in a standard chair practice function the firearm, unloading it, reloading it and charging it without ever point the firearm above the horizon. Down and out!

Q.  Can I split my hunt with a friend?
A.  Sure can! The most efficient way to do this is have that friend meet us at the Oscar store during our stop. We can all eat lunch together then take off with the new shooter(s).

Q.  What is the minimum hunt duration?
A.  Our minimum hunt duration is 2 hours of flight.

 

Legal

Q.  Is it legal to shoot hogs from a helicopter in Texas?
A.  Yes it is. Texas Parks and Wildlife recognized the massive amounts of damage the non-native hog species were causing in Texas, realizing that ground efforts of trapping and hunting were not enough to resolve the problem they opened up aerial depredation to certified helicopter operators like us.

Q.  What license/permit is required to shoot from the helicopter?
A.  Any current Texas hunting license will work! If you are an out of state shooter you can obtain one at almost any sporting goods store or online at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

Q.  What is the minimum age to shoot from the helicopter?
A.  18 years old is the minimum age to shoot from the helicopter. However younger people are welcome to come along and shoot 35mm!

Q.  If I have someone underage can they still come?
A.  Yes they can. No matter how hold they are there is still however only two seats, so if someone under 18 comes there is only room for one shooter and one observer.

 

Logistics

Q.  Where do we stop for lunch?
A.  We land for lunch at The Oscar Store in Oscar Texas.

Q.  What forms of payment do you accept?
A.  We accept check, cash, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Sorry, no forms of payment that require us to feed them!

Q.  Can you pick us up in your company Humvee?
A.  We sure can! If you are staying at a local hotel or need a ride from the airport we’re happy to pick you up! If your willing to come in from so far away you didn’t bring a vehicle, the least we can do is drive across town to meet you!

Q.  2 Hours is a long time, what if I need to go to the bathroom?
A.  We do have a helicopter after all. We can always land and find a tree for ya!

 

Connect

Q.  How do I tag Heli Gunner of Facebook?
A.  @Heli Gunner works if you are already fans of our page, if not add us! www.facebook.com/heligunnertx

 

Pricing

Q.  Do you offer a weekday discount?
A.  Yes we do, typically we can offer a 10% weekday discount because it helps everyone out. Helps us keep our weekdays full and helps leave weekends available for other people that only have weekend availability.

Q.  What is your weather cancellation policy?
A.  A full refund. It’s that simple, if we can’t fly due to weather there is no reason to inconvenience you any more than already have to cancel due to weather! We will be perfectly happy to reschedule you or hang out at the hanger with you all day waiting to see if mother nature decides to let us fly!

Q.  Do you offer a military/LE/first responder discount?
A.  Absolutely, contact us to find out what we can do for you! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

Q.  Do you offer a discount for multiple hunts?
A.  Yes we do, things get a bit more efficient when working with more hours, we are happy to pass along those savings to you.

 

Safety

Q.  Why do you have a safety officer on board?
A.  Safety. The safety officer is a skilled and experienced guide as well, so they are able to assist in locating of hogs as well as advise the shooters and communicate with them during the flight and hog engagements while the pilot focuses on flying the aircraft.

Q.  Do you offer a safety briefing?
A.  YES! We include a safety briefing and aircraft orientation before every flight. Safety is our number one priority so we make sure everyone hears all of the safety information and understands the safety procedures before any hunt.

Q.  Do you offer an introductory course for newer shooters?
A.  Yes we do! If you are rusty with the operation of the AR type rifle or new to it’s function we are happy to offer a $200 Aerial Gunner course before your hunt. We will go over fundamentals and safe firearms handling on the ground, then go up in the aircraft and engage some steel targets from the air and practice those fundamentals in a low stress target engagement application. The $200 includes the ammunition.