I gave a plug the other day to Bryan Hendricks, outdoor columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, for his ringing defense of the need for the the semi-automatic military-style assault rifle for its functionality as a tool for controlling feral hog populations.
The newspaper's resident armorer has gone national.
Mother Jones has picked up on Hendricks' column and expanded it, including video demonstration. And added prairie dogs as another useful target. Also some commentary:
Semiautomatics aren't the only way to bag a pig. "In our extension and outreach efforts, we mainly talk about trapping, because that's gonna be the most efficient way," says Bill Hamrick, a wildlife extension associate at Mississippi State University. "You don't have to be there on the spot, and you can catch more animals in one trapping than you can in one hunting or shooting event, because usually when you shoot they scatter." But, Hamrick added, there were some instances where the assault-rifle might be the most feasible: "If you wanna do pig control and you're doing it at night with thermal imaging and night vision, then yeah, you would want to be able to get off as many shots as you could."
There's one thing that should help Hendricks et al breathe a little easier, though. The proposed assault weapons legislation would apply only to new sales; it wouldn't do anything about the 3.8 million AR-15-type rifles that are already legally owned in the United States, nor would it do much to stop gunmakers from modifying existing weapons ever-so-slightly to meet the new specifications. Wildlife owners might lose their high-capacity clips, but they'll still be able to use their Bushmaster for their cold, dead hams.
Failing that, they could always try karaoke.