NATCHITOCHES, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation says farmers are paying to join a U.S. Department of Agriculture program that brings marksmen to shoot from helicopters at feral hogs.

It says the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been using aerial gunning to kill hogs in wildlife refuges, and invited farmers to participate for a fee.

The program expansion is in the Natchitoches Soil and Water Conservation District. The federation's news release doesn't say how much farmers pay.

Farmer Casey Messenger says aerial gunners killed 40 hogs in his area the first year, and more than 50 the next. He says he's satisfied.

Conservation district chairman Sidney Evans says about 40,000 acres of farmland were enrolled in the first year, and hunters and trappers removed more than 1,200 hogs.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.