One Big Mother.....

robtattoo

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Back in the glorious days before the pandemic (2020, to be exact) a couple of my friends happened to mention that they had a huge pig problem on their dairy farm hunting lease. Neither of them having a minute's interest in shooting at anything that doesn't have antlers or a fan-tail, they asked whether I'd be interested in helping them with their issue.

Being the rabid hog-botherer that I am, I couldn't really refuse! I asked about the general layout of the property, boundaries etc & went a scouting.......

3 days I tramped up & down Tennessee hills, crossed creeks, glassed, watched, sniffed & scoured the entire 800 acres for the slightest sign of sounders of pigs. I found, in that time, absolutely nothing. No rooting, no tree rubs, not a single track. Nothing but cows.

"Hahaha.......bastards. Nice joke guys!"
.
"We have trail camera photos, I'm not kidding! Massive hog problem! "
.
"Nnnnno....no you don't. There are literally zero hogs here."
.
"No, there's not a lot of pigs. Just one."
.
"Massive hog problem?" I asked again....
.
"Yeah. One massive hog"
.
"Bollocks" I replied, slipping back into my native, English vulgarity
.
"Hang on..... here"
received_1844497092355514.jpeg

"Oh. Oh wow! Kinda hard to scale it with no frame of reference, but he certainly looks big enough"
.
"Gimme a couple of nights, I'll put a camera on some feed"

Fast forward about 3 weeks & I receive a text:
14305.jpeg


I'll refrain from posting my reply verbatim. I'm new & don't want to get banned, but it ran along the lines of:
.
"Good golly! Oh my! I'll be! Gosh, that's got some size!" Etc....

I ended up being indisposed for a couple of weeks following the message, but you can be sure, that photo was etched into my brain. Several other photos followed & one thing was certain, this pig was nocturnal. Not a single picture of it during daylight. I spoke with my guys & they confirmed it. They'd only ever seen or heard the thing at night & all the photos were in the dark.

Now, that presented me with a bit of an issue. As a non-citizen I'm not legally able to possess or even use any night vision equipment. Neither IR nor thermal (stupid ITAR laws) & my only rifle equipped with a light is my .300blk AR.
Now, I've shot a LOT of pigs with that rig & I'm incredibly comfortable with it. It's silly accurate & I know I can put 4 shots into a 2" ring in under 2 seconds at 50yds. I load Barnes, 110gn TacTX bullets over H110 at 2400fps & I know they'll go rooter-to-tooter through an average 100lb pig at 100yds so I figured, if I keep it close, broadside & in the CNS, I'll probably be OK (although I'd be happier still being really close to a climbable tree....)

The night of, I set up my plan. I updated the cattle feed pile (which my mates had been refreshing weekly) & figured out the wind vs possible approaches. I decided against using a blind or hide because I thought that if things didn't go to plan, I didn't want to be trapped. I've never actually been intentionally charged by a hog, but I've been in their escape route a couple of times & having once lost a fight to a chipmunk (that's a whoooole other tale) I know I can't take a pissed off pig in a fist fight.
So, I set myself on a small seat pad, on the ground, at the base of a small tree with lots of back cover & nothing in front of me. 32yds from the bait pile, mostly corn & white cattle feed, I figured I'd be able to see the pig outlined, aim, hit the light & shoot all at the same time.

So I sat. I sat & watched cows. I sat & watched rats, raccoons & squirrels. I sat and watched more cows. I hissed at cows. I threw rocks at cows. I threw freaking bricks at cows. I realized that cows are really, really hard to get away from food.
I considered shooting a cow......
About 6pm & well into the dark, the cows finally decided to leave. By now, I was concerned that either I, or the walking burgers had scared everything away.

Then I heard footsteps. Coming from the opposite direction & I braced myself. All I saw was a huge, black backline moving towards the bait pile (coming from my 7 o'clock about 15 feet from me)
.
"Jesus!" I thought to myself.

The form moved towards the light background of the corn pile & just as it became recognizable as an actual pig, the wind that'd been so steady for 3 straight hours, dropped. Then swirled.

The next segment happened over the space of maybe 3 seconds.....

The hog stopped like it'd run into a wall as it caught my scent & faster than I thought possible, spun end to end, facing back along is own path. It gathered it's feet & took off. In the space of time it took to cover 23yards (a second, maybe) I flipped of the safety, pulled my knees up, braced, pushed on the light's tail cap & instinctively decided on a neck shot. I don't remember seeing the crosshairs in the 1.5 power scope & I may have used the light as an aiming device! But my brain figured out lead & pulled the trigger without my body or finger having a damn thing to say about it.
Between the intense green light, muzzle flash & recoil in an awkward & hurried shooting position, I lost sight of my target.

My instinctive though was that as quickly as all that had happened, I'd just flat out missed. No way on earth I'd made an, estimated, 9 yard, running shot, at night on a freaking pig. No way. Nuh-huh. You can't do that.
But I went to check for blood anyway. Leaving the light on & the safety off, I walked up to the last tree I remember seeing before I blinded myself. There was a small drop on the other side of it. Maybe only 6 feet, but almost vertical.
.
"How the hell did I not see that?!"

That explained how she (she was a she) managed to not appear until she was so close.
I shone my light down the defile & to my utter amazement, she lay wedged under a fallen tree. I just stared at her for what seemed like minutes, reluctant to drop down the little cliffette, knowing that I wouldn't be able to quickly get back up. My brain, again, independently from the rest of me went:
.
"Nah, eff that mate!"

And slapped another 110 grains of gilding metal through the back of her neck, then jumped down the hill. My brain is a lot braver, or dumber, that the rest of me.

Shock, doesn't really cover it. Like, from 10 feet away, I knew it was the biggest hog I'd ever seen, let alone shot. But once I laid hands on her, the adrenaline really kicked in hard. I'm not going to lie, I was shaking like a dog shitting bottle caps. I finally mustered the wherewithal to call my buddies & let them know I'd got her.
They both showed up on their ATVs to help me get her out of the woods & thankfully, Dale brought a chainsaw. Stone me, it took 3 of us, none of who are small lads, nearly 4 hours to get her the 3/4 of a mile back to the truck. Then another hour to find a tractor & chains to load her onto a trailer. All the while, we're trying to guess her weight (closest wins a 6- pack from the other 2)
I don't even remember what our estimates were, but I know mine was around 300 pounds. I lost. By a long way.

Back at Dale's, we used his tractor & scale to haul her up & get an actual weight.......

20210109_205326.jpg


My jaw hit the floor. Mostly because I do all the game processing & butchering in my friends group *facepalm

So there it is. The story of my biggest ever hog & probably the nearest I'll ever get to hunting a buff!

20210109_181156.jpg
received_177218320802691.jpeg

20210113_175937.jpg


For comparison, here's her skull next to my previous record, 278 pounder......
20210201_183359.jpg
20210201_183412.jpg
 

sgt_zim

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hard to imagine she didn't have a bunch of sucklings and/or shoats trailing along after her.
 

robtattoo

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hard to imagine she didn't have a bunch of sucklings and/or shoats trailing along after her.

From what I can gather, after the fact, she escaped from a farm somewhere around 9-10 years previously. The dairy farmer told me that he been seeing her, maybe a couple of times a year, for at least that long.
In this part of Tennessee, wild hogs are still uncommon so the chances of her getting bred are really slim.
There were a couple of commercial pay-to-play hunting operations around here that were shut down sometime around 2010 & another that lost all it's fence in the big 2012 tornado, so I'm not sure whether she maybe came from one of them, or an actual pork farm & just went feral.
 
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Wishfulthinker580

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That is an impressive hog sir. Our local hogs tend look “ratty” in comparison.

The biggest I’ve ever seen weighed either 351 or 352 IIRC. Buddy of mine shot it at his feeder. It was a barrow that someone had caught with dogs, cut and released it.
 
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WAB

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Awesome! I’ve killed a lot of hogs but I’ve never seen anything close to that size.
 

sgt_zim

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From what I can gather, after the fact, she escaped from a farm somewhere around 9-10 years previously. The dairy farmer told me that he been seeing her, maybe a couple of times a year, for at least that long.
In this part of Tennessee, wild hogs are still uncommon so the chances of her getting bred are really slim.
There were a couple of commercial pay-to-play hunting operations around here that were shut down sometime around 2010 & another that lost all it's fence in the big 2012 tornado, so I'm not sure whether she maybe came from one of them, or an actual pork farm & just went feral.
she has the color markings of a Berkshire, but not really the body type, and the snout is kinda longish. some kind of a cross breed, could have escaped from any of the small mom-and-pop farms where breeding programs are "that there's a boar, and that over there's a sow, and in 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days, we'll have some piglets."

not doubting you, just more of a unicorn scenario.
 

USN

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Don’t ever let ‘em breed. The rule here where I hunt in SW OK is you see pigs hunt is over, start blasting. Sows first but any and all just shoot till no more ammo. Sucks when elk hunting or deer rut but you damn well better be shooting or land owner will not let you back on his property
 

robtattoo

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she has the color markings of a Berkshire, but not really the body type, and the snout is kinda longish. some kind of a cross breed, could have escaped from any of the small mom-and-pop farms where breeding programs are "that there's a boar, and that over there's a sow, and in 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days, we'll have some piglets."

not doubting you, just more of a unicorn scenario.

I think that's the most likely answer. Just some regular old, mixed breed farm hog that got loose & went feral. Her size being a product of living almost exclusively on high protein cattle feed for so long.
 

buck wild

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Big one for sure . We shoot over 400 hogs per year. They are all feral wild pigs running wild for 100+ yrs. We will shoot 20 or so that are truly over 300 pds and rarely any that will hit 350.
 

crs

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Good story and really good porker. My big pig story also will be brief.

My friends and I have hunted in southern OK just north of the Red River for several years and taken a lot of trophies and good pork there. One morning as we prepared to hunt the "pork pasture", The landowner called me on my mobile and told me that he had seen a lot of hogs from the county road in the "trophy pasture" and we should go there first! The trophy pasture is usually reserved for trophy hunts with dogs which is a lot of fun, with all pigs over 300 pounds.
Two of us walked a couple hundred yards up hill into the Trophy pasture before seeing anything then my buddy saw and shot a nice 200+ pound sow. In a few more steps, I was high enough to see many pigs out in a field, one of which was the largest I had ever seen in the wild. I stopped and brought my .308 up and fired, dropping the huge sow to the ground where she was feeding. My shot had clipped the backbone but not killed her, so another shot was required to settle matters.
52180_600x400.jpg

The landowner estimated the sow at 600 pounds and used a tractor front end loader to bring it in to the cleaning area where we took a picture.
 
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Inline6

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I hope you make it to Africa, you would definitely do well telling your story!

Nice pig!

Have only seen two bigger here, both were hit by truck and both trucks were totaled. One I thought was a cow, it was massive!
 

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Amazing. That was well fed pig.

Thanks for sharing the tale.
 

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Back in the glorious days before the pandemic (2020, to be exact) a couple of my friends happened to mention that they had a huge pig problem on their dairy farm hunting lease. Neither of them having a minute's interest in shooting at anything that doesn't have antlers or a fan-tail, they asked whether I'd be interested in helping them with their issue.

Being the rabid hog-botherer that I am, I couldn't really refuse! I asked about the general layout of the property, boundaries etc & went a scouting.......

3 days I tramped up & down Tennessee hills, crossed creeks, glassed, watched, sniffed & scoured the entire 800 acres for the slightest sign of sounders of pigs. I found, in that time, absolutely nothing. No rooting, no tree rubs, not a single track. Nothing but cows.

"Hahaha.......bastards. Nice joke guys!"
.
"We have trail camera photos, I'm not kidding! Massive hog problem! "
.
"Nnnnno....no you don't. There are literally zero hogs here."
.
"No, there's not a lot of pigs. Just one."
.
"Massive hog problem?" I asked again....
.
"Yeah. One massive hog"
.
"Bollocks" I replied, slipping back into my native, English vulgarity
.
"Hang on..... here"
View attachment 483467
"Oh. Oh wow! Kinda hard to scale it with no frame of reference, but he certainly looks big enough"
.
"Gimme a couple of nights, I'll put a camera on some feed"

Fast forward about 3 weeks & I receive a text:
View attachment 483469

I'll refrain from posting my reply verbatim. I'm new & don't want to get banned, but it ran along the lines of:
.
"Good golly! Oh my! I'll be! Gosh, that's got some size!" Etc....

I ended up being indisposed for a couple of weeks following the message, but you can be sure, that photo was etched into my brain. Several other photos followed & one thing was certain, this pig was nocturnal. Not a single picture of it during daylight. I spoke with my guys & they confirmed it. They'd only ever seen or heard the thing at night & all the photos were in the dark.

Now, that presented me with a bit of an issue. As a non-citizen I'm not legally able to possess or even use any night vision equipment. Neither IR nor thermal (stupid ITAR laws) & my only rifle equipped with a light is my .300blk AR.
Now, I've shot a LOT of pigs with that rig & I'm incredibly comfortable with it. It's silly accurate & I know I can put 4 shots into a 2" ring in under 2 seconds at 50yds. I load Barnes, 110gn TacTX bullets over H110 at 2400fps & I know they'll go rooter-to-tooter through an average 100lb pig at 100yds so I figured, if I keep it close, broadside & in the CNS, I'll probably be OK (although I'd be happier still being really close to a climbable tree....)

The night of, I set up my plan. I updated the cattle feed pile (which my mates had been refreshing weekly) & figured out the wind vs possible approaches. I decided against using a blind or hide because I thought that if things didn't go to plan, I didn't want to be trapped. I've never actually been intentionally charged by a hog, but I've been in their escape route a couple of times & having once lost a fight to a chipmunk (that's a whoooole other tale) I know I can't take a pissed off pig in a fist fight.
So, I set myself on a small seat pad, on the ground, at the base of a small tree with lots of back cover & nothing in front of me. 32yds from the bait pile, mostly corn & white cattle feed, I figured I'd be able to see the pig outlined, aim, hit the light & shoot all at the same time.

So I sat. I sat & watched cows. I sat & watched rats, raccoons & squirrels. I sat and watched more cows. I hissed at cows. I threw rocks at cows. I threw freaking bricks at cows. I realized that cows are really, really hard to get away from food.
I considered shooting a cow......
About 6pm & well into the dark, the cows finally decided to leave. By now, I was concerned that either I, or the walking burgers had scared everything away.

Then I heard footsteps. Coming from the opposite direction & I braced myself. All I saw was a huge, black backline moving towards the bait pile (coming from my 7 o'clock about 15 feet from me)
.
"Jesus!" I thought to myself.

The form moved towards the light background of the corn pile & just as it became recognizable as an actual pig, the wind that'd been so steady for 3 straight hours, dropped. Then swirled.

The next segment happened over the space of maybe 3 seconds.....

The hog stopped like it'd run into a wall as it caught my scent & faster than I thought possible, spun end to end, facing back along is own path. It gathered it's feet & took off. In the space of time it took to cover 23yards (a second, maybe) I flipped of the safety, pulled my knees up, braced, pushed on the light's tail cap & instinctively decided on a neck shot. I don't remember seeing the crosshairs in the 1.5 power scope & I may have used the light as an aiming device! But my brain figured out lead & pulled the trigger without my body or finger having a damn thing to say about it.
Between the intense green light, muzzle flash & recoil in an awkward & hurried shooting position, I lost sight of my target.

My instinctive though was that as quickly as all that had happened, I'd just flat out missed. No way on earth I'd made an, estimated, 9 yard, running shot, at night on a freaking pig. No way. Nuh-huh. You can't do that.
But I went to check for blood anyway. Leaving the light on & the safety off, I walked up to the last tree I remember seeing before I blinded myself. There was a small drop on the other side of it. Maybe only 6 feet, but almost vertical.
.
"How the hell did I not see that?!"

That explained how she (she was a she) managed to not appear until she was so close.
I shone my light down the defile & to my utter amazement, she lay wedged under a fallen tree. I just stared at her for what seemed like minutes, reluctant to drop down the little cliffette, knowing that I wouldn't be able to quickly get back up. My brain, again, independently from the rest of me went:
.
"Nah, eff that mate!"

And slapped another 110 grains of gilding metal through the back of her neck, then jumped down the hill. My brain is a lot braver, or dumber, that the rest of me.

Shock, doesn't really cover it. Like, from 10 feet away, I knew it was the biggest hog I'd ever seen, let alone shot. But once I laid hands on her, the adrenaline really kicked in hard. I'm not going to lie, I was shaking like a dog shitting bottle caps. I finally mustered the wherewithal to call my buddies & let them know I'd got her.
They both showed up on their ATVs to help me get her out of the woods & thankfully, Dale brought a chainsaw. Stone me, it took 3 of us, none of who are small lads, nearly 4 hours to get her the 3/4 of a mile back to the truck. Then another hour to find a tractor & chains to load her onto a trailer. All the while, we're trying to guess her weight (closest wins a 6- pack from the other 2)
I don't even remember what our estimates were, but I know mine was around 300 pounds. I lost. By a long way.

Back at Dale's, we used his tractor & scale to haul her up & get an actual weight.......

View attachment 483470

My jaw hit the floor. Mostly because I do all the game processing & butchering in my friends group *facepalm

So there it is. The story of my biggest ever hog & probably the nearest I'll ever get to hunting a buff!

View attachment 483481View attachment 483480
View attachment 483482

For comparison, here's her skull next to my previous record, 278 pounder......
View attachment 483483View attachment 483485
@robtattoo
That one big mother of a pig mate.
In Australia our dogs are different when it comes to pain. We say as painfull as a dog sitting razor blades.
There's on hell of a lot of good eating there, well done.
Bob
 

crs

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Bob Nelson,
After I had my big Duroc sow processed, we enjoyed eating the prime cuts, but gave the rest of the packaged meat to a charity operation in town.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Bob Nelson,
After I had my big Duroc sow processed, we enjoyed eating the prime cuts, but gave the rest of the packaged meat to a charity operation in town.
@crs
That was a very kind gesture. I'm sure it was well appreciated by many.
Bib
 

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