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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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We grow 'em big in Texas.... ironically, it was Jack Monteith up in Canada who sent this to me!

http://www.tylerpaper.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=8343300&BRD=1994&PAG=461&dept_id=226369&rfi=8

Hog heaven might have recently received one of its biggest tenants ever.

On Saturday, Corey Smith and brother Jeff Smith shot and killed an 870-pound feral pig on Jeff's property off Interstate 20 near the Smith/Gregg County line. It was 7 feet, 2 inches long from snout to rump.

While size records of feral pigs are not kept, the boar's dimensions are extremely rare.

Steve Lange, wildlife technician at the Old Sabine Bottom Wildlife Management Area, said the average size for a feral pig, which is a domestic pig that has been released into the wild, runs between 100 to 150 pounds on average, but can reach up to 500 pounds.

Texas Parks and Wildlife District Supervisor and Game Warden Capt. Larry Hand said it was the biggest feral pig he had heard of in his 18 years with TPWD.

"I've never heard of anything close to that size," Hand said.

Jeff's wife, Candi, sighted the pig while walking with her mother and 2-year old son on Friday morning.

"She was walking down the road and saw him," Corey Smith said. "By the time they turned around, it was coming at them."

Frightened by the pig, the family turned back toward home and asked for help from neighbors to kill it.

"We were afraid that it would hurt one of the little boys," Jeff Smith said.

Although they were unable to find it Friday night, Corey spotted the boar as he drove up to Jeff's house early Saturday morning and proceeded to shoot it four times in the shoulder with his .357-caliber rifle.

"It didn't even phase him," said Corey Smith. "He just kept running."

After Corey's wife woke up Jeff, the two brothers chased the pig into the woods, where they shot him five more times and killed him. They brought the pig to Weatherford Fishing and Rental Tools in Kilgore, where Corey works, and weighed the pig on a scale used for torquing oil field tools. Jeff said the $7,000 scale used to weigh the pig is "accurate to the ounce."

When asked what the family plans to do with the pig, father DaveySmith said they will mount the head and throw away the rest. Apparently, the pig was too tough to eat.

Corey said several animals, including dogs and chickens, have disappeared in the past year, since a neighbor first spotted the pig. The Smith family believes the pig may have been the culprit.

Lange said feral pigs are "very opportunistic" when looking for food, but usually stick to grasses and plant-oriented food during the summer. In the winter, feral pigs will eat grubs and other small invertebrates, but Lange said he had never heard of a feral pig eating a dog before. While the pigs are usually docile, "any wild animal will defend itself when attacked," Lange said.

Lange estimates the wild pig population in Texas at close to 2 million, with a population density of 30 to 40 near Smith County's river bottoms and 10 to 15 in the upland area. They can breed extremely fast, with two pigs producing up to 30 offspring in one calendar year.

And while Lange has heard many stories of people being harmed by feral pigs, there has not been a reported case of a person going to the emergency room because of injuries from a pig in his five years at TPWD.

The wild animal most associated with sending a person to the emergency room? The white-tailed deer, which attacks over 100 people a year.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Shot a couple of those critters down by Brackettville years ago.

They were in the 150 - 175 lb. range. Durned good eating, as I recall.
 
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