Remember the 1,100-pound “wild” hog the 11-year old Alabama boy bagged with his trusty pistol? Well, this story needed a little more rooting around to get to the truth. In reality, every once in a while somebody kills a really big hog, enters it into a contest and its registers roughly 300 to 400 pounds, but most truly wild hogs will struggle to reach 150 pounds. Their lives are too hard, and even scrounging around corn feeders and protein silos they just can’t often reach those gargantuan sizes we imagine them to be. We just like a good horror movie, and huge hogs willing to kill make such a great villain.
So that brings us back to Hogzilla II (H2), the giant hog killed by an 11-year-old Alabama kid with a pistol while his father and a couple of guides stood backup with rifles. The hog was reported to have weighed more than 1,000 pounds, topping a 2004 hog that weighed about 800 pounds.
Within 3-4 days after the bagging of H2, the whole thing really started to go wrong as Alabama wildlife officials announced they were beginning an investigation into how the hog made its way into the fenced enclosure where it was killed. It’s against the law in Alabama to transport wild hogs and release them. So the folks at Lost Creek had to claim they grew the hog on the spot or that they bought a domestic hog and released it just for the kid to kill. He shot it with a pistol, a .50 caliber pistol, so anybody who’s ever hunted knows that he would have had to be close by when he fired.
If you will recall, by the time the news hit the wires, the kid already had a Web site, conveniently sponsored in part by Lost Creek Plantation, the 2,400-acre hunting area where he killed the pig. The site proclaimed that he had killed the largest hog ever for an 11-year-old and that a video was coming. I don’t think they even bothered after more info leaked out. Keep reading.
To get that big, though, the hog had to have been fed out in some way, not grown wild to a thousand pounds. In not even a week’s time since the hog had been “bagged”, an Alabama pig farmer came forward to say that the pig was his originally, and that it had been bought and placed in the enclosure ONLY four days before the hunt. The boy’s dad added a long disclaimer to the Web site, stating they never claimed it was a record pig, that killing the hog was still a great accomplishment and that nobody did anything wrong.
People have done worse for no money, of course, but this was wrong. They claimed it was a feral hog. It wasn’t (feral, by the way, is the term used to describe any domesticated animal gone wild, as in a breeding feral cat population). They planned to sell videos, and the plantation planned to sell hunts for pigs that belonged in someone’s barnyard. It’s too orchestrated, whether it’s illegal or not.
The truth, or what passes for it, continues to trickle out, and it just gets uglier. That’s what happens when people start trying to make money off something like this or get onto television to crow about something like a world-record deer or an other-worldly largemouth bass. This was a bad deal for the pig. It’s a bad deal for the kid, too. But the real blame falls on his father.