Whew! This was by far the largest hog I've shot while hunting solo. If I had not had my hand truck, he'd have stayed out in the field as coyote and buzzard food. As it was, I had to haul it over 300 yards on the hand truck up and down a bit of a rise, and I stopped three times to catch my breath. Once I got it on the truck, I made sure it was well up onto the truck bed. I did NOT want to have to load it again if it bounced off!
Just before sundown on Tuesday, 15 September, I was looking over a field that had some cattle spread out in it, and off in the distance I saw what looked like several hogs come out of the woods maybe a half mile away. I started hiking that direction, going down a hill and through some trees so that I lost sight of them for several minutes. When I made it to the top of a small rise in the pasture, I saw only cows, and thought that perhaps what I had seen were really cattle on the other side of a rise, only partially visible through the weeds. I figured that as long as I had moved locations, I might as well stay there for a while and see what developed. As I scanned the field minutes later, I saw two very large hogs to my left. The closer one was maybe 125 yards away, the second on perhaps 50 yards further out. I looked through my binoculars and my rifle scope for over a minute to be certain I wasn't looking at a calf or a cow because they were so big!
As I've mentioned before, I'm maybe an average shot but I get lucky now and then. I aimed for the shoulder, but hit a little lower than planned. The bullet hit low in the right shoulder, breaking the leg just above the 'knee' joint and then entering the body too low to do significant damage. The hog went down, but after thrashing for maybe five seconds it got back up and took off at a pretty impressive gallop for having only three good legs. It was running across in front of me from right to left, so I waited until it got to it's closest distance from me, which was roughly 100 yards, and shot again. I didn't lead it nearly enough and the bullet hit the left hindquarter, breaking the hip. With two legs broken it ran no more, but managed to get back to a sitting position. My third shot hit it directly behind the left eye and put it down for good. As I walked up to it I was a bit amazed to see how large it really was. We've taken several hogs on this property that weighed 200 pounds or more, but it's not common.
Here you can see the heart girth was just over 44 inches, indicating a weight of around 240 pounds. It looks like I'm really pulling the tape tight, but that's really just showing the shoulder muscle definition this guy had. I would not have wanted to tangle with him Mano a Mano . . .
This last photo shows him hanging. His nose is about six inches off the ground, and his hind legs are about six and a half feet in the air. A hog this size can certainly do a lot of damage, and we're glad to have him removed from the property. This guy's final act will be to go through the grinder and end up as ground meat and sausage.