Mississippi style wild hog hunting

By Staff
Aug. 31, 2001
While most people hang up their guns after deer season, a few die-hard hunters have taken up the sport of wild hog hunting. For a select few, it is a chance to stay in the woods almost year around. As long as the dogs and hunters can stand the often extreme heat, it's legal to tangle with and harvest hogs 12 months of the year. Recently I had a chance to pursue the wild Russian/feral boars in the Mississippi delta.
Wild hogs are mean and big; big enough to back down almost anyone or anything. With sharp teeth and tusks, they are able to inflict serious injury to both humans and animals.
Tough critters
Fortified with thick armor-plated skin, they are very tough to bring down with arrows or bullets. In fact it's nearly impossible to drop them dead in their tracks. There's one drawback here. If you wound one and you're close by, you better have a tree to climb real fast else you might be looking for a doctor to stitch you up. Many of these brutes have sliced up hunters' arms and legs with their razor sharp tusks!
After arriving at our hunting destination near Tunica, Dan Robinson and I met Cary Ikerd and Jeff Lawrence who happen to be top-notch hog hunters. "What did y'all bring to shoot?" inquired Lawrence. With a look of astonishment I advised that we were told to bring only ourselves and asked what weapons they had in their arsenal. Lawrence replied, "I've got a Bowie knife, and if that doesn't suit you I've got a 44 magnum that's pretty good on hogs" I haven't shot a pistol a whole lot and I surely didn't relish the thought of having only a Bowie knife between a wild boar and me!
Crackerjack hog dog
Shortly, Ikerd introduced us to perhaps the premier hog dog of the Southeast. With over 400 kills to his credit, this Catahoula Cur named Gator has gained a reputation for being one of the best hog dogs to ever bay a boar hog. Gator has been in many battles and he has most assuredly won many wars with the hogs. In fact, he wears the battle scars of over 400 stitches inflicted by wild, crazed hogs.
Most, if not all of the hogs, far outweigh this old warrior. During the heat of battle, Gator's quickness, perseverance and experience pays off. He doesn't bark on the trail, he only barks after he has an old boar in his sights and bayed. Once he has the hog's attention he will corner the ill-tempered critter and force the beast to stop and fight. With his keen intellect and instinct, Gator engages the hog in a game of cat and mouse, which enables him to keep the hog in one small area while he barks and alerts the hunters of his whereabouts.
Next week I'll render the story of an exciting hunt with Gator and his canine companions that has a rather dramatic ending.
Contact Mike Giles at mgiles17@msn.com.