In the area near my home in Southeast Texas, we saw a tremendous amount of wild game movement seeking cover from the cold and water as most ponds and shallow canals were frozen.
On the second night of the freeze, I turned the corner off of a farm to market road heading toward my house. It was about 10 at night and I saw a larger boar (200 pound class) standing on the side of the road.
I slowed down, grabbed my phone and took this picture as it crossed the road.
This photo is taken about 1/4 mile from a high school. It’s only 1/2 mile from a neighborhood.
I’ve been talking about big hogs in suburban and urban areas for several years now. Well, here’s one that seemingly showed up in my neighborhood to say, “You’re right”.
What I noticed were the huge tusks.
By the way, here’s a dirty little secret about the tusks of boars.
When you see a boar mounted, the tusks are almost always pulled out of the jawline. Most of the tusk (2/3 or more) is in the jawline. So, when you see a mounted hog with five inch tusks, there were probably only two inches protruding the mouth.
This hog had 3.5-4 inches of tusks protruding from its mouth.
When I got home and looked at the pic, I noticed something unusual with the back left leg of the hog. It almost looks as if its deformed.
Is that a motion blur of some kind? That’s certainly possible and I’m leaning that direction with my opinion.
Or is there some kind of weird deformity or injury here?
In this episode of Higher Calling Wildlife on the Waypoint Podcast Network, host Chester Moore and hog expert Jeff Stewart analyze a 2021 hog attack after Chester interviews the survivor who tells a terrifying story of his near-death encounter.
The first time I went into this location I got the creeps.
You know that feeling you get when you think something might be watching you?
Well, that’s what I had.
So I do what this inquisitive wildlife journalist always seems to do. I pressed on.
I found some large feral hog tracks. They were 3.5 inches long and were the only hog tracks in area.
This location is a piece of property I have access to in a local city. It’s close to homes and areas used for a variety of recreation so I decided to put my Moultrie Mobile XV-6000 that sends photos to an app on my cell phone when photos are taken.
The first photo taken Oct. 7 clearly shows the boar which judging by the tracks and its height measured next to the vegetation in the area is a big boy.
I’d say it weighs 200 plus pounds. It’s not a monster but a legit big hog.
The second shot comes three days later and is the same hog. Between this time and for an additional four days there were no other animals on this trail.
And when I scouted the area-even in a wide patch of open dirt the only trucks were this guy’s tracks. There were no rabbit, raccoon, other hog, opossum, armadillo or any of the tracks of animals common in this area. In fact, just 1/4-mile down from here there is plenty of other animal sign.
I believe I was in the area this hog stakes as its home base of operation and it keeps a lot of other animals, especially other hogs out.
In a 2017 article I did for The Wildlife Journalist, I quoted a study conducted by Dr. Jack Mayer of the Savannah River National Laboratory.
The study documented 412 wild hog attacks worldwide impacting 665 people. During this time there were four fatal hog attacks in the United States.
Of the 21 states reporting hog attacks Texas led the pack with 24 percent with Florida at 12 percent and South Carolina 10. Interestingly when examining worldwide shark fatalities hogs actually beat them out in deaths some years-including 2013.
Here’s where it gets interesting about our solitary boar. Check out these stats.
In his study, hogs that attack are described as solitary (82 percent), large (87 percent) and male (81 percent) and most attacks occurred when there was no hunting involved.
The boar in these photos checks off all of those boxes.
Someone like me who has an idea what he is looking for and knows to take precautions going into a spot like this is one thing.
But how many people in urban and suburban areas will have surprise encounters these kinds of hogs as their populations grow?
We need to start educating people about hogs in urban and suburban areas. And as whatever means are used to take out hog numbers in these zones (usually trapping), specifically targeting some of these lone boars might be wise.