Durant resident Mark Swearengin sent this note to KTEN News about a the wild hog population booming and creating tremendous crop damage in Bryan County.  Swearengin says he received a call from the rancher who has this field on 700 acres of land south of Hendrix along the Red River, practically begging him to kill some of the hogs that were causing the damage. Below is his story:

I went out late Friday afternoon on 12/29/2006, thinking the hogs would move out onto the fields just before dark to feed, due to the recent rain.  They like to forage in the soft earth, and prior damage from that was evident.  Since I arrived a little early, I decided to follow a trail through the woods along the side of the field, and made sure the wind was in my favor.  About 150 yards in, I spotted this one standing sentry over some other hogs which were bedded down.  I assumed at the time it was typical of the others I've hunted, and figured it would weigh 250 pounds or so, and estimated it was about 75 yards away.  It was watching the area, and turned my direction.  It then locked right on me.  It sniffed loudly twice, trying to smell me, but couldn't due to the wind direction.  It then decided to see what I was up close, and began trotting down the trial toward me, making a huffing noise like a bear as it ran.  I've killed 15 hogs over the last 3 years, and assumed when it got closer it would bolt to the left or right, at which time I planned to take a broadside shot.  At about 20 yards, I realized it had no intention of turning.  I raised my 7mm magnum, and all I could see through the scope was brown hair.  One bark from the rifle, and it dropped dead, shot right between the eyes.  I had no idea how big it was until I walked up to it.  I realized afterwards that it had actually been much closer than I had initially thought.  It's large size fooled me into thinking that it was further away.

I went back out the next morning with a flexible tape measure and my camera.  Here are the specifics:  Total length is six feet four inches, diameter of the neck is three and one half feet, diameter of the stomach is four and one half feet.  The front flat part of the nose is over four inches across.  I caped out the head for my taxidermist, and it ended up weighing 56 pounds!  I took pictures of it out to Potters Sausage Company, and two of the employees who weigh pigs for the company estimated the weight at 600-650 pounds!  This was a sow, so she did not have the large tusks a boar would have had.

Although not the size of the legendary Hogzilla killed in Georgia a few years ago, ( National Geographic estimated the length at over 7 & 1/2 feet, and the weight to be 750 pounds.) this Pigzilla is mighty big by Southern Oklahoma standards.  I know it's changed my perspective of what might just be lurking in the woods around here!

Mark Swearengin
Durant, OK.