John's Journal...


About the Killer Hunter

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gene Brooks of Dublin, Georgia, hunts hogs in three different states and is on call to a large number of landowners and farmers. When a bad hog or a pack of hogs starts eating and destroying crops, tearing up roads and killing dogs, then landowners and farmers call Brooks. Brooks' motto is, "Have Dogs, Will Travel." Although Brooks catches and removes any hog or group of hogs that terrorizes the landscape, he specializes in "killer" hogs. Killer hogs have been hunted before by other hog hunters and are so bad that they leave bulldogs, curs and hounds lying on the ground like casualties from a bombing raid. For the next two weeks, we'll look at the man, his dogs and the hogs he hunts.

Click to enlargeI respect courage in both man and beast. I appreciate the fact that a man, a dog or a hog will face one another knowing that before the battle has ended one of them will get caught, cut or killed. Hog hunters are a different breed. They're adventure junkies to the nth degree, but they are not just thrill seekers. They have methods to their madness and legitimate reasons for participating in one of the most-dangerous outdoor sports. One such man who personifies the almost-lost legend of the hog hunter is Gene Brooks of Dublin, Georgia. Brooks, who has a strong work ethic like America has been founded on, never has missed a day of work in the past 15 years. He's had his legs cut and stabbed by boar's tusks seven or eight times, had 30 stitches as a result of being cut by hogs and nearly lost his hand and his arm when a hog has bit him.

Click to enlarge"I've only been hurt about 15 times in almost 45 years of hog hunting," Brooks says. "Heck, I guess I'll have gotten hurt that many times if I'd been golfing. I don't play golf, I don't watch football or baseball on TV, I don't go out drinking or gambling, and I don't play cards. When my feet hit the floor, I'm hunting hogs." Although Brooks and his hunting partners, Trip Neal and David Campbell, hunt hogs anywhere, they mainly hunt wild pigs in three Georgia counties. "Much of the land around Macon and Dublin is leased out to deer hunters, and deer hunters don't want dogs on their land," Brooks explains. "Too, farmers allow us to hunt their lands any time they're having hog problems. Since David Campbell owns a propane gas company in this area, people around here know him, and they know that he and I hunt hogs together. So anytime a farmer has a hog problem, he tells David, and he calls for me and my dogs to come. That's how we get to hunt so much."

Click to enlargeLast year, Brooks and his hunting buddies caught 224 hogs, with the biggest one weighing 420 pounds. "We sell the big boars to Millwood Plantation," Brooks reports. "The plantation has a large fenced area to release trophy boars in and then allow hunters to go in and hunt them. The eating-size hogs we give away to anyone who wants to fatten them up and eat them. The in-between size hogs we sell to hunting preserves and landowners who want to build up a population of hogs on their property."


Check back each day this week for more about HE HUNTS KILLERS...

Day 1 - About the Killer Hunter
Day 2 - About the Hogs
Day 3 - The War at Long Creek, Part One
Day 4 - The War at Long Creek, Part Two
Day 5 - The War at Long Creek - Part Three


Entry 282, Day 1