John's Journal...


The War at Long Creek, Part One

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 enlargeOn the way to Long Creek, Gene Brooks began to remember his last encounter with the bad boar of Long Creek. "The first time I hunted him, he cut up five of my dogs and broke free," Brooks recalls. "I knew he was bad, and I knew he was dangerous, but he was a hog that had to be caught and taken off the land. He was destroying too many crops and causing too much trouble. I understood ahead of time that the dogs and I would do what we had to do to catch this bad boar. In times past, he'd killed two of my really good dogs and cut up nine more. This hog was a warrior in every sense of the word - savage, cunning and deadly. I knew that when I went to hunt him, there would be dogs and blood in the air. I just hoped that none of my good dogs would get killed."

Click to enlargeWhen Brooks let the curs out to find the hog, they struck immediately, and the race started. Brooks and his hunting partner that day, Trip Neal, took the two catch dogs, Blackjack and Jack, on leashes to follow the curs until they bayed the hog. When the curs finally bayed the hog, Brooks and Neal ran with the bulldogs to the fight. "When we arrived, dogs were in the air, and the hog was cutting and slashing like a warrior of old," Brooks remembers. "Sailor, Buster and Bo were the only dogs still standing. The other three cur dogs were bleeding and wounded, and I got there in time to see Petey fight her last fight. (Petey, a female cur and one of Brook's best running dogs, was killed on this hunt). Petey went in to catch the hog by the ear. As soon as she locked on that big boar's ear, he threw his head up and then to the side, and his razor-sharp tusks cut Petey's throat. By the time I reached Petey, she'd bled to death. The hog was so tough that Buster, Sailor and Bo couldn't keep him bayed. That hog scattered the pack, ran about 100 yards and then backed up beside a big tree and dared the dogs to come get him."

Click to enlargeBrooks then turned loose Blackjack and Jack, two veteran bulldogs. Big, strong, tough and courageous, they had caught and held many a big boar until Brooks and his hunting partner could throw the hogs, tie them and drag them out of the woods. These bulldogs had faced slashing tusks before. They knew how to go in and grab a hog by the nose, the jaws or the ears and not get cut. They were quick, strong and experienced in battle. And when they latched on to a hog's head, they wouldn't turn loose until the hog was thrown and tied. That's the mission of a catch dog-the job for which he's born and bred.


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 3