John's Journal...


The Chapel Hill Boar, Part I

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Gene Brooks of Dublin, Georgia, who 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, whose motto is “Have Dogs, Will Travel.” Although Brooks catches and removes any hog or group of hogs that terrorize the landscape, he specializes in “killer” hogs – those that have been hunted before by other hog hunters. These killer hogs are so bad that they leave bulldogs, curs and hounds lying on the ground like casualties from a bombing raid. This week we’ll continue to look at the man, his dogs and the hogs he hunts.

Click to enlarge“I found the Chapel Hill hog when a landowner called me,” Brooks recalls. “This farmer had had dead cow that the Chapel Hill boar had dragged off into the woods. When I saw the cow, I went up to it and saw some huge hog tracks by it. I also saw where the hog had been rooting to get bugs and critters coming out of the dead cow. Although the track indicated that this hog was a pretty good size, I never had a clue that this was an exceptional hog. One night when we decided to go hog hunting, I decided to go to that old cow carcass and turn my hounds loose. The dogs bayed the hog after only about 50 yards. I could hear him popping his jaws, so I knew it was a boar. I turned Rusty, my catch dog, loose to go chase the dogs. What I learned later was that the hog had bayed-up in a real bad thicket full of briars and brambles.

Click to enlarge“Rusty was a red-nose pit bull that could catch any hog I ever put him near. He could catch a freight train if you could pin ears on it so that he thought it was a hog. When Rusty hit the briars, I heard squealing and hollering and dogs yapping, and then I heard nothing. The battle was over. I knew that the hog had broke and run, and I thought Rusty was running with my cur dogs trying to catch the boar as he ran out through the woods. The cur dogs were right behind the hog, and I was running wide open right behind the cur dogs. When we got to the hog, I was expecting to see Rusty clamped onto that boar’s head, but when I didn’t see Rusty, I knew that the hog had probably cut him. I could tell this bull weighed close to 400 pounds. The fellow I was hunting with had a pistol and wanted to shoot the hog. But I told him, ‘No, we don’t shoot hogs. A real hog hunter who has a pack of dogs always catches a hog. He never shoots him. That’s against the hog hunter’s code.’”

“When the hog broke bay and ran again, I told the other hunters to follow the dogs. I was going to go back and look for Rusty. I knew if Rusty wasn’t catching that hog, then he was cut and hurt. I realized that the sooner I could get to him, the better my odds would be for saving his life. When I reached the thicket and crawled in to where the fight had taken place, I found Rusty. His entire shoulder was cut away and was lying back across his back. He had his throat cut, and he was cut in the chest twice. knew there was nothing I could do for Rusty—he was already dead. But I had to go try and save my other dogs from this old bad hog.

Click to enlarge“I took off running back to where I heard the hogs barking and baying. When I got to the fight, I found that three more of my dogs had been cut by the hog. I knew that if I didn’t get my bay dogs away from that hog he would cut up or kill every dog we had because my catch dog was dead. And you just can’t let your bay dogs go in and catch the hog. You really need a bulldog to do that. So, when the boar would lunge at a dog and the dog would jump back, one of the other hunters or myself would grab the dog by the collar and put a leash on him. We finally caught up all our dogs and let the hog go.

“On the way back to my truck, I asked one of the other hunters if he would go get ole Rusty. Since that hunter knew how much the dog meant to me, he went into the thicket and brought Rusty’s lifeless body back and laid him in the back of the truck. I took ole Rusty back to the house and buried him in my dog cemetery because he had proven he was worthy. Of all the dogs I’ve owned through the years, I’ve only buried 20 of the toughest and bravest in that cemetery. Each of those 20 dogs was a true warrior, full of courage and staying power, and the kind of proud dog that made the man who owned him proud.”


Check back each day this week for more about MORE ABOUT THE BAD, WILD HOGS GENE BROOKS HUNTS...

Day 1 - How It All Began
Day 2 - Breeding Cur Dogs
Day 3 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part I
Day 4 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part II
Day 5 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part III


Entry 283, Day 3