A 500-pound boar was shot and killed by a hunter in North Carolina. Jett Web, age 34, bagged the enormous creature at the White Oak Ranch Hunting Club last week. Although he said the experience was “very surreal,” he was proud to capture the elusive beast.
Cameras, which are placed throughout the managed habitat, revealed the boar several years ago. However, the huge animal managed to avoid capture. Although wild boars are not uncommon in North Carolina, a 500-pound boar is quite rare.
Hogs were introduced in the United States in the late 1400s and early 1500s. As they were rarely confined to pens, their population gradually increased and spread throughout the country. Through the centuries, a majority of the wild pigs remained in the southeastern United States.
However, as discussed by the University of California’s Department of Environmental Science, wild boars were introduced in numerous states specifically for the purpose of hunting. In addition to the southeastern states, boar populations are now found in California, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, and North Carolina.
Unfortunately, boars introduced for hunting purposes have become invasive. Wild boars are capable of destroying crops and vegetation. However, their diet is not limited to plants. They are also known for hunting livestock and wild game.
As the boars are aggressive and resistant to repellents, traps and hunting are the only effective means of reducing their population. Unfortunately, as the population continues to increase, there are no foolproof means of protection against the wild beasts:
“In most areas it is unlikely that wild pigs can be exterminated. It is theoretically possible, but the cost to do so is unusually prohibitive. Landowners must generally accept the fact that they will always have some wild pigs.”
Clubs like the White Oak Ranch organize hunts in an attempt to combine population control with sport. Although Webb hoped for a successful hunt, he never expected to bag a 500-pound boar:
“It was a shock. It was very humbling to say the least, when you walk up on a beast that big and you say, ‘Oh my gosh. I had no idea that there could be something that big running around the woods of Eastern North Carolina.'”
White Oak Ranch President Mike Mansell was also impressed with the beast:
“It takes your breath away for a second to realize how big this hog is,” he says. “It took up the entire bed of the pick-up truck.”
Mansell said the wild boar population in North Carolina is out of control. As reported by WNCT, he estimates that the population doubles every year. Mansell said the 500-pound boar will not go to waste, it will provide enough meat to feed a family for a year.
[Image via Yahoo]