While most hunters across the nation slept soundly on the morning of February 2, Chris Morris woke early in the hopes of getting a quick squirrel hunt in before the Superbowl. According to The Times-Picaynne, the Louisiana hunter equipped himself with his trusty .22 Magnum rifle and headed for the nearby Pearl River Wildlife Management Area. Morris quickly picked up three of the critters in what was turning out to be a successful outing, but he soon ran into something much bigger than a squirrel.
The hunter had wandered too close to where a wild hog had made its bed. Morris saw it charge just before it was too late.
“I turned and looked, and by the time I saw it, it was six feet away and closing,” Morris said.
Coming with the estimated 140-pound animal was a pair of deadly tusks. When threatened, male pigs lower their heads and charge predators, using their tusks to slash upwards into vital organs. For their size, boars are also surprisingly agile. When Morris turned to sidestep the animal, it swerved mid-run and knocked the hunter over.
Laying on the ground is one of the most dangerous positions when faced with a boar attack, but Morris managed to keep the animal distracted with a series of kicks. The hog was sawing its tusks back and forth to try and reach the hunter’s thighs, which Morris knew could be deadly.
“I was on my back, and he was between my legs,” he said. “I was kicking, trying to keep him away from my thighs. He was steadily just gashing back and forth. He gashed my left knee a little bit, punctured my right knee and my calf. When he did that, he actually bit me. When he grabbed my calf, I grabbed his snout.”
According to the Clarion Ledger, Morris was able to retrieve his rifle and fire a round into the pig. The animal jerked and ran off into the dense brush. The hunter said he began to track the wounded animal, but a wet sensation in his boots stopped him in his tracks. Peeling off his knee boot, Morris could see that the boar had sliced through the material and into his leg. Morris quickly left the Wildlife Management Area and was driven to a hospital by his wife.
Veteran hunters advise caution when tracking wounded hogs. Boars are naturally tough and very dangerous when cornered, even if wounded. Feral hogs, especially large males, have been known to survive being shot multiple times with smaller-caliber bullets.
Feral hogs are also an invasive species in Louisiana and are removed whenever possible.
Morris is now recovering from his injury, although he will have to undergo surgery next week. The hunter is thankful that he is alive and compared his brush with the pig to being tackled by a linebacker.
Image courtesy West Virginia Department of Natural Resources