Cody Durham and Mitch Mincey recently went on a hog hunt in Jackson County, and had a very interesting trip. While most people think of the eastern part of the state when talking about hog hunting, their western North Carolina trip produced some good hogs, but there was more to this hunt than just waiting for hogs to show up. It could have passed as a scouting trip for bears.

“We were getting trail camera photos of about 50 hogs on the property, and they are destroying the land. The hay fields look like someone has been plowing the dirt with a tractor, so we set out to take care of the problem,” said Durham.

The two were hunting on Mincey’s family farm, and they set up shop in a barn on the property around 8 p.m. They did a little sightseeing until things got interesting.

“We watched deer in the field up until dark, which triggers the solar panel that turns on a series of Wicked Lights. Shortly after that, a medium-sized bear, which we have several trail-camera photos of, stepped into the field and started eating. He ate for about an hour, laying down, and all of a sudden, he stood up and looked down a  road bed. He then turned around and ran rapidly to a laurel thicket, and we figured a larger bear was coming,” said Durham.

But it wasn’t another bear; it was exactly what Durham and Mincey were there for.

“We saw a large shadow approaching the field, and when it got closer, we realized it was a very large hog. I fixed my .35-caliber rifle on the boar’s shoulder and pulled the trigger. The boar went straight down,” Durham said.

After removing that hog from the field, the two hunters went back to the barn to watch over the field again. About an hour later, another bear showed up.

“It was a larger bear. This one was between 400 and 450 pounds. He stayed for about an hour, and then tucked tail and ran just like the smaller bear did. We knew it had to be another pig,” Durham said.

They were right. This boar came from the same location as the first one, and Mincey took the shot this time, putting the hog on the ground instantly. As they retrieved it from the field, they realized it was a hog they had nicknamed “Scarface,” after seeing how scarred up the hog’s face was through their trail-camera photos.

They kept the hogs cool in a nearby creek until morning, then stopped by Bryson Farm Supply in Sylva to weigh the hogs. Durham’s tipped the scales at 320 pounds, and Scarface weighed an even 300. They had both hogs ground into sausage, and are looking forward to their next hunt.

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