Smith knew precisely where to go for help. He called close friend and agriculture consultant Michael Mims, Mims Ag, Minter City, Miss. Mims has several trained hog dogs and often hunts down feral hogs for many farmers in the area. The following Saturday, hog dogs in tow, Mims arrived in Glendora. Based on the two sightings and the decimated corn patch, Smith had the search narrowed down to an 80-acre section on 2,000 acres of corn ground. At 5:30 a.m., Smith and Mims led a small hunting party of friends and family into the corn fields of Due West to take down a massive wild hog. And as the chase played out — the hog would prove even bigger than any of them ever suspected.
Smith eased around the edge of the field looking for hog signs and as soon as fresh tracks were found, Mims loosed three baying dogs. They hit on the hog about 150 yards into the corn and started howling, driving the hog out of the field. “He ran out onto the turn row,” Smith says, “and there were a few people close by when he came out and they had to scatter.” Smith’s father, Larry Smith, Sr., was one of those standing in the turn row. As Smith, Sr. describes the moment: “The dogs were raising Cain around the corner, so we hustled down there and that hog was in the turn row and I’m telling you — he was looking like a horse. That hog about ran on top of me. You ever seen a fat, 65-year-old man run?”
For a photo gallery of the massive Due West wild hog, see Photos: Huge feral pig killed in Mississippi corn field
Back into the corn the hog went, and Mims next released two pit bulls — catch dogs for the takedown. They ran into the corn, and with most any other hog, the hunt would have been over — but the chase was only just beginning. The hog came out of the corn again, dragging all the dogs across the road and down to a slough. “The dogs couldn’t get him stopped; he just kept throwing them off,” Smith says.
At this point, the melee included Smith and Mims, who were both in the middle of the scrum, side-by-side with the dogs, trying to bring down the hog. “You could get hurt easily, but I really don’t think about it a whole lot because it’s mainly a rush of adrenaline when you’re fighting a hog. He’s whupping on the dogs and you’re trying to get a hold of him and you can’t let go or he’ll turn and start in on you. You’re not thinking about anything except killing a hog.”
Smith estimates the hog hauled them all another 250 yards before wearing down. But even with the hog finally stopped, his brawn prevented Mims from getting in a kill position. On a typical hunt, the catch dogs grab a hog by the ears and head and a hunter grabs the back legs from behind. The technique — “legging” — stretches the hog out in a wheel-barrow position and allows a hunter to get in close for the stabbing. In this case, the hog was simply too large.