Event organizer Sobrina Maguglin said the event was put together not only as something fun to do, but also to help local farms and ranches while raising funds for scholarships, the big buck competition and other community projects.
“Feral hogs are not a game animal, and they do a tremendous amount of damage to the farming and ranching industries,” Maguglin said.
She estimated the competition got rid of about 100 wild hogs and each were weighed at Cactus Park before butchering at home.
The competition was put together by Brush Country Big Buck Inc. in just over one month with help from Monte Jennings, Richard Galloway, Freddy Franke, Patrick and Brandy Slavinski, Cheryl Younts and Lloyd Wientjes. She said most people found out about it through their Facebook page, website and fliers.
“We had an awesome group of hunters who kept the hunt fun, exciting and fair,” Maguglin said. “It went superbly.”
The hunt also had a modern approach to checking in and preventing cheating. The teams had to send in photos of them with at least one dog on Friday and Saturday at noon. All of the hogs had to be caught or bayed by dogs and then killed with either a gun or knife.
“I think it’s dangerous, but it’s a sport for them, and it’s wonderful for young people,” George West Mayor Sylvia Steele said at Sunday’s weigh-in. “I think it’s wonderful, and the success of the event is tremendous.”
Steele also said this was the first time a wild hog hunt has been held in George West. Maguglin said they hope to have more hog hunts in the future.
For more information, go to brushcountrybigbuck.com or call Maguglin at 361-492-9641.
Prize money raised from registration was awarded for the top total weight of three hogs, heaviest sow, heaviest boar and longest tusks.
Los Indios team won $2,165.63 in the Stringer competition with a collective weight of 543 pounds for their three hogs. The team consisted of George West eighth-grader Tray Atkinson, 13, Rusty Stewart of Poteet, George West seventh-grader Brent Umphres, 12, Edward Zuniga of Charlotte and Gracie Espericueta of Campbellton.
The team hunted at Atkinson Ranch on Old San Diego Road on Friday and Saturday using Catahoula Curs and pitbulls. Some of their hogs were killed with a gun, others with a knife.
“The hardest part was listening to him (Umphres) all weekend,” Stewart said.
Second place and $1,299.37 went to the 59-South team with a total weight of 537 pounds for their three hogs.
Third place went to Stany Shoats with a total weight of 525 pounds with their three hogs. Stany Shoats also won the longest tusk competition with a length of 7 ¾-inches.
The heaviest boar weighed 235 pounds and was caught by the Junk Yard Dogs team near the weigh station in Beeville. The team consisted of Beeville’s Brady Campos, Seth Lopez and Jordan Lee, and Crow Campos of Goliad County.
“We caught him by the tank; he ran, and the dogs stopped him,” Lopez said. “The dogs find them and stop them. Then you turn out your catch-dogs, and then you grab them by the back of the feet.”
Lee said the competition went well, and they plan on putting their prize money toward doing more hunts.
Stevie Guajardo of Whitsett and Anthony Juarez of Three Rivers joined forces as E&B Kennels to bag the biggest sow in a creek near Dinero, weighing in at 120.4 pounds.
“We thought we had a good chance at it,” Guajardo said. “It’s not hard to do; the dogs stopped it in the water.”