Hunter Shepherd and a few friends were hoping to thin the local wild hog population around Pinewood when they ran into a huge herd of pigs last Saturday, Feb. 22. Several miles and shots later, two hogs were dead, one weighing in at over 350 pounds, and two dogs had been injured in the meeting with more than 30 porkers.

Shepherd and Kyle Garrett, a high-school friend, had teamed up with a group of hunters to deal with local hog problems.

“We’ve been having a bunch of hogs on our property during deer season, so I figured it would be fun to go run them with some dogs,” Shepherd said. “The deer don’t really like the hogs at all. Plus, hogs can wipe out a corn pile in one night.”

Garrett brought his dogs, including a pit bull named Evil, and other hunters brought dogs to hunt near Manchester State Forest. After striking a trail, the dogs followed for nearly two hours before meeting up with the hogs. Shepherd stayed behind with the vehicles while the rest went ahead.

“I heard somebody hollering, and I couldn’t hear what they said. Then I heard four gunshots,” said Shepherd, who drove to the site and found Evil and another dog cut up and bleeding badly. Both had been wearing Kevlar vests but had been cut in the shoulders and face.

“(Evil) had got cut three times under his chin,” Shepherd said. “One of them went all the way through to his tongue.”

The other dog had been cut where its jaw meets the ear and around to its neck.

Other hunters told Shepherd the hogs had turned and broken through the line of dogs, sending the hunters scrambling up trees.

One hunter-turned-human squirrel was Hunter Morris, a North Carolina native who plays football at The Citadel and was on his first hunt with dogs.

“He’s a pretty big guy, and he said he couldn’t find a tree big enough to climb,” Shepherd said. “His feet were dangling down…. He had to keep kicking (one hog) in the head.”

The hunters finished off the two hogs with a knife after the herd left. One weighed more than 350 pounds and the other over 250 pounds.

Shepherd said both dogs are recovering well from their wounds. Morris plans to have his hog mounted.