The Largest Wild Hog Ever Caught in Arkansas
Wild hogs are no joke. They are capable of doing serious damage to property and the environment as well as to people and pets. Unfortunately, they aren’t easy to get rid of as they are an invasive species that has quickly managed to spread across most of the United States.
One of the states they occupy is Arkansas. Here, wild boars grow to be quite big. Perhaps you’re wondering exactly how large these beasts get. Well, this article offers you a way to sate your curiosity.
About Wild Hogs
Wild hogs have many different names. You may hear them also referred to as feral pigs, feral swine, wild swine, razorbacks, wild boars, and feral hogs. It’s estimated that there are over nine million wild hogs throughout the United States and that they are spread out across 40 of the 50 states.
Feral hogs managed to take over and spread out so quickly because they are an invasive species without many predators. When they are young, predators such as bears, mountain lions, and alligators will prey on wild hogs. But once they get past about 40 pounds, the predators willing to take on these fearsome animals dwindle rather quickly.
Even if one or two hogs are eaten when little, it doesn’t decrease the population much. Wild hogs produce up to two litters a year, and up to 12 piglets per litter.
Hawaii had a similar issue, but much earlier. The Polynesian immigrants looking to make Hawaii their home brought pigs with them, and shortly enough, feral hogs became a problem across the islands that now make up Hawaii.
Wild hogs are not native. They are considered invasive species. People brought them to the continental US as a food source in the 1500s. Then, escapes started happening. The first reports of feral pigs were in the 1500s, and the reports were documented quite well.
That didn’t stop explorers from parading these pigs around everywhere. They crossed what would now be considered 14 different states or 3,100 miles. During this time, boars regularly escaped or were stolen.
This gave wild boars plenty of places to find habitat and establish themselves. Still, the reports of feral hogs didn’t move around too much until the 1980s. Before that, they were regulated in southern states and the west coast. Sometime between 1989 and the 2010s, wild pigs started to expand their range. The number of states with feral pigs doubled in a short amount of time.
Now, all but 10 states have some sort of feral pig problem.
Wild Hogs in Arkansas
Feral hogs cause quite a problem in most states, including Arkansas. They are estimated to cause over $19 million in damages annually. In addition to that, they have the potential to transmit over 45 different diseases and parasites that harm farm animals, other wildlife, and sometimes people.
The bad part is, as much damage as wild hogs do in Arkansas, they aren’t one of the states suffering the most. Arkansas only has an estimated 200,000 wild hogs. Some states have over a million hogs running around and causing damage.
Even normal pigs can quickly turn into feral pigs if let loose. That’s why any pig running loose for more than five days or without a proper transportation license may be considered feral.
There are groups specifically hired to hunt feral pigs because of the destruction they do. Hunters and landowners also have permission to kill feral pigs. If a feral pig is on a property is allowed to be killed on private property with the landowners’ permission so long as the hunter doesn’t have a revoked license.
On public lands, if a hunter comes across a feral pig while hunting another animals, they are allowed to hunt it with whatever weapons are legal to hunt with during that season. Some people are even allowed to hunt a wild hog from the air, but they need a special permit to do so.
Hunting alone isn’t enough to reduce wild hog populations. Studies recommend killing at least 66 percent of the population every year. Hunting, depending on the year, only does somewhere between 8 and 50 percent.
Average Size of a Wild Hog
Domesticated pigs and hogs can get quite big, close to 1,000 pounds. However, wild hogs tend to stay a little smaller. On average, 300 pounds is kind of your limit. While some wild hogs do grow bigger, it’s very few and far between.
Wild hogs in Arkansas grow to be about the same size as everywhere else.
Largest Wild Hog Ever Caught
As of 2023, the largest hog officially weighed and recorded in the US was Hogzilla. Hogzilla was an 800-pound hog that measured close to eight feet long. It even broke an international record with having incredibly large tusks at 16 and 18 inches long.
When the news story came out, there was a lot of hype and misinformation. It was reported that the wild hog captured was over 1,000 pounds and 12 feet long. While that ended up being an exaggeration, the pig was still quite large and definitely a record-breaker.
Largest Wild Hog Ever Caught in Arkansas
There are reports from Kirby, Arkansas in 2018 about a wild hog that weighed a whopping 986 pounds. However, many have their doubts. For one, the pig was hunted down in late October.
Many people pointed out that around that time, there are often still plenty of leaves in the trees. However, there are absolutely no leaves left in the trees in the picture provided by the hunter.
Additionally, people keeping track of hunting records mentioned that a lot of large animals had been found in Arkansas in the last few years. This leads many other people to believe that it’s some hunter messing around with Photoshop. It’s become such a joke, that there’s a whole Facebook page dedicated to extra-large things in Kirby, Arkansas.
There are no official records of the large boar that weighed over 900 pounds in Arkansas, so there’s no way to know for sure if the beast was real or not.
Reporting fake weights for animals caught is nothing new. Many people have reported their hunts much larger than what they actually were.
There are a few reasons people do it. Some do it due to a simple error. Some animals are hard to guesstimate the weight or size of, and they may assume their catch is much bigger than it is. Other people want to break a record and are willing to lie to do so. Some people just want the publicity, such as in the case of the Monster Pig Hoax.
If the man who took a picture with the 986-pound pig above did lie, it could have been for one of these reasons. Most hunters, however, seem to believe he’s doing it as a joke. He doesn’t seem to mean any ill-will and doesn’t defend himself when people don’t buy the weight, which suggests it is just a simple joke on his part.
There’s not a lot of information on the last largest wild hog caught in Arkansas. It’s never made it to the list of largest hogs throughout the US, so it’s safe to assume it was within the standard sizes for a boar, so probably at or below 300 pounds.
Arkansas doesn’t keep track of the weight of the wild hogs that hunters kill. Since they are only killed as nuisance animals, there’s no need for them to turn it into a competition. If they ever find a boar bigger than 300 pounds, though, it’s assumed that someone in the state will start bragging about it.