IFTY YEARS AGO a British hunting syndicate turned loose 13 Prussian wild boars and sows, in a big 500-acre lot on the slopes of Big Snowbird Mountain, western North Carolina. There was a fine hunter's lodge on nearby Hooper's Bald Mountain, plus caretakers' quarters and hound kennels, for enjoying European-style hunting in the American back woods. But the remoteness of the rugged area eventually caused this pipe-dream preserve to fail.
The 13 Prussian pigs in the big fenced area thrived and multiplied until the herd numbered 60. Cotton McGuire, a native caretaker, was deeded the whole layout, for back wages due from the group of English sportsmen who started the project. Cotton, at the time, was not too well sold on the European boars to which he had fallen heir; and, being financially unable to carry on the project, Cotton decided that he and his mountain friends might as well enjoy a grand-slam hog hunt that would give the mountaineers something to talk about for many moons to come.
The hunt fizzled. The Prussian boars were too much for the mountain hunters and their dogs. The mixed hound and cur dogs knew how to handle black bear and the native wild mountain razorback hogs, but the beady-eyed devils from across the sea were tougher.
The hunters did manage to kill a couple of the boars, but the fifty-odd others really put on a show. A few of the old mountaineers that were in on the hunt still talk about it. Some fine mountain hunting dogs were slashed to death by the wickedly tusked boars: some of the hunters were sent squirreling up trees to escape madly charging boars; and the excitement finally reached such a high pitch that the boars tore through the supposedly animal proof fence and escaped into the surrounding mountains. Some of them crossed over into Tennessee and took up abode in what is now Tennessee's Tellico Wildlife Management Area. The others remained on the North Carolina side in the Hooper's Bald area, where the breed still exists.
Today, both Tennessee and North Carolina have huntable populations of Prussian wild boars. Both these states placed the beasts on their official game lists several years ago. Each fall, around 150 of the Prussian boars are bagged by hunters in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, about 75 in each state. Most of these are
killed by members of hunting parties which employ the sen ices of native guides who have packs of boar and bear clogs. California and New Hampshire also have small European wild boar herds, but the main attraction for hunters is the southern area just described. The little pint sized javelinas of the southwest, and the native wild razorback hogs of various southern wilderness (Continued on page 50)
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Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.