Jason Mire installed a new box stand this summer so he could bow hunt on his lease near Egan, and started putting out corn early in August in anticipation of Area 10’s season opener on Sept. 19.
It didn’t take long for his feeding regimen to start producing impressive results on his trail cam.
“We started feeding Aug. 1 and everything was going just like we planned,” said Mire, 40, of Crowley. “Within four or five days, we started getting bucks with velvet. Really pretty deer, every night and every day.”
But on Aug. 15, that all changed when Mire’s trail camera started snapping pictures of a massive wild hog.
“When I got that picture, I said, ‘Well maybe it’s just passing through.’ Because we had never gotten a hog on camera ever before,” he said. “I was thinking it was just some oddball thing that happened.”
As it turns out, the hog wasn’t passing through at all - the big boar started appearing on Mire’s trail cam devouring copious amounts of corn every single day.
And when the hog arrived, Mire says the deer vanished.
“It’s like the deer disappeared. I guess he ran them off, I don’t know,” Mire said. “All my deer left when this boy came in. Nothing would show up — nothing. I don’t know if they put out a scent or something, but nothing showed up. The only thing I had was red birds. No animals, no coons, no possums, no coyotes.”
That started a cat-and-mouse game between the hog and Mire and his brother, Tiger, that would ultimately stretch on for almost six weeks.
“We hunted every morning and every evening for like a month,” Mire said. “Most of the time we were hunting, but we could never get this hog to come out.”
One day it appeared right at dark at about 95 yards, but Mire only had his crossbow — no rifle.
“It was unbelievable how big it was. It almost looked like a cow,” he said. “I mean, I was freaking out. With those trail cam pics, until you see it in person, it’s really hard to believe it.”
Mire even purchased solar-powered lights from Lowe’s that he tie-wrapped onto the tree near the corn to illuminate the spot for a night shot. He contacted the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office to let them know he would be hunting at night, but the wily old hog never showed.
“That thing liked to drove me crazy,” Mire said with a laugh. “I’d get up at night sometimes at 9 or 10 at night and I couldn’t sleep, so I’d go sit in the box stand. But that hog would never come out.
“What was weird was that whenever we’d get out of the stand — even if it was 2 in the morning or 11 at night, an hour after we’d get out, we’d get his picture on the trail cam.”
But Mire kept at it, and started bringing his Remington 7 Mag to the stand along with him. The hog was consuming about 100 pounds of corn every four days, he said.
Finally last week, on Sept. 30, the massive pig let its stomach get the best of it and showed up about 8 a.m. — with Mire waiting in the stand.
“That sucker came out, put his nose down and came straight for the corn. Right before he got there, he stopped and turned broadside and picked his head up in the air like he was smelling but it was too late,” he said. “I shot him at no more than 40 yards, and dropped him in his tracks.”
He called Tiger to come out and help, and the two men were astounded at the size of the beast when they walked up to it.
“He looked like a rhino, almost like an African animal,” said Mire, who noted the hog’s tusks were 4 ¼ inches long, with 1 ½-inch cutters on its upper jaws. “I didn’t know Louisiana had hogs that big, at least not in Acadia Parish.”
They picked the hog up with a front-end loader, and then the search was on for a scale that could handle the giant pig.
“Well, I found a farmer not far from here who had some old crawfish scales they used to weigh crawfish sacks,” Mire said. “We picked him up with a forklift and put him on those scales, and he weighted 549 pounds.”
Mire, a taxidermist in Crowley, said the hog’s cartilage shield on its shoulders was 1 ¾ inches thick when he caped the animal out. He plans to make a shoulder mount and place the pig in his living room.
And fortunately for Mire, the deer are now returning to the corn since he took down the big hog.
“Now I’m getting pictures again, but they’re all at night,” he said. “Nothing during the day. But it’s going to swap over — the rut is fixing to start and it’s going to get right, now that I got that old boy out of there.”