Mississippi

Ala. officials say `Monster Pig' hunt was legal

A state investigation concluded Thursday that no wildlife laws were broken in the hunt that bagged "Monster Pig," the massive porker shot by an 11-year-old boy last month, although a Georgia farmer remains skeptical about the kill.

Allan Andress, enforcement chief for the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, said in an interview that an investigation found no legal problems with the hunt, which gained international publicity because of the size of the huge hog and the age of the hunter.

"A lot of people might have issues with the thing, but there were no laws broken," Andress said.

Andress said agents talked with people involved in the hunt, including Mike Stone, whose son Jamison Stone killed the hog.

Animal advocates and hunting opponents have criticized the killing of the hog, which was chased and killed inside a 150-acre enclosure located at a paid hunting plantation in east Alabama.

Others, meanwhile, have claimed that photos of the pig were faked or exaggerated, a charge denied by the young hunter, his father, a guide who witnessed the hunt, the owner of the hunting plantation and the taxidermist who is mounting the animal's head.

Andress said that agents looked only into whether the hunt broke laws against transporting live feral swine or killing animals in a "canned hunt." Investigators determined neither law was violated, he said.

"It was a big thing, but as far as violating any fish and wildlife laws, it didn't," he said.

Jamison Stone, of Pickensville, was hunting with his father and two guides when he killed the giant pig with a big-game pistol on May 3. He said he shot the hog repeatedly and chased it for three hours through hilly woods at Lost Creek Plantation.

Mike Stone said the hog measured more than 9 feet in length from snout to the base of its tail, and it weighed in at more than 1,050 pounds. The head of the hog is being mounted by the taxidermist. Stone said the insides were being made into sausage.

Stone put photos of his son with the dead pig on a Web site, which he said has since received both congratulatory messages and death threats directed at Jamison, an honor student at a small Christian academy.

Across the state line, the Georgia farmer on whose property a huge wild hog was killed in 2004 is skeptical about reports that an even bigger wild hog was killed in Alabama.

"I don't think that hog they shot over there was a true wild hog," Ken Holyoak said on Thursday. "If they don't have a DNA test and don't have a record of their tusks, they don't have nothing."

Holyoak said he measured and weighed the pig -- nicknamed Hogzilla -- that was killed on his farm near Alapaha at 1,000 pounds and 12 feet long. Experts from National Geographic exhumed the hog's body and said it was 7.5-8 feet long and weighed 800 pounds.

"I need to stress that they did not have that much to work with, seeing as how the poor beast had been underground for nearly six months," Holyoak said.

Holyoak said Hogzilla weighed in at half a ton on his farm scales and that he personally measured the hog's length while the freshly killed beast was dangling by straps from a backhoe.

"As with any organic being after death, tissues will decompose and the body will atrophy, making actual measurements change over time," Holyoak said. "Have you ever seen a raisin after it was a grape?"

Holyoak said the key to finding out if the hog is wild or tame is the length of the tusk.

Hogzilla's tusks were measured at 17-10/16th inches after the carcass was exhumed and "three inches had already been broken off," Holyoak said.

He said the Safari Club did the measurement. "He didn't even ask how long it was, how much it weighed," Holyoak said. "He said show me the tusk. He said this is a world record."

Hogzilla was brought down in 2004 by hunting guide Chris Griffin. An independent south Georgia film company is now making a movie based on the near-mythical beast.

Holyoak said he could look at the picture of the hog killed in Alabama and tell it wasn't grown in the wild.

"That hog's so fat he could hardly walk," he said. "He couldn't make it in the wild. I'm about 99 percent sure that hog was growed in a pen and they turned him out and shot him."

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