John's Journal...


How It All Began

Click Here to EnlargeEditor’s Note: Gene Brooks of Dublin, Georgia, who hunts hogs in three different states is on call to a large number of landowners and farmers. When a bad hog or a pack of hogs starts eating and destroying crops, tearing up roads and killing dogs, then landowners and farmers call Brooks, whose motto is “Have Dogs, Will Travel.” Although Brooks catches and removes any hog or group of hogs that terrorize the landscape, he Click Here to Enlargespecializes in “killer” hogs – those that have been hunted before by other hog hunters. These killer hogs are so bad that they leave bulldogs, curs and hounds lying on the ground like casualties from a bombing raid. This week we’ll continue to look at the man, his dogs and the hogs he hunts.

The story of how Brooks got into hog hunting is well worth the telling. Originally a coon hunter until the age of 18, Brooks explains that, “When you have a good coon dog, you believe your coon dog is better than anybody else’s. If he’s not the best coon dog you’ve ever had, you’ll get rid of him and buy another coon dog. My buddies and I all thought we had the best coon dogs ever. But we knew an old man who lived down in the swamps and hunted hogs. One day he told us about running a hog for four hours with his dogs. I didn’t quite believe the old man, so I questioned him again, ‘You mean to tell me with a pack of hounds you ran a hog for four hours?’Click Here to Enlarge The old swamper looked back at me, smiled and answered, ‘Oh, yes. That’s quite common. Most people don’t know that a hog can run that long and that far.’ I looked at the old man, narrowed my eyes and made a brag I’d regret later. ‘My coon hounds will run one of those hogs down in 30 minutes,’ I boasted. The man looked back at me and my buddies, and said, ‘You boys be ready to hunt tomorrow. Bring your dogs, and come to my house. We’ll find out just how good your coon dogs are on these hogs.’”

he next morning, the young coon hunters met up with the old hog hunter. The man from the swamp put his dogs out to hunt for the hogs, and as soon Click Here to Enlargeas his dogs began to bark on a trail, the teenage coon hunters released their dogs. As Brooks recalled, “I couldn’t believe what happened next. That race lasted about three hours. When we went and caught that ole hog, I knew that my coon-hunting days were over. I couldn’t believe a hog could run that long, that far or be that tough. I was infused with a dose of hog hunting that I’ve never gotten rid of even today.” In Brooks’ coon-hunting days, he hunted raccoons with English foxhounds and Plott hounds, a German breed that was originally developed for hunting bear and boar. But after coon hunters discovered that the Plott had a good nose and would go to war with the coons, in many areas of the country, the Plott became a coonhound as well as a big-game hound.



Check back each day this week for more about MORE ABOUT THE BAD, WILD HOGS GENE BROOKS HUNTS...

Day 1 - How It All Began
Day 2 - Breeding Cur Dogs
Day 3 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part I
Day 4 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part II
Day 5 - The Chapel Hill Boar, Part III



Entry 283, Day 1