Wild pigs continue to be a growing problem in many areas of Mississippi, despite an increased effort — mandatory at some clubs — to eradicate the nuisance beasts.

“We’ve got the $500 rule at our club in the Delta,” said O.T. Sutton, who hunts north of Greenville behind the levee. “If you get caught passing a pig, it’s a fine. If you get caught shooting a buck, and we don’t care if it’s a 200-inch class deer, with a pig in range, it doubles to $1,000. Dang them hogs; they’ve already cost me a big buck I’ve been hunting all season.”

Sutton said he’s on a trophy 8-point that he’s hunted all during archery season and the early gun season. With a one-buck limit and 150-inch minimum, he’s dedicated his season to that one deer. The one time he had the buck coming toward a shooting opportunity, pigs showed up and chased him away.

“I killed three of the five pigs before they got out of sight, and I was hoping the buck had put enough ground between himself and my shooting not to spook him too much,” Sutton said. “Cam photos show he did not leave that core area, so hopefully I will get another opportunity once he starts chasing does.

“We’ve gotten serious about the pig problem. We’ve put out traps, and we’ve baited them as much as possible, and we’ve killed the stew out of them, but they just seem to increase despite what we do. Dang them hogs!”

Under Mississippi law, hogs can be killed 24-7, 365 days a year.

“Oh yeah, we’re on a year-long hog mission,” Sutton said. “I promise you this, if they cost me another shot at that 8-point — I’ve always wanted a monster 8, and this one will push 160 inches — I will make them pay.”