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June 11, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Is “Boss Hawg” a Wild Pig?

Yet another monstrous swine is making news, as Pennsylvania trophy hunter Roger Hosfelt says he killed a 1,040-pound “wild” oinker dubbed “Boss Hawg” (click here for photo) on a 3,500-acre Georgia hunting plantation in March.

From an Associated Press story on Jacksonville.com:

Claims that [Hogzilla, Boss Hawg, and other giant swine] were truly wild, rather than farm-raised, are likely hogwash, said Kent Kammermeyer, a retired Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologist who has studied feral hogs in the state.

"A hog can't get that big in the wild, it takes so much food day-in, day-out to grow that large," Kammermeyer said. "They at least spent some part of their life in captivity, probably a large part of their life."

[Egan Hill Plantation owner Keith] Egan said he's certain "Boss Hawg" was wild because he didn't buy the pig and there's no pig farms near his land. But hogs on his property don't go hungry. He said he sets out corn in feeders and grows potatoes and peanuts to fill their bellies.

What do you think?

Comments

Mike Diehl

"He said he sets out corn in feeders and grows potatoes and peanuts to fill their bellies."

It's a domesticated breed hog trained to chow down on food placed in large quantities for its convenience.

Not my cup o' coffee but if this is what floats Egan's boat that's his business.

Kristine Shreve

I've just got to wonder why it always has to be about getting the biggest or topping someone else's record.

What happened to just going out and enjoying the experience?

Matt Mallery

Here we go again? As a longtime reader, I am asking Field and Stream this: please, no more monster hog stories. It's getting old.

Jason

I have lost all faith in all "feral" swine hunts. Even if they could prove it I probally wouldn't believe it.

Neil Smith

Enough hogzilla stories, please.

Chester Q. Bigfoot

I pay lots of money to go to fenced in areas to shoot big animals over bait;I must be a "trophy" hunter!

Keith Egan

This boar was taken in a true wild hunting area there are no fences on this property. Roger Hosfelt the man who took this boar back in March is as proud as you would be if you took a record deer. If you killed a 300 class buck wouldn't you tell everybody. Think about that.

Dave F

I for one would like to congradulate Roger on a job well done. I booked a hunt with Egan Hill at the Harrisburg Sportsman Show and can't wait to go down in November.

Dave F

I meant congratulate.

William

Yawn. Didn't we just go through this? NOT WILD! To domesticate an animal you must feed it. What did the ranch owner do- he admitedly fed it with food he set out. The way I look at it this is the same thing as killing a dairy cow on a bison hunt.

Brian Whittington

I have hunted Egan Hill Plantation twice. Both times came home with a kill. Keith runs a large operation its not like the hogs are pinned up and bottle fed. He has Deer feeders the hogs, deer, turkeys, quail, squirrels, and other wildlife eat from the same feeders. We are not talking about a 50 acre piece of property either.
This is a 3500 acre hunting land. If you want to down his operation, go experience the hunt, before hand. I think you will change your mind. I hunted there and will return.

Michael Allen

Can some of the guys that hunted at Egan Hill give me some info. I am booked to take my kids down there in February but have had a difficult time contacting Keith. Any info is appreciated.

mike

He is a hard person to get in touch with, but try in the late evening. The later the better, I found out. Good luck, I've been their once and going back this year.

R.Dorsch

Just got back yesterday... quality operation.. taking 30 folks next month on a charity hunt.. can't wait... solid folks solid operation as good as any for hawgs.. this will be our 14th annual hawg hunt so I think I have a solid perspective.

Mark

Hunted Egan Hill last year. First time I've ever paid to hunt anything.

Worst experience of my life. If you enjoy treestands cluttered with liquor and beer bottles, cigarette butts put out in the stands, and sleeping in a run down shack, enjoy.

Looks like Keith may have had a good set up 10 years ago. However he's not putting anything back in to his business and just pushing through people like crazy.

Hunted three days, saw 0 hogs, 18 different hunters in those three days and 5 hogs were taken. We hunted his property really hard too. Staying in the tree one night until 1 am. That's alot of empty hands when he claimed 2 hogs per day was normal.

There is a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in his area that he refused to resolve.

Harry Campbell

I live right down the road from Egan Hill. I have known Keith for years. I hunt Egan Hill regulary and occasionally help him out as a guide. The comments posted by "Mark" on Jan 14th, 2008 unfortunately reflect the oppinions of a small portion of "hunters" who believe that because they paid someone money to "hunt" that they should be guaranteed not only to kill an animal but that they should get their quota daily. I would respond to him by saying that he should go to a pen and "hunt". The animals on Egan Hill roam wild. Keith goes above and beyond to ensure the animals are encouraged to stay on his property. As far as the trash in the stands... ... yes, some of the hunters do treat the stands improperly. The stands are cleaned up weekly at a minimum and reports of trash on the stands are handled as they are received.
If you hunt regularly then you realize that some days and weeks are better than others. Keith services between 5 and 15 hunters per day during his peek times. If every one of those hunters killed his 2 hogs per day you're talking about 10 to 30 animals per day. Let's be realistic - the land can't support those kinds of numbers of animals or that kind of pressure for long. There are however, plenty of animals to be had and plenty of surrounding habitat from which to draw animals. Hogs are nomadic and rarely stay in one place too long. Unfortunately there are times when the animals just aren't feeding where and when hunters are placed on stand. The guides scout the property daily looking for "hot spots". Hunters are placed accordingly. The reason that "Mark" was on the stand as long as he was is due to the fact that Keith bends over backwards to give his hunters EVERY opprtunity to be successfull. As far as the accomodations being a shack? Well, it's not the Ritz Carlton, Bloomingdale.. ... but then again you can't hunt out of the Ritz and you surely can't stay at one and do anything at all for less than the $1500 dollars(approx) Keith charges for his week long hunts.

Mark, maybe you should book a hunt at Dorchester or some other "High-Dollar" outfit and let me know if you have any better luck.

I hear Piggly Wiggly and Food Lion gurantee you get meat every time you go there....

My 2 cents worth...

Rebecca

In response to the comments posted about Egan Hill,

My Father went to Egan Hill about 2 years ago with some friends and family hoping to make some great memories and kill some nice hogs, Instead they ended up at a petting zoo and came home with rotten meat.

My uncle told me at one point during the hunt he basically had to “Kick” the pig out of the way to get to his tree stand, because they were so tame……So much for the thrill of the hunt. And why were the pigs castrated if they were wild??? My Dad and everyone did end up getting some pigs, And from my understanding it was The Egan Hill Crews job to pack the pigs away and cool them during their stay. Apparently they had stacked so many dead pigs on top of each other they never thoroughly cooled! So by the time my Dad came home we had coolers full of the most rot-gut meat you ever seen in your life.

I’m not saying people don’t enjoy themselves while they go down there, But the fact of the matter is Keith told my Father that he would reimburse them for the meat spoiling since it was their fault for not cooling and storing it correctly. Funny thing he was so easy to get a hold of to set the trip up. But now that its over and he owes my Dad money we can’t find his website anywhere and he wont return any calls. Doesn’t matter, He’ll be at the Sportsman Show………

As for Keith’s neighbor (Harry) making the comment about going to Food Lion or Piggly Wiggly to be guaranteed meat. First of at least I know it will be fresh if I’m paying for it unlike Egan Hill, and second off, Its pretty bad some kids working at the grocery store know how to cut, preserve and cool meat. But a crew of “Manly Man Outfitters” ruined an entire trips meat…..Wow, Maybe you should get a job at Piggly Wiggly and get some pointers?

I’ve stumbled across quite a few comment blogs in reference to Egan Hill, Some Good Some bad, But the thing I like the most is all of Mr. Keith Egans little buddies standing up for him and getting an attitude….But whats Mr. Egan have to say? How come he doesn’t comment? No body cares about what Keith’s friends say cuz their not the ones who owe alotta good people money.

My 2 cents………..Mr. Mark was exactly right and I’m sorry he and my family had to waste their money. If your thinking about going on this trip make sure you Google Egan Hill, Then you’ll find all sorts of fun stories.

mark

In response to the folks on this post I would say you are right about some things and horribly incorrect about others.

Yes it is true that people can have radically different opinions about the same hunt based on what is important to them. Hunters can definitely be a picky strongly opinionated group.

However the things I wrote in my post and on another Hog Hunting forum are not based on pickyness. One comment was that it sounded like sour grapes. Yes it is sour grapes, I was treated poorly as an inexperienced niave consumer to paid hunting. This was my first time actually paying to hunt which is what makes it hard let go.

If I had spent my time hunting public property on my own I may have had better luck. In paying for a hunt, your expectation is that the outfitter adequately manages his property to increase a hunters success versus hunting on public lands where management is not occuring. That is really the whole point in paying to hunt.

Something else that was mentioned is hunting is variable, this is true, that's why we don't call it killing. However, on adequately managed property with controls in place hunters should never get skunked when booking a trip. While there we had a decent sized group of hunters (like 12-15 if I remember correctly) and no one was seeing hogs. That shouldn't happen with an adequately managed property.

I can understand Keith's buddies posting to his rescue, and also some of his past clients posting and stating they had good hunts, but the majority of the guys who booked when I did were also complaining about the place so I feel justified in posting our opinions.

If my expectations weren't set so high by Keith's sales pitch then I wouldn't have posted or written the BBB.

Why would I make up the stories about the liquor and beer cans next to the treestands and cigarette butts put out in them? And some of them had been there awhile. The first morning I sat in a ladder stand at an area he calls "Hog Island". I felt really unsafe in that treestand with a rotting board under my rear to go along with the litter. I am a bowhunter, so scent control , quietness and stealthiness run through my veins. I own all scent control gear, take scent eliminator showers, and have more sprays than my wife has cleaning supplies. So kinda give me a break with the notion that I am a novice hunter. I took six deer this year on public property with my bow during archery season so I think I know what I am doing.

Here is a list of reasons why I would never visit Egan Hill again:

-Unsafe treestands
-Litter (liqour bottles and beer cans)
-Run down accomodations
-No rifle or bow range (he said grab a plate and shoot against that hill)
-Not a managed property
-High volume hunters
-Low success rate
-From another post:
The hogs may be purchased and placed on the property. Someone who killed one on Egan Hill said it was castrated already when harvested. Which may explain two things, a.) Why one group may have a higher success (i.e. they just let loose a group that was purchased) and b.) why the hogs that were killed were the exact same size and color, couldn't tell them apart.

If this post does nothing more than just make folks do a little more research before booking hunts then I'll feel better. I also hope it helps Keith realize he's got be honest with clients and treat customers with a bit more respect to maintain a good client base.

Michael Allen

Just returned from a hunt at Egan Hill with my two small daughters. We hunt hogs every year and this was not our "first rodeo" as far as hog hunts go. I have read all the posts saying the stands were bad or the lodge was run down and to all that I say his operation is a little below average as far as accomodations, vehicles and stands. The people were great but the hunting was terrible. We had poor weather but listening to those who were there before the weather broke, no one saw anything for weeks. I think he has over hunted his property. I would not go back, not based on anything other than the fact that the game isn't there. There is always a chance that you don't see game but you should see sign, and we saw none and we looked!

J

I am pretty sure I was there when you showed up with your two daughters. As for seeing sign, nobody in my group saw any kind of sign either. I observed a guy in another group that was there, he had to sleep in his truck the first night of their arrival because of over booking. There are supposedly thousands of acres, but we were concentrated to a small portion of it. I think Keith is a nice guy, but he needs help. It was only him and another guide. Keith’s wife would cook on occasion, but he had to do most of the work. He needs more guides for scouting; move stands, and to better rotate sections to prevent pressure. He basically needs someone to deal with the lodge on a full time basis, that way he can concentrate on hunting. If he is going to use bait, he needs more of it. Some of the stand’s that I was in looked like there was barely a hand full of corn or if any at all. There were no tracks around the bait pile to justify its depletion. His sight advertised walk and stalk, but from over booking and a lack of guides, it was not possible to do. As I said, Keith seems like a nice guy, somebody you could hang out with and drink a few beers, but as far as running hunting camp, there is work that needs to be done. I would not go back, nor would I recommend it to anyone. A previous poster (who is obviously a friend of Keith’s) made a sarcastic comment that the complainers should go to Piggly wiggly or Food Lion to get guaranteed meat. Well, if you actually read and understand the posts, most of the complaints are not geared towards the fact that nothing was killed; it is just a poorly run operation and it seems that there is too much hunting pressure in a small area that was hunted. I did not even see a hog. I would have been ok with it as long as I felt there was an effort. The fact that there was a lack of effort by Keith is what was really disappointing to me. If Keith reads this, I would hope that he takes this post constructively and uses it to improve on his operation.

Michael Allen

I agree with you, he is trying to run an operations as a one man band and the one's who suffer are the hunters. The claim of 5000 acres I also question, we hunted the same areas over and over, I just felt like we got a poor effort in trying to make our hunt a success. Again, not seeing game comes with hunting, not seeing sign comes with overhunting!

Keith Egan

For all of the people who have hunted at Egan Hill i would like to extend to you a thanks for all your comments. These comments have brought atention to where we were with our operation. Due to a growing area and oncoming development we have realized that the property that we have had in our family for so many years, was no longer full of the game that used to be there. Over the past year we have developed a whole new property for huntig in an area 40miles in any direction from civilazation. We are located in Fargo, Ga now and border the Okeefenokee Swamp which is around 350,000acres, we have all sorts of game such as hogs, bear , deer,turkey and alligator. Our new lodge is beutifull, no highway in the back ground. You will even see pigs feeding on the side of the highway coming in. To all the people who had an unsatisfactory hunt, I invite you to come hunt with us at no charge and if you dont have a good hunt we will refund you the full amount.
To comment on the client whoes meat spoiled we dont no what caused that we always store the meat in a walkin. we tried to cordinate getting you some replacement but unfortunatly the last time i spoke to anyone i was informed there was a death in the faimly, and we were never contacted nor did we try to contact anyone but we would be happy to take care of that.
Please contact me and we will be happy to work it out. I am certain that everyone will be pleased with our new location.
Remember if you have a problem with an outfitter try talking to them befor you go to far, out of the people who posted here only one of them contacted me about there hunt. we will be happy to give you a long list of referances from each year from all over the country. THANKS

mark67

I hunted at Egan Hill along with 3 friends on Feb 1st, 2nd & 3rd 2008. I had an enjoyable time. I saw two large groups of hogs the fist evening and was lucky enough to shoot two in about an hours time. The others in my group could hear or see hogs but were not presented with shooting opportunities the first day. The second day we were warned the pigs did not move much in the afternoon and that stand hunting could be slow. Keith accommodated us at no extra cost to run the dogs through some flooded pine stands to see if we could get some action going. We werent successful butt this part of the hunt was very enjoyable. The second day in the stand I saw another group of hogs but decided not to shoot since I already had enough meat. There were some large hogs in each group I saw. Two others in our group both saw hogs. One shot one and the other did not as he was holding out for a really big hog. There was plenty of sign showing the hogs obviously frequent the area. There were no fences and no domestic hogs that I or anyone in our group saw. The guides were great. I wish I was better with names so I could credit them here. We were asked to report any trash or problems we saw while we were being taken to the stands. Keith and the guides acknowledged the issues posted on the internet by an unhappy customer. They made not attempt to hide the issue. I also had the opportunity to take a few short videos of the hogs before I shot. Everyone in my group had a great time. The meals were great and the food was there for us to eat until we couldn't eat any more. As far as for people complaing about paying to hunt,I can only say this: many of us are busy with work and family and I have limited time to go out and hunt. I took the opportunity to spend a few days with some good friends and share a great time. The $350.00 I spent to hunt at Egan Hill included lodging, food and guide service. If I chose to hunt public land that I had no experience with I could have easily spent the same if not more for hotels and eating at restaurants. I would however had to leave and go somewhere to eat and would have spent a considerable amount of time away from the hunt doing so. I also would not have had any knowledge of the area I was hunting and would have to miss out on the guides knowledge and experience. I would go again. I have no complaints. I feel that for the price I paid for what I got evrything was acceptable. If I had not shot anything I would still be able to say that there was value in hunting with Keith and his group at Egan Hill. They call it hunting for a reason, if you got something every time you went they would call it getting.

anonymous

Egan Hill plantation was a joke. Keith Egan is a want-to-be hunting guide. All hogs ever taken from Egan hill were either caught in traps and released or caught with dogs and dumped out. As far as Boss Hawg goes he was bought from a small town farmer around Marlow, Ga. The "trophy hunter Roger Hosfelt" knew about and even paid for "Boss Hawg" to be bought and released. Jerome Keith Egan is a crook. No hunt he has ever done has been "wild" and Boss Hawg is no exception. Keith wouldn't know a wild hog even if it bit him in the behind. Please, save your money and your time. Keith's new location in Fargo is also a joke. Wait... can it even be called "Keith's" land if he's defaulted payments on it? Along with his truck, furniture, and lawn mower? Why do you think he left Bloomingdale? He was run out... I've been in the hunting business a long time. All I can say is that if you want to be ripped off, robbed, and cheated go to Egan Hill... follow him to Fargo. You'd be better off hunting public land and saving your money.

Scott Rhinehardt

I hunted with Keith twice once with one group of friends that was a hog and deer hunt and the second time with another group of friends for deer and hogs. Both times we went my friends got at least one hog and some killed deer I never did kill one but Keith has also let me come back the second time for free and told me the last time that I could come back agian whenever I wanted for free I do not think that I could ask for more than that from anyone. Both times we went the food was good and the lodge was in good shape. The last time I was down there was spring 2008. Keith is a very nice person and I cannot say that they did not take care of us. I am from Virginia and this was a worth while trip down I have never hunted the new piece of property that he purchased so I cannot say what it is like. Just wanted to post my expierence.
Thanks Scott Rhinehardt




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