Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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Associate Editor

Monster pig. The plan was to start off with the
muskie opener – the final fishing opener only because we like to
save the best for last – but I ran across this tidbit the other day
that deserves comment, if only to illustrate how irrational (your
reaction, upon reading this, may be to insert a slightly stronger
adjective here. By all means, do) some people’s opposition to
hunting is.

(The term ‘hunting’ here, in my view, is used very loosely since
this was a fenced hunt, but that’s a conversation for another day
and not the gist of the story.)

By way of background: An 11-year-old kid shot a 1,051-pound
feral hog in early May while at an Alabama hunting preserve. The
kill has garnered national and international media attention, and
no matter what you think about hunting in a fenced preserve, the
reaction from some quarters to this kid’s pig has been, um,
piggish. There are photos and more information at, but the telling part of the site is the
comments section. They’re broken into positive and negative
comments – truth be told, some of the positive ones are as
ludicrous as the negative ones. Most of the comments, 85 percent,
according to the site, have been positive, but here’s a sampling of
the negative ones:

‘what the hell, you fat (redacted), innocent animal killing,
red neck hillbilly you must think your so cool for killing a
defenseless pig, then you make it a trophy!? that’s disgusting. i
don’t know which  is worse the fact that you shot the innocent
creature for three hours strait or that you where smirking in that
picture. I wish i could beat that smirk right of your face you
(redacted) head. i cant understand why anybody would kill a poor
animal. You people disgust me, I hope you rot in hell.’

‘what did that pig do to you? jerk.’

‘ Which one’s the pig? Maybe we should stuff & mount your
fat (redacted), kid. Just because you got lucky doesn’t make you a

‘Congratulations. By breaking the 6th commandment you’ve earned
your spot in hell. Luckily not all America is like this, fat kids
with guns killing innocent beasts — and allowing Satan to delude
them into believing they are doing God’s work. Today I pray for
your soul.’

‘I have to congratulate you because I didn’t think it was
possible for an 11 yr old as large as yourself to chase a pig for
three hours in hilly terrain. Well done, fat boy!’

These were among the tamest of the negative responses, and, this
being a family-friendly blog, some of the most entertaining ones
(or troubling, whichever you prefer) couldn’t be printed here.

Muskie opener. This will be the second time
I’ve actually fished muskies on the muskie opener. I was told
during my first muskie excursion a few years ago that I would be
hooked when I boated my first muskie. Whoever told me that was
wrong. I was, for all intents and purposes, hooked when I saw my
first muskie. Couldn’t tell you how big it was, but that
chest-pounding feeling of excited helplessness was far different –
with a few exceptions – than any feeling I’ve had while fishing

It’s hard to explain the allure of muskie fishing, other than
that feeling. I suppose it’s also like watching a movie that keeps
you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Or something like

Last year’s opening weekend produced a 45-inch fish for my
brother, who was approximately two hours into his muskie-fishing
career. Suffice it to say, I’ll be out Saturday and Sunday
attempting to out-do him, and will report the outcome next

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