If someone gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Someone gave East Texas wild hogs and thus hunters have created the Texas Big Nasty Hog Contest, a month-long competition to see who can kill the biggest pigs.
Hunters from throughout Northeast Texas and beyond will be competing in four divisions in the contest running Feb. 2 through March 2.
“This will be the sixth year we have held it,” said contest spokesman Cody Hunt. “Every year it has gotten bigger and bigger and better and better. Last year we had around 200 teams.”
The contest’s biggest division is the Adult Division that includes one- or two-man teams and allows hunting by bow only. Each team may shoot as many wild, free-ranging pigs as they can during the month of the competition, but a team will only enter its two heaviest pig weights.
If there are at least 50 teams entered the winning team will be awarded a pair of four-wheelers.
There is also a Ladies Division and Youth and Child divisions in which the pigs may be taken with either a bow or a gun and only a single pig weight is entered.
“The biggest hog ever recorded weighed 364 pounds. I think it was taken near Pickton. They saw it one year, but couldn’t get him so they fed him all year and got him the next year,” Hunt said. Historically, Hunt said, the heaviest weights have been coming from Hopkins County.
The competition is unique in that it doesn’t require participants to bring their pigs to a weigh station. Instead they must film the hunt and the pigs being weighed, and that must be sent into the contest. To verify weights, the top finishers will be asked to bring in their scales for testing.
Last year’s winning team of Marshal Sickles and Danny Lawrence had a two-pig total of 452 pounds.
Since the hunt has to be filmed it makes the competition a little harder. It also opens up the competition to teams outside of East Texas.
“The first couple of years we held it to teams from Texas, but we had some teams in Arkansas that wanted to hunt so we allowed them in. We may also have some teams from Alabama sign up this year. Somehow they heard about it,” said Hunt, adding that there have also been entries from teams in the Texas Panhandle and the Houston area in the past.
The videos also open up a side competition for the best video along with one for the longest tusk.
Following the month-long event there will be a weekend gun division March 8-10.
The TBNHC will begin at 10 a.m. Feb. 1 with an outdoor expo at the Winnsboro Civic Center, 900 Wheeler Dr. Hunters can sign up for the competition then.
Hunters may also sign up in advance by downloading entry forms at http://www.texasbignastyhogcontest.com/index.htm . There is a $20 discount for entries received by Tuesday.