When Sydney and I first saw the published photo of the "monster hog" shot by an 11-year-old at Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, Ala., our immediate reaction was, "The photo's fake." A knowing photographer could have placed the boy well behind the hog to create a trick of perspective that would have made the critter seem much bigger than it actually was. But there may be additional reasons to be skeptical of the photos posted by the kid's dad at MonsterPig.com, according to this exhaustive (and arguably exhausting) analysis.
There may be excellent reasons to be skeptical of the entire hunt, for that matter. The Anniston Star, one of the best small newspapers in Alabama (or anywhere else), reports that the hog's name was Fred, and it was farm-raised and pampered by Rhonda and Phil Blissitt of Fruithurst, Ala. Though Phil Blissitt denies it ever was a pet, he and his wife do say Fred liked to snack on canned sweet potatoes and play with the Blissitts' grandchildren.
The Blissitts recently sold all their swine, and Fred was bought by Eddy Borden, the owner of Lost Creek Plantation. Only a few days after Fred left the Blissitt farm, he was pursued by a pack of armed Lost Creek customers who paid for an exciting, authentic hunting experience. The adults with their high-powered rifles let young Jamison Stone have the honor; he shot Fred repeatedly with a .50-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 500 Revolver (which the manufacturer calls "the most powerful production revolver in the world") over the course of a three-hour chase, before finally delivering the coup de grace.
Readers in other parts of the country will marvel that a student at a private school called Christian Heritage Academy would pump a farm-raised hog full of .50-caliber bullets in the name of sport and Southern manhood, but I'm from South Carolina, so this doesn't surprise me at all.