Over the years, I’ve heard about some very big boars killed in the hills near Livermore, but the largest boar I know of was taken in 2000 near Williams Gulch. Since that time, pigs have nearly disappeared in this area.
The reason? I believe it’s primarily depredation hunting by contract pig hunters who use many different means to remove pigs. Trapping is very effective. Sometimes as many as 40 pigs can be trapped in one baiting. I’ve witnessed over 20 in one trap myself. What a ruckus that was.
It could be that disease has played a part and it’s also likely that liberalization of the pig regulations has played a role.
The largest pig I ever personally got involved with was taken by a guide from Alaska named Robert Nelson. He was in town for a few days while participating in the International Sportsman’s Exposition at the Pleasanton Fair Grounds.
Robert had an off day before he could fly, so I offered him a chance to hunt pigs. We arrived at daylight, but didn’t see anything at all for the first couple hours. While sitting on a knob overlooking a lot of pig territory, a boar appeared moving fast.
“There’s a giant pig comming,” I nearly hollered, “follow me.”
I bolted off the knob as fast as my legs would carry me (not very fast actually) with Robert right behind. He was carrying my Ruger M77 in 7mm Mauser which he’d never fired, but after all he was an caribou, moose and sheep guide.
We caught the boar as he crossed a ridge and the big pig appeared to be very uncomfortable as he manuvered to get out of the open as soon as possible. As the boar trotted past at about 100 yards, Robert raised and fired. It appeared that the shot was good, but the big boar kept running. Robert ejected the empty and fired again. This time the boar went down and skidded to a stop. As you can see he was a very impressive creature.