They hunt. They help. They have fun.
What started as a joke among a group of friends in response to reality TV show, now has 1,098 ‘likes’ on Facebook and has brought together locals from various fields who believe in their group and are pushing for their cause.
“That’s a lot different from TV. This stuff’s down and dirty,” Solomon Nava said.
He is the Hooligan Hoggers’ 500th ‘like’ on their Facebook page; and as a reward, he got to take part in the hog hunting action — Hooligan style.
The Hooligans credit their hog hunting success to their dogs, which are grouped into bay dogs and catch dogs. They use a secret mix of cur dogs that track and corner the hogs. The catch dogs, which are often pits or American bull dogs, then pin down the huge varmints by biting both ears. The Hooligans then come in, grab each hog by both hind legs, pick it up from the ground, and then twist it so it lands on its side. They then finish it off. They say that this is the safest to do it.
It all sounds so simple, but “it’s not something that anybody can do,” Taylor Darden said.
He used to hunt different animals growing up, but once he hunted hogs, he did not want to hunt anything else.
Darden with Harley Ashley and Kirby Spinks form the Sneaky Creek Outfitters, a group of avid hog hunters, who eventually teamed up with Wayne Clark, Jason Hatchett, and other hunters to form the Hooligan Hoggers.
They arm themselves and their dogs with expensive equipment: GPS collars with antennas and Kevlar collars and vests for the dogs; handheld locators; a new GoPro Hero3 (a high-definition camera to be attached to the dog’s collar to capture real time action); and a Sony Camcorder and a Nikon Coolpix 8100 that Clark uses to capture moving or still shots. They also use two Polaris Rangers, 4-wheel drive pickups, and remote control spotlights during their hunts.
The term Hooligan may be synonymous to many things negative, but this group of young men and women are far from being a bunch of no-goods. In fact, despite the jokes and jeers they throw at each other, the Hooligan Hoggers are becoming more and more associated with fundraisers.
Last month, they took part in the benefit for Mason Eppler, the Bangs elementary student who suffered head trauma while playing in his backyard. A hog hunt with the Hooligans, plus shirts and decals were auctioned off at Bruner Auto Group, with Colton Tibbits winning the highest bid with $1,500. The second highest bidder was Troy Abernathy with $1,000, and they are taking him hunting on Dec. 8 at a ranch in San Saba.
On Dec. 1, the Hooligans are also hosting the Allgood Benefit for Leonda Allgood who was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. Spur 490, The Remains and Mike McClure Band will be playing at the Brown County Youth Fair Barns. They will be serving free BBQ and pork, and will raffle off prizes such as a Keltec 9mm with hydrographic dip and a Yeti cooler. Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $15 each.
“I got a real job. I don’t do this to make money,” Clark, head of the Hooligans, said.
He is taking steps to make the group into a corporation, so that they could take part in more benefits.
Clark affirms the expression “go the whole hog.”
“I’ll either go big or go broke.”
The Hooligan Hoggers are on Facebook. Everyone is welcome to ask to join their hunts. For everyone’s safety, however, no guns, no dogs, and no bad attitude are allowed. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.