If this one had gotten away, Bennie Bible doubts he could have made anyone believe how big the wild boar really was.

But it didn't get away. Six bullets from Bible's 30.06 downed the boar. Then it took three men to load its 685-pound carcass in the back of Bible's truck.

Bible, 29, has been hunted wild hogs since he was 10 and killed - he's not sure how many. This one, he said, was really happenstance.

"I was shutting the gate about 5:20 in the afternoon Dec. 9, just south of Santa Anna and I saw him crossing the field, so I took off after him in the pickup," Bible said. "He was about a thousand yards away then."

Bible said that most of the time the really big boars will be off by themselves away from the herd. They've got minds and patterns of their own, he said. In his years of tracking and hunting feral hogs, Bible said he's trapped 1,500 or more, but the big boars manage to never get caught in the traps.

The truth is, though, Bible had never seen a boar as big as this one.

"I raised show pigs," Bible said. "Our boars get that big, but I've never seen a wild hog like that - that big."

Once Bible got within firing range of the big hog, he got a clean shot, he said, hitting the boar behind the front shoulder. The hog seemed unfazed.

"I shot him three more times," Bible said. "The fourth shot went behind the shoulder. He fell on the fifth shot, which was also behind the shoulder. Then I walked over and shot him behind the ear.

"Those big boars have shoulder shields of muscle. You can get off a good shot but the shell might not penetrate but a half inch."

Bible said he knows some people eat wild hog. He doesn't, and this one was particularly foul. He dug a hole and buried it.

"You could smell him from 50 feet away. It was bad," Bible said.

"Feral hogs do a lot of damage - to property, vegetation, anything and everything in their path," he said. "Wild hogs will kill a baby deer, eat quail eggs and turkey eggs. They'll destroy everything in their path and eat stuff you'd never think ..."

According to Brown County AgriLife Extension Agent Scott Anderson, the wild hog population in Texas is between 1.9 and 3.8 million.

"Landowners or their agents are allowed to kill feral hogs on their property without a hunting license if feral hogs are causing damage," Anderson wrote in his Sunday newspaper column.

Wild hogs are descendants of domestic hogs brought to the country by early settlers. Release or escape of those animals, the fact the hogs have no natural enemies in the wild and the litter sizes of sows have made them prolific throughout the U.S.