Buck Wheat is a religious man who says he sought the help of God during a “time of need.”
Wheat was wild hog hunting on the night of Feb. 6, hoping to land a “monster” he could enter in the Wise County Hog Contest, a competition that draws hunters from across Texas.
“The first night of the contest I was not having any luck,” said Wheat, of Olden, a speck of town west of Eastland on Interstate 20. “I prayed that he would bring me a big hog.”
Wheat was hunting near Morton Valley outside Ranger, “on property that’s been in the family for about 70 years. It’s got a bunch of hogs on it.”
It was about 11:15 p.m., with a hint of moonlight, when he spotted the big pig among some grazing cattle, rooting around for grubs.
“Then he just squirted out and started to move,” Wheat said. “He was long and skinny and didn’t look that big.”
Wheat turned his truck toward the pig, hit the bright lights and pulled out his rifle, a 7mm-08.
“I hit him in the head, he rolled around for a minute, and that was that,” Wheat said.
Wheat hauled the pig to Decatur the next day to have it weighed for the annual contest, and it came in at 298 pounds.
399 pounds, weight of largest hog killed in the Wise County Hog Contest, in 2013.
Because the contest ran from Feb. 6 through Monday, Wheat wasn’t sure his first kill would hold up, so he and partner Seth Williamson of Eastland kept on hunting, killing more than two dozen more pigs — none of which topped the eventual winner.
By early Tuesday, Wheat’s victory was confirmed.
The fattest pig killed came in at a bacon-friendly 399 pounds, in 2013.
Hawkins said 158 entrants came in from across the state this year, each of whom paid $100 for the right to bring in a pig to be weighed.
The rules are simple: No trapping, no hog dogs, no helicopters, no hunting on property with high fences and the hog must be brought to Decatur to be weighed within 24 hours of the kill.
Winners must also pass a polygraph test, Hawkins said, which has not been a problem.
“No one has ever cheated, as far as we know,” Hawkins said.
This shows that God will meet your needs, no matter what they are. It was kind of a funny need, but I needed a big hog.
Wheat, 31, is looking forward to collecting the $7,900 payday for the two-man team.
He and his family operate Buck Wheat Resources, which he said dabbles in oil and gas leases, ranching and real estate. He’s active in the Carbon Community Baptist Church and enjoys hunting in his spare time.
Prayer and pigs, in that order, are his passions.
“This shows that God will meet your needs, no matter what they are,” Wheat said. “It was kind of a funny need, but I needed a big hog.”