Hog Attacks Man Near Rich Mountain

Brad Gill | September 25, 1998

The last thing Dennis Holman expected on August 24 was to be attacked by a wild hog in his front yard.

Dennis lives between Blue Ridge and Ellijay, about one mile from Rich Mountain Wildlife Management Area. He owns a ceramic tile business, so he decided he would knock off for the afternoon.

Dennis got home and made plans to sit in his favorite tree stand and film deer and bear in his back field. He got as far as loading his Yamaha 4×4 with the stand and camera, but changed his mind at the last minute. He decided he would just stay around the house.

After unloading his equipment, Dennis hopped back on his 4-wheeler, put it in reverse and backed up to a tree. He reached down with his hand to shift the side lever. What he saw was not a side lever, but a set of hungry teeth ready to lock down on his arm. His heart leaped into his throat as he jumped up on the seat realizing the teeth belonged to a wild hog. The sow snapped at his feet. He moved to higher ground on the back rack while yelling to his wife to get a gun.

Just when Dennis was clueless about what to do, his German shepherd, Wally, dashed out from under the front porch. The hog turned to see what all the barking was about and removed a mouthful of Wally’s hair. Wally decided that was enough and high-tailed it down the street. So much for man’s best friend. Meanwhile, the distraction gave Dennis time to make a sprint for the front door.

Dennis Holman displays the 218-lb. sow that attacked him in his front yard. This is the only wild hog that Dennis has ever seen in the area near his Gilmer County home.

“I asked my wife for one of my guns, but she said she couldn’t find one,” said Dennis. “In all the excitement I had forgotten two days earlier I had put my guns outside in easy-to-reach hiding places just for things like this.” Now Dennis and his wife were trapped inside their house with no gun. Every gun he owned was dispersed around the yard somewhere. However, the sow quickly forgot about Dennis and turned her attention to a chicken that was running around the yard.

With the hog distracted, Dennis ran outside to find the closest rifle, an old army 7.62-54R. The sow quickly turned her attention back on Dennis. He chambered a round and fired. The shot hit above the shoulder and traveled through the spine. The sow immediately hit the ground. Finally, Dennis could catch his breath. He went inside and told his wife the sow was dead. He opened the blinds to show her, but he couldn’t believe his eyes. The sow was gone.

Dennis grabbed his rifle and walked out on the back porch where the sow had made it around to the backyard. Dennis fired again. Despite a double lung shot, the sow ran for cover. She was found in a nearby creek, where it took Dennis, his wife and the 4-wheeler to drag the 218-lb. sow to dry ground.

This wasn’t the first time the sow had encountered humans. When cleaning the hog, Dennis found both hams scattered with birdshot. Luckily, Dennis walked away with no injuries and at the same time was able to put away some pork for the winter. He probably learned a valuable lesson from what could have been a disaster: keep at least one gun in the house.

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