PICAYUNE, MS (WLOX) - Rachel Berry hasn't spent many years in the woods pursuing wild game, but the Picayune native has developed a passion and a fearless attitude when hunting with a rifle or bow. In fact, she recently came face-to-face with the most feared wild animal in Mississippi, and won.
Berry harvested an estimated 300 pound wild boar while on a routine deer hunt. This was no typical hunt.
''I have been fortunate enough to see a lot of game in the last five years, even though I have not killed a monster buck yet,'' Berry said.
''I guess I will have to be satisfied with trophy hogs for now. I had been hunting a small tract of private land for the past two months with the hopes of seeing a really big hog. I got my wish.''
The hunt unfolded with Berry sitting in a tree stand in a light drizzle. With less than an hour left before sunset, she heard a deer make a noise in a nearby field.
''I heard a deer blow at me and that usually means your hunt is over. I was actually pondering whether to stay in the stand or call it a day when I heard something out in front of me.
''My first thought was that someone's cows were out. I looked though my scope (on rifle) and saw one of the biggest hogs I've ever seen coming into the branch.''
At that moment, Berry slowly sighted her 4570 rifle at the hog when the unthinkable happened.
''I got my gun up to take the shot when another large spotted hog came into view. He was equally as large and headed straight to me. I decided he was going to be my best choice. The hog was at about 75 yards and I dropped him (with shot) in his tracks. It was awesome.''
With a hog on the ground that many hunters only dream about, Berry's passion for hunting quickly turned into a purpose.
''I was so excited to have taken this extremely dangerous hog off of this property. I was talking with a wildlife and fisheries official and he stated that if you as a land owner are okay with 100 hogs on your property, you would have to kill 80 a year just to keep the population at 100."
"If you're a deer hunter and you are passing up on killing a hog because you are waiting for a deer to come in, you are doing more harm than good to the deer population. I would love to kill a monster buck, but if a hog comes into my set up, he is a dead hog. ''