Hunting pigs in Mount Vernon

In 1985, my daily newspaper featured a story about loose pigs in Mount Vernon. This was my response, in a letter-to-the-editor. This is also in my book of hunting and fishing stories, A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing published by North Country Press.

The Unstinking Pigs

Yes indeed, we’ve gone hog wild out here in Mount Vernon. It is always gratifying to know our daily newspaper is taking a real interest in local affairs out this way, and we’re glad you appreciated the serious nature of our problem, placing it on the front page of your January 18 edition.

The headline, “Wild Pigs Cause Stink,” was somewhat incorrect, however, because pigs do not stink. They’re very neat and clean actually. But you city slickers wouldn’t be expected to know that.

We do have other equally serious problems which you may be interested in covering now that you’ve discovered our potential for splashy news stories. Property taxes are threatening to get out of hand, for instance, and we have at least one unusual approach to solving this pesky problem.

Taking note that the Fish and Wildlife Department made a whopping $600,000 on this year’s duck stamp, we’re considering issuing a town pig stamp, and sponsoring a limited one-week hunt at the end of February. We’ll be real tired of those loose pigs by then, and they might’s well help some needy families get through the rest of the tough winter.

We’d be interested to know what you city folks think of this idea. Would you be interested in hunting pigs? Or would you buy a pig stamp just to add to your stamp collections? What’s the going rate for these things?

To keep the interest up, we’ve arranged another story for you next week. We’ve asked Ray Hall to loose some cows, and they’ll be stampeding through the village at 2 pm Wednesday afternoon. Please station your reporter and photographer in the middle of the intersection in front of the country store. You’ll get a real fine close-up photo for Thursday’s front page.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.