Bringing Home The Bacon

Hit me with a hammer
Wham bam bam
What good am I
Without my ham?
—Roy Blount

One of the more interesting cultural phenomena in recent weeks is the uproar over the 1,051-pound feral hog shot on May 3 by an 11-year-old named Jamison Stone. To make things more interesting, this Paleolithic porker was taken with a customized Smith & Wesson .500 revolver, a firearm at least as huge and fearsome at the swine itself.

Like most of what goes on today, this is all very baffling to me. Young Jamison finds himself a celebrity even outside of hunting circles—why? The pig is the least glamorous of our game animals (and no, it is not the new whitetail, at least until one grows antlers). Does this mean we’re finally tiring of Rosie O’Donnell and looking for a replacement? Is it the size of the swine? The age of the hunter?

About the .500 S&W. I can distinctly remember when the .45 ACP was thought of as a veritable cannon, and the .357 magnum was considered so terrifying that only FBI agents were manly enough to shoot it. Yet here is an 11-year-old shooting something with one hand that kicks as hard as a .338. I shot a .500 S&W when it first came out in 2003, and it reminded me of the time when, as a kid, I tried to catch a 12-pound shot put.

Does this mean we can look forward to 9-year-olds taking Cape buffalo with .577 Nitro Expresses? Seven-year-olds dropping elephant with .700 Holland & Hollands? Where does it all end?