NEGAUNEE TOWNSHIP (AP) -- The woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are littered with deer and bear, but few people know that Russian boar can be found in Negaunee Township.

Paul Moilanen, a U.S. Army veteran from the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette, was given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt the beast deep in the woods at Bear Mountain. The avid hunter was selected by the U.P. Whitetails Association to hunt the big game.

"I did a lot of rabbits and partridge and deer," Moilanen told WLUC-TV.

But what about big game? What about boar?

"Not this big, no," he said.

Gary Modlin, president of the U.P. Whitetails of Marquette, said finding Russian boar in the U.P. is not too surprising.

"They are, of course, native to Russia," Modlin said, "a big, wooly Russian boar, and it's common throughout the country that entrepreneurs will invest in something like this. They will buy a parcel of land, fence it in, and import some of these exotic animals."

Moilanen was looking for a sow, or female, which generally are considered better for cooking and eating.

Russell Gardner, treasurer of the Whitetails, said that if Moilanen is successful, the wild boar will be taken to the VFW in Ishpeming for a barbecue party for veterans.

The U.P. Whitetails previously has hosted the event a few times. The last time it took well into the second day for the veteran to get his sow.

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