View Full Version : 1253 miles to hunt hog
March 20, 2009, 03:09 PM
Ok! Here’s the story of my Texas hog hunting trip.
Arrived in Uvalde, Texas last Sunday at about 2pm. I located the ranch (2300 acres); met the foreman (Bob) & his wife, and learned that I would have my own bedroom & bath in their home. We talked for a couple of hours; then I changed into my hunting clothes and test fired my 25/06 to see that the scope was still zeroed.
Bob said that hogs are primarily nocturnal, but like deer; unpredictable and can occasionally be seen at anytime during the day, so the plan was to start the hunt about 2 hours before night fall; then use the spot light until about 10pm.
Bob told me, that he has seen on 3 occasions this year, a boar that would weigh between 300 & 400 pounds; that it was a loner; never with a group, and that he was last seen at the feeder that I was going to hunt.
We left the house about 5:30pm and Bob dropped me off at my stand and was to return at 10pm unless I called for him to come sooner.
I was set up & ready for action at 6pm. He has feeders set up at 8 different locations around the ranch, and mine was 85 yards in front of my stand.
At 6:30 three (3) deer came out of the mesquite brush and began eating the corn that had been spread earlier by the timed feeder; and a few minutes later four (4) more deer arrived, and one of them was a very nice 10pt buck. This buck only stayed a couple of minutes & then disappeared back into the brush, but due to the width of his rack, I think he would have scored 140/150 BC.
At 7:00 all these deer took off like rockets & vanished into the brush. I hoped that I knew what spooked them, and sure enough out came 3 hogs. These hogs were small; weighing I’d guess 60 maybe 75 pound each. About 5 mins later 3 more hogs came out of the brush; these were also in the 60/75 pound class. At about 7:30 a loner came out, but not the big boy. This one I’d guess would weigh 100 maybe 125 pounds.
I put the cross hair on this red boar and started to punch his ticket; then I thought about the situation and decided, [beeep] I’ve only been here hour & half, and already saw deer & hogs; I’m not going to shoot a 100 pounder, when there might be a 300/400 pounder about to show up.
At 8pm these 7 hogs are still at the feeder; it’s beginning to get pretty chilly.
At 9pm its pitch black and I’m getting cold. The hogs are still at the feeder, and with a 400 pounder out there somewhere in the darkness, I’m beginning to think this stand should have been elevated, or at least have a door that I could close.
Bob showed up at 10:15 and my 1st day hog hunt came to an end.
Next day (Monday) started at 6am and hunted until 10am; this time in an elevated blind at a different location. I had deer and jack rabbit all around me, all morning. The deer were all doe, and for some reason, one of them wore a orange colored neck collar. The jacks were the biggest that I have ever seen. I’d bet they would each weigh 20 pound or more.
I didn’t see a hog all morning.
Bob showed up at 10 and we went back to the house for lunch. We talked it over, and I decided that I was going to make a max effort and hunt from 4 til midnight.
At 4pm I was in another stand and this time only 45 yards away from the feeder, but again on the ground & without a door to close. This night duplicated the 1st night….deer & jack rabbit all around me, but not a hog to be seen.
Bob picked me up at midnight….I’m tired---I’m cold--- I’m whooped!!!
Was it a successful hunt?------[beeep] yes!!
I had a very good time!!
Enjoyed every minute of it!!
Enjoyed the drive to & from Texas..
Trip can be as much fun as the destination.
Did not kill a hog, but could have.
Success is not dependent upon killing!!
Want to do it again>>>
That’s my story & I’m sticking to it!!!!!
March 20, 2009, 03:40 PM
Sounds like you had fun. One of the small hogs would have been some good eating back in Kentucky, but there is always next time. orchidhunter
March 20, 2009, 03:46 PM
That is why we call it hunting and not shootin'! Hogs are a bugger to hunt anywhere without dogs due to their nomadic ways. I will offer you a backup hunt... I have an on going offer that has been taken up by folks from various boards. One such feller from here gave it a whirl. The offer is a try at a gun hunt and/or a dog hunt. The guy recently agreed to try a no guns dog hunt then we took him to a different farm for a try with rifle. No hogs were taken but he did get to see a dead dog that "got the horn" the night before that hadn't yet been buried and the hog that did it that was penned up... Avccording to him, just seeing that hog and what it did to the 1 1/2 inch aluminum pipe we scratched his back with were worth the trip! Hogs and hog hunting is the real deal!
March 20, 2009, 04:04 PM
You passed on a 125 pound hog, after all that driving, got shutout, and you call that a good hunt?
Remind me to not go hunting with you.
What were you going to do with a 400 pound boar?
The meat on a monster like that is inedible.
March 20, 2009, 04:38 PM
Simon, You have been lied to! 400 pound pork and 50 pound pork is equal! I have hunted too many feral hogs and slaughtered more domestic hog for me to be convinced otherwise! Heck I have roasted whole 400+ hogs on a spit over a fire that would make yer tongue knock yer eyes out of socket! A gun shot hog is a gun shot hog! A 70 pounder caught with dogs can be very rank/gamey due to testosterone and adrenalin. The meat don't tuff with age either... Tuff in cattle is due to grass fed but hogs don't graze on grass!
As for a good hunt... Gadwal is spot on! Hunt what you want and pass on what you don't. Good hunt is having fun TRYIN'! Now had he said he had a good KILL but then said he didn't kill anything i would call "poo-poo on his shoe" but he may have only wanted a big ol' hog head for the wall... Tis not for anyone to decide what a man wants to hunt!
But I will say a 60 pound gilt is some sweet azz meat!
March 20, 2009, 04:47 PM
Yep simonkenton! Passed up one that might go 100 or 125, or he might have weighed 30 pounds, just guessing, as I don't claim to "know it all."
Doubt we would ever have opportunity to hunt together, so not to worry about it.
Just the difference in people I guess. I'm 73 years old and been hunting since I was 10. I have hunted bear in Canada & Maine; hunted elk in Colorado,; mulies in New Mexico, phesant in Nebraska; and have been hunting everything that Kentucky has to offer for 60 years.
I have been as you call it "shutout" more times than I can remember, but since I have never considered "killing" to be the governing factor of a good hunt, I have always come home satisfied, and ready to do it again.
Don't know what I would have done with a 400 pound hog; don't know what I would have done with a 100 pounder, but I would have located a "know it alll" to set me straight. You see, that's one of the advantages of old age.
March 20, 2009, 07:00 PM
I have killed 14 wild hogs in central Georgia, and been with my buddies when they killed dozens more.
So I have eaten the meat from at least 3 dozen wild hogs.
Day in and day out, this is the best meat I have ever eaten. I tell people I would let an 8 pointer walk, if it meant I could shoot a 150 pound sow, and they think I am kidding.
I am not.
I don't hang horns on the wall [though they do make good pipes if you know what I mean], I am out to eat what I kill, and wild hog is better than venison.
These were mostly hogs in the 70 to 150 pound range.
I did kill a 150 pound boar [with a .45 acp] and the meat was a little tough. The 150 pound sow would be a little more tender, but still, the meat on that boar was real good.
Then, one day, my buddy shot a 450 pound boar. What a monster! Took 4 guys to drag it from the swamp.
This hog was cleaned, hung, and processed just like all the others.
In fact I helped to quarter and process this pig and I know it was done right.
The meat was inedible. The sausage stunk so bad, when you cooked it, that you couldn't stay in the kitchen.
My buddy who pulled the trigger tasted the meat and spit it out.
We threw the sausage to the dog and he wouldn't eat it.
By the way, I was making 200 pounds of venison and pork sausage every year, and it was always delicious, except for this one batch, so I knew how to make sausage.
So, I have eaten meat from 36 wild hogs, all under 200 pounds, all delicious.
I have eaten meat from one 450 pound boar, meat was stinking and inedible.
Conclusion, meat from giant boars is inedible.
March 20, 2009, 07:12 PM
And therein lies the crux of a big hog... If you pack the gut cavity with ice it extends the time you have. A small hog needs 2 bags. Gutted in minutes, dragged to the truck and transported... Then you have time to skin and butcher the hog. Time is limited and a 400 pounder not gut iced you just can't do the work fast enuff from kill, drag, haul and butcher you are at several hours... enuff time for full on spoilage... Spoiled meat is gross no matter how you call it...:barf: I think a super high percentage of "GAMEY" meat is just plain ol' rotten spoiled...
March 20, 2009, 07:28 PM
G'day. I don't think it is the size of the animal, rather the conditions it has been living in. I have eaten trout from clear clean water and ones from murky muddy water, you can tell the difference.
March 20, 2009, 07:33 PM
well skull, you are right too.... diet here is not a bad situation usually but if you hunt much hog you will see the 4+ hour dead bugger I feed to dogs but not humans.... No way around that in some cases!
Our feral hogs eat better than we do most of the time.... Deer wish they could ROOT!
March 20, 2009, 07:59 PM
I suppose I'm still learning. This is the only place I've ever seen someone say that the meat from a 300+ pound male wild hog is worthwhile to process. Interesting, and I'd enjoy seeing some more opinions.
Oh, I'd also like to congratulate the original poster on what I, also, would call a good hunt! Best of luck on your next, and next, and next hunts as well. I am always happy, just to have been "there".
March 20, 2009, 08:06 PM
Well you may be on to something, hogdogs.
I treated my hogs just like my deer, of which I have killed at least 90.
I track 'em down and gut 'em on the spot. Then I get them out of the woods as soon as possible, and back home to be processed.
I have never packed the body cavity of an animal with ice.
If I am by myself, I am usually quartering the critter within 2 to 3 hours.
If I am hunting with friends, and I shoot an animal early, I may have to wait 2 hours for my buddy to get from the woods. In this case, it may be 5 hours after the trigger is pulled until the animal is getting quartered, but that much time is unusual.
In central Georgia, temps in hunting season might be 60 degrees, might be 20 degrees.
It took those guys 4 hours to drag that hog out of the swamp. Thank God, I was at work at the EMS.
Then they hung it from a pecan tree, in my front yard, and I helped process it the next morning.
I can't remember how cool it was that night, but the shooter had a Master's degree in Biology, and was a very experienced hunter, so he thought it was ok to hang overnight.
I did hang game overnight, myself, on 5 or 6 occasions, when it was cool enough, and never had any problems.
At any rate, the drag time from the woods was extra long.
Bottom line, have you killed and eaten a 450 pound wild boar? How was the meat?
March 20, 2009, 08:28 PM
I have never personally seen a wild hog over 250... but i assure you the time it took was, IMHO, excessive. It takes a temp under 36 degrees for me to extend the time over 3 hours. That is venison, beef or pork. That is from heart beat stop to chiller. that is tuff to do with any big animal and I have spent 2 hours skinning a 200+ boar as the shield requires I skin in pieces. I work fairly fast but I am no pro meat cutter. For hogs, I never start with less than 3 sharp knives and as they dull I switch while an assistant hones the dull one. I have rarely cut hogs under 70 degrees and most often it was 74+... I trapped hundreds of pigs (usually 100 or under pounds as the smart ones avoid the trap) I always hauled them alive and was calling potential meat buyers as I drove home. Once on my place and cash exchanged I would dispatch the hog and commence. They were required to hold legs apart etc... Their hog was fresh and pork was dropped ASAP in iced coolers... But I still felt "under the gun" to get it done. The big hog i have posted else where was caught and killed/gutted then hauled less than 8 miles and butchered after a couple minutes of pics. It was still 2 hours dead and that is my max if I was selling it to you and it was cool enuff for long sleeves so 66-68 degrees. I am a stickler for cold pork or short time after death...
Think this way... if yer wife was to load the shoppin' buggy with meat first then shop and after that haul the goods in the trunk as she hits yard sales and thrift stores to arrive 4-6 hours later, would you think it proper meat handling?
March 20, 2009, 09:25 PM
Food can make a difference. The guy who ran the crabmeat picking plant near us always kept hogs. At the end of every days picking he'd carry the shells from the crabs out in barrells to the hogs. Hogs loved it..........BUT when he was ready to sell them he'd put them up and feed them regular food, no more crab scraps. He said the if he did not do that the meat would be funny tasting.
March 20, 2009, 09:34 PM
bswiv, Have you ever smelled the meat of a catfish that is fed catfish feed kibble? I would rather eat YOUR boot smothered in your dirty sock!:barf: Feed does play a role and I bet that crab pork would absolutely suck if not pre-cleaned with good feed! I hope you know I did gag thinkin' of it and my eyes are still watering!
March 20, 2009, 10:43 PM
I knew a kid when I was in high school in Oregon... He lived on a farm out in the mountains. They ran 20 rabbits, a half dozen chickens, a couple of cows and 20 hogs.
They always butchered hogs in the fall (I used to help them). The reason was they could get free pumpkins in November by the truckload. Every morning they would fill up a industrial sized aluminum pot with water and cut up pumpkins. They'd cook the pot on top of the wood stove all day. In the evening the pumpkin would be nice and tender.
We'd let the pot cool and then it was dinner time for the hogs. They would fight over the pumpkin pieces. Anyway, after several weeks on pumpkin they would slaughter 10 hogs or so. It was the best pork I've eaten to date. They didn't smoke the bacon they made and it took some getting used to. Now I'll tear up some unsmoked bacon. Reminds me of back then.
My friend's dad was in his 70's when we were in high school (around 1980). He lived through the depression and fought at Iwo Jima in the marine corps. He had always been a farmer of sorts and the pumkin idea came from his childhood. He made great home made beer too. He was resourceful. He even got the gov't to fund an electric still to make fuel for his farm machinery. Funny thing was, his only tractor was a Craftsman lawn tractor and he didn't own any farm machinery! That said, he did make fuel and it did get used!
March 20, 2009, 10:47 PM
G'day. I have herd people say that Goat meat is no good once the kids mature! Well we had a pet goat nearly 2 years before it went onto the table. It had been fed grain, hay and fresh Mango leaves. Kept in a residential back yard and never got chased around. It had so much fat on it you would not believe. It was some of the nicest meat anybody could have, tender and juicy.
The living conditions have a lot to do with how good the meat will be.
Lots of Australian export beef go to feed lots prior to shipping. That is what the market demands, not the tough stuff straight from scrub.
March 21, 2009, 05:13 AM
I learned as a youngun, to cut a small piece of meat from the hindleg of any boar hog. Cook it over a small fire and taste it. If it smelled like a skunks but we left the animal for the buzzards. If it smelled and tasted good it was processed.
The old hog men I hunted with (they turned hogs loose in the woods then rounded them up for market) maintained it was fighting and rutting activity that caused the rank smell and taste. Not hog size. The main problem with big ones was moving them from the woods before the meat went bad.
I have stayed true to my training and shoot big ones close to the road and test them berfore processing.
These old men also maintained hogs on acorns in the fall had the best meat, even better than corn.
The following boars and sows all tasted great.
March 21, 2009, 06:56 AM
So, hogdogs you have no experience with a 450 pound wild boar.
Well, as I said before I have had occasion where I hung wild game overnight, when I knew it was cool enough, and have never had a problem.
My buddy who shot the monster was a very experienced hunter and if he thought it was not cool enough to hang overnight, it would have been a simple matter to pack the hog in ice and wrap him in a tarp, would have cost $10 and taken 15 minutes, the hog wound up hanging from a pecan tree right in my yard, and there were 2 convenience stores 10 minutes away.
There were 4 guys involved in hauling the monster from the swamp and each guy had his own car, no problem to get ice.
We were meat hunters and we wanted to eat that meat so I am sure the overnight storage of this hog was discussed at length, as I said, I was at work at the EMS, thank God, and missed out on the hog retrieval party.
As for good food for piggies, this hog was killed in the same swamp where I shot my 14 hogs. They were all eating the same food and all my hogs were delicious.
Can't blame the bad flavor on bad food.
I know what stale, or rotten meat smells like. This 450 pound boar did not smell stale, or rotten. Rather, the meat stank, like a skunk.
I have been there, I have done that, and a 450 pound boar has rank, stinky meat that is not fit for human or canine consumption.
If you want to shoot a 450 pound boar, have at it. The country is overrun with them, and since they are a non native species, they are considered vermin by most DNR managers.
Shoot your 450 pound boar and enjoy your day in the woods, I will let them pass.
March 21, 2009, 08:15 AM
this one was 6.25, weighed on a barn scale, and was delicious. His big brother was 436, and was just as good. The only bad boar meat i ever saw was processed way too long after harvest.
March 21, 2009, 09:36 AM
I have had big old boars stink up the kitchen. Big sows not so. I just butchered a 320 pound sow we shot on a disease sampling mission. Had her skinned and hanging in the cooler 30 minutes after she saw the light(literally). Big hogs are superiorally insulated due to the thick fat. It is important to cool them asap. Back when I ran dogs, I would trade the big boars to the locals for gas, and keep the sows and small boars for myself. Seems as if Colt 45 and Old English 800 has the tendency to negate any bad taste. Just my hypothesis.
March 21, 2009, 11:51 AM
I admit I haven't seen a 400 pound wild hog... sow or boar... They are rare to be that large! But the big boar argument is based on something affecting ANY breeder size (over 100 pounds) and that is "rank" smell/taste. When you can smell a boar that hasn't been in the spot for many hours he is gonna taste gamey. That is why we live catch and haul them to a pen. If we plan to own it more than 2 weeks we cut him making him a barr or Barrow. then we shoot him with penicillin for a few days. He is then shot when calm whether we cut him or not...
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