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Old March 2, 2013, 07:43 PM   #1
Mauser8mm
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What Gender And Size Of Hog Has The Best Meat?

What Gender And Size Of Hog Has The Best Meat?
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:52 PM   #2
TXAZ
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Feral hog or domesticated? For feral's (in TX), I like the medium sized boars (~150 lbs + / -). I have to believe there's a little difference around the country but can't comment outside of Texas.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:25 PM   #3
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What Gender And Size Of Hog Has The Best Meat?

Boars are for the guy pile, unless they're small. The small sows under 100 lbs are the best eating. Just like any other animal, the younger ones are better to eat.
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:07 PM   #4
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Hormone levels in adult males can taint the taste of the meat. Females or younger ales are best. Older males should be cut few weeks before slaughter, which isn't easily done to wild hogs. Some opinion here.

http://sugarmtnfarm.com/2005/11/11/to-cut-or-not/

They aren't that easy to sex. Last year a local hunting preserve gave me a deal on a older "female" that wasn't breeding that turned out to be a castrated male. They forgot more about hogs than I know and got it wrong. Some pics on pages 10-11 of this pdf give you a clue what to look for.

http://www.pigs.org/book.pdf

edited to correct typo
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Old March 3, 2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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Much Appreciated

Those pages were very helpful, thanks for the replies!
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Some pics on pages 10-11 of this pdf give you a clue what to look for.
Here's a rule of thumb for you. If you can see 'nads poking out of the rear and no visible tusks, he's too big for an eater and too young for a trophy.
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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I like to stay around 100LB. or less.
Doyle thats a good rule of thumb.
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Old March 4, 2013, 08:54 AM   #8
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Lots of variables determine what a hog tastes like. Hormones play a big part in it as does size. However a major player in all of them is what their diet is. If they are feeding off of agricultural crops and corn they'll tend to taste better than those living and feeding in a pine forest or deep swamp. Bo hogs tend to get rank the older and bigger they are.
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Old March 5, 2013, 10:45 PM   #9
hogdogs
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Best gender is "Barr hog" or a barrow which is a castrated male...

He will be tasty to 150 and beyond but the kicker is he will hold some fat... might even render some useful bacon...

Second is a sow up to 150 IMO...

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Old March 5, 2013, 10:47 PM   #10
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Doyle's rule of thumb can work but not always...

There are pockets of pigs that throw swords when pretty young and small and there are pockets that never seem to grow big cutters even when old and large...

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Old March 6, 2013, 09:01 AM   #11
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Any fat hog is good to eat: Some are better than others. The meat of big boars is often tough but marinating fixes that. Skinny hogs of any size/gender are not fit to eat.
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Old April 1, 2013, 03:06 PM   #12
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I shoot and eat a lot of hogs here and I would say there is no one correct answer. I've seen 100 lb. sows that I wouldn't feed to my dogs yet ate and enjoyed 200 lb. boars.

The main thing is to kill your hogs quickly so the animal doesn't have big load of fight or flight chemicals in the muscle. We always head shoot our hogs to put them down immediately. Second, fat hogs will be tastier than skinny ones. Third, process the animal as quickly as possible. In the summer I want the animal harvested, processed and in ice within 2 hours at most. In the winter you can go 4-5 hours without problem. Finally, soak your hog in some kind of brine solution for couple days. I normally change the solution every day and keep it soaking for 3-4 days until it stops bleeding out.

In general a fat sow of about 150lb. or less is best to eat.
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Old April 6, 2013, 04:46 AM   #13
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50 to 75 lbs is about right for me....I just split em and smoke em on the pit....
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Old April 6, 2013, 06:29 PM   #14
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THe determining factors for me are how fast they hit the ground, and how fast they hit the ice.

Push either of those and you end up with gamey pork no matter how big they are. That said the bigger they are, faster everything else needs to happen.

I have had some that bumped 400# that were excellent, and some that were 30 ruined my supper. I just learned as I went and found the faster I can drop them which isn't always in my favor, and the faster I can get them dressed out and on ice or in the freezer the better they eat and I don't pass on many at all.
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Old April 6, 2013, 07:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
I have had some that bumped 400# that were excellent, and some that were 30 ruined my supper.
All things being equal..U have to admit that this is not the norm....
Give me a bunch of 30 pounders over one 400 pounder any day....
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Old April 6, 2013, 07:20 PM   #16
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+1 Mike

Also...I seldom keep boars I kill unless under 60 lbs. On the other hand, I've eaten wild boars upwards of 300 lbs that were fine. All of them head shot and butchered with a couple of hours on cold days. Don't really know what the clue is.

I keep my quartered animals on ice for at least 3 days, adding ice and draining water. Then I cut up the meat and soak it for at least 2 days in brine in the fridge.

Then I can grind or freeze. I vacuum pack ground and freeze all other meat in water. Lasts for a couple of years.
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Old April 8, 2013, 09:01 AM   #17
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
All things being equal..U have to admit that this is not the norm....
Give me a bunch of 30 pounders over one 400 pounder any day....
Oh don't get me wrong, the small ones "usually" are more tender, and can have a better taste overall. That said, depending on what any of them are eating at the particular time of year can and does have a big influence on the taste as well. In the river bottoms when the pecans are dropping, most any of them have a great flavor. If the acorns are dropping and they are on them they can also be good, but sometimes not, and they taste just like a mashed up wet acorns smells. When the neighboring places over by my friends property have the corn growing, MAN O MAN they get right then. But if they are rooting around in the muddy bottoms and not on anything that can sweeten them up, well they can taste just like the much they have been rooting in.

On my property they have been sweetened up by my corn and protein feeders which run most of the year. Even the bigger ones tend to have a good flavor. If I drop the corn though they get pretty rank pretty fast, and tend to taste like that sandy loam smells.
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Old April 8, 2013, 10:57 PM   #18
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I took this boar three weeks ago, it weighed an estimated 225 pounds. We ate one of the loins, it was delicious. I made 25 pounds of sausage last week, also deelish!!
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Old April 8, 2013, 10:58 PM   #19
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Crap- hold on, let me fix that. Still working on it...
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Old April 9, 2013, 03:40 PM   #20
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Nice Hog, And Nice Rifle!!!

Nice hog! I like your rifle too! And your dog!! Appreciate the help, I was just trying to help out a friend who got about 1000 acres to hunt on full of hogs, deer, turkey, and God knows what else!
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Old April 9, 2013, 11:25 PM   #21
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Sorry about the pic- I was unable to get it right. The dog belongs to the guide I used. He is a Catahoula Hound named Moose.
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Old April 10, 2013, 06:38 AM   #22
Mauser8mm
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Picture...

The picture was fine!! That was quite a hog! What kind of rifle is that?
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Old April 13, 2013, 04:25 AM   #23
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We once shot a mountain ( 100+) in a night. Good fun, the Ruger .44 was smouldering by the end. These guys had been living in pine trees, and the meat had a horrible resin taste to it. It made good ham and bacon, but the rest was revolting. I really think what they have been eating makes more of a difference.
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Old April 20, 2013, 11:41 PM   #24
Major Dave (retired)
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Small (60-80 lbs) sows.
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Old April 21, 2013, 06:11 PM   #25
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Size does not matter as much as the gender, the sows are the best meat.
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