View Full Version : Hogs for food

April 15, 2009, 09:22 PM
Are feral hogs real gamey tasting. If you wanted one for eating, would it be better to shoot a smaller young hog for eating? Looking for someone to shed some light on this for me please. thanks

April 15, 2009, 09:32 PM
Ideal swine for food is a 60-80 pound gilt (female not yet bred). Any young 125 or under shot while not excited is going to be real good eating.

We prefer to live tie hogs we catch with dogs so they can be penned for at least 72 hours to "clean out" the adrenaline etc. from the meat. Shoot at night in a pen while feeding and butcher as farm pig.

If we are on a hog dead set on tearing up dogs, he/she gets stuck right there to end the fight. sows always get run as sausage and is fine eating. Boars may get butchered for sausage or used as raw food for dogs.

I have had ham from big boars and it was fine to me.

IMHO only, I feel a super huge majority of "gamey" pork is actually in the early stages of spoiled. It is a real challenge to drop, gut, field dress, and butcher a hog fast enuff to avoid spoilage. We will gut them in the woods and stop at the store and pack a couple bags of ice in the cavity but a real thick ham is gonna take a long time to cool to the center.

It is rare for us to have real cold weather in Florida to assist in preservation so speed butchering is required. I have never butchered a hog without a few nicks from the knives if not a few out right cuts...
Hope this helps and ask away if you get more questions...

April 15, 2009, 09:42 PM
This is my first post here so I'm glad I can help someone out instead of diving in with one of my newb questions(I'll be asking those soon;)). If you've ever raised your own pork then it'll be an easy switch. If you've only had grocery store pork then you'll notice some difference. It's still going to be milder than venison though. If you are in it for the hunt then enjoy the hunt and try the meat. If you don't like it give it away. If you're in it for the meat and the landowner permits it then you can trap the hog in a cage and feed it out for a month before slaughter. If feral hogs aren't regulated in your state this is perfectly legal. We built a cage with a spring loaded, angled door that would allow the hog to come in, be trapped, and allow other hogs to enter also. We caught 8 at one time once. I'd post pictures but someone offered us 5 times what it was worth and we haven't built another yet. The best way to do it is to leave the door locked open for a few days and keep a big pile of corn inside. Let them get used to going in and coming out and the free food. Once they are used to it they won't mind pushing that door out of the way to get to the food they now consider theirs. Hope this helped.


April 15, 2009, 09:47 PM
Thanks Hogdogs. I am a avid deer hunter and always wanted to try a hog hunt. I live in Tennessee and am considering a lease in north east Tn that has alot of hogs on it. I guess since I will be about 1hr 15min from home, I should probably field dress imediately, quarter the hog, and put it in a cooler full of ice. Does this sound like a good plan of action? thanks again for your help!:)

April 15, 2009, 09:52 PM
Yes that is the ideal way to deal with a hog any distance from the butcher table... We actually like to have water with the ice and drain and re-ice for 2-3 days to allow more blood letting from the meat...

April 15, 2009, 10:03 PM
As hogdogs said plus, down here, much has to do with what they're feeding on.

I usually help out the ranchers in controlling the crowd so most have been feeding from the feeding troughs for cattle and are excellent. These are also pretty much domesticated due to the circumstances.

A true, dyed-in-the-wool hog down in the 'glades can vary from good to rank. Remember that there's not much a hog won't eat. I've had a few that must have been eating dead Turkey Buzzards for a month.

We always have ice at camp just in case and we do have to get anything cooled down quickly.

April 15, 2009, 10:15 PM
Botebum, I reread our hunting trapping guide and see nothing said about trapping hogs. Dogs are only alowed in certain counties on certain dates. The season is open year round with no bag limit. The guide pretty much begs hunters to kill hogs.
Hogdogs, My brother used that method with a buck he killed and said it worked well. Guess I need to get a big cooler:D I am planning to go Friday and pay for the lease. Think I'll try to go early and take my rifle while I check it out;)

April 15, 2009, 10:35 PM
Little hogs or big hogs! Don't matter! Just killem! The little hogs do tast better! The big hogs have worms. Once you take the skin off and you know what you are looking for you will see the worms. Just cut out the worm. cook the hog and eat it. Good eats!

April 16, 2009, 05:03 AM
The cooler/ice/water method:

One of the guys we know will add a little viniger to the water. He says that it draws out the blood. I don't know if it really does but I will say he's never complained about a bad piece of meat.

One other thing you might consider. Try adding a bit of salt to the water. For a lot of smoking/cuering processes a brine soak is a necessary step.

Finally the advice already stated about COOLING PROMPTLY is right. I'm in the seafood business and I will tell you that there is all the difference in the world between say a grouper, especially one caught during the summer, that is handeled properly and one that is not.

Some of the best boats will have a cooler/trough with icewater slush in it and they will toss the fish in there as soon as it's caught to get the temp down ASAP. Makes a noticable difference.

In fact some of the commercial salmon farming operations when they harvest fish will run the fish through a sluce infused with carbondioxide which knocks the fish out so that they do not bruse themselves while flopping around. They will then cut one section of gill to allow the fish to bleed out and then gut it. The fish will immediately go into a slush of ice&water to get it COLD fast. They would not go through all that trouble if it did not make a difference to the end product.

April 16, 2009, 06:30 AM
My buddies and I did quite a bit of wild hog hunting in central Georgia.
That is the best meat I ever had.
I much prefer it over venison.
The biggest pig I ever shot was a 140 pound boar, and the meat was great.
A little tougher than a sow, but still very good.

The only bad pork we got was when my buddy shot a 450 pound monster boar.

April 16, 2009, 08:28 AM
Another trick for for soaking is to get a little acid into the water. Either vinegar or some citrus juice concentrate.

April 16, 2009, 09:57 AM
Brett, What state are you in? Here in NC there are 4/100 counties that consider the hogs wild and there is a season and bag limit and live trapping is(I believe) not allowed. In the other 96/100 counties the hogs are considered feral and it states in the regs that they are unregulated. This means that you can take them in any manner on any day except Sunday(don't get me started on that). Some people I know have live trapped them and used them to diversify their bloodline on the farm. The farmers here beg you to come hunt them off their land and really don't care what you do with them as long as they aren't tearing up their crops any more. A small herd of hogs can do thousands of dollars of damage in a single night.
simonkenton, A boar that size is going to be tainted whether it's wild or farm raised. The only way to deal with a hog like that would be to live trap him, castrate him and feed him out for a while. The length of time to feed him out is a matter of opinion. Anywhere from a month to "You ain't never gonna' get that taste outta' him".\
Larger females won't be tainted but can be pretty tough. That's when you make sausage. Lots and lots of sausage.


April 16, 2009, 10:08 AM
Large sows in season can taste pretty rank as well... That is why we sausage them out if we can't pen them and feed out.
I have a bunch of cooking tips when yer ready for that part. From 40-50 pound bar-b-que roasters on up.
Sawzall, rechargeable with spare batts if no power at camp and a paint stripped blade to speed butchering. Lower section of ribs usually only good for dog food. Sawzall lets you also use less cooler to haul the meat.

April 16, 2009, 10:15 AM
Excellent point about the large sows in season. That slipped my mind.


April 16, 2009, 10:25 AM
I notice that these posts are from the sunny south.Heres a note from a yankee in Central New York State (lots of trees, farm land and far from the city!)
We now have a breeding population of Russian boar stock that escaped from a local game farm a few years ago.
My gang hunts them in the winter on snow when it is not too deep and hard to run them down. (no dogs used)
Several were shipped to Cornell U for testing last year and they were found to be disease and parasite free at this point.
The state officials would love to eradicate these pigs.
My group got 24 in the winter of 07-08 but only 4 this past winter. I guess they are getting smarter.
Most of the pigs were 100 to 150 pounds with the largest a sow weighing 250.
The meat is delicious.
The big guy we call Hogzilla who has a track about 5" dia has eluded us so far.
No season on them here yet, but you need a small game license to hunt em.

April 16, 2009, 10:30 AM
I have never seen a worm in hogs. The cooties they can have here are possible everywhere but are killed with thorough cooking temp.

April 16, 2009, 11:34 AM
Last wild hog I had the pleasure of eating was an apple/pear fed specimine we took up in Red Bluff, California; farmers let us shoot them for a price to protect their orchrds from the beasts. Best eatin' pork I ever had!!!

April 16, 2009, 12:11 PM
Doug, I live in Tn. On several management areas the they are considered wild hogs and have a bag limit and season. Everywhere else they are considered feral and no limit, open year round. I called twra today and they told me I could not use a center fire rifle to hunt right now because of turkey season:mad: So unless I can shoot one with a turkey shotgun I am outa luck! I did not ask about trapping because I live 1hr 15min from this place and don't think I could check traps often enough. Where I live we have no hogs.
Thank you all for the replies and hopefully I'll have some pictures to post soon. Looks like I'll have to turkey hunt for now:rolleyes:
I have not seen the area yet so I'm not sure what they eat. The landowner said that he didn't plant food plots last year because the hogs destroyed them. He stated he did not hunt, but managed to kill 18 hogs this year so far himself! I assume there is alot of hogs there if he killed that many not trying to!

April 16, 2009, 12:24 PM
IF you're talking about hog feed then bait with feed corn. I can still get it for $10/100wt. It's candy to them. If you're looking to put down something for turkeys, I use soy beans because I have a buddy that had 6 tons of seed beans get wet and we hunt together.

Off topic but where in TN are you? My wife and daughters are at my MIL's house in Dandridge till Sunday. Gosh I miss her! NOT!:D I do miss my 3 year old. She's my little buddy. I took her squirrel hunting in January. Quiet as a mouse for the first time in her life. We saw a rabbit but she doesn't like me killing bunnies so she yelled out "Run Bunny Run!" I laughed all the way back to the truck. Sorry for the diversion:o


April 16, 2009, 01:36 PM
I live in Rock Island. That's about 75 miles east of Nashville. Sorry, I reread my post and saw where it was kinda confusing. The landowner had planted food plots for deer. (he didn't say what it was) He said the hogs destroyed it and it didn't do any good for the deer. I think he is gonna try again this year.

I am not a big turkey hunter and was kinda being sarcastic about hunting them. I have turkey hunted, but it just doesn't get me going for some reason.

April 16, 2009, 02:33 PM
One thing you will hear often is wild hog meat is dry/tuff... One thing to remember is wild pork has very little fat which is crucial for the moistness we expect from pork. Number one rule is cook it until well done temp and NO MORE!!!
Second tip is mainly for large thick cuts like the hams. With a narrow long blade knife, pierce straight in. In each slot I insert a cube/hunk of the cheap fat back. Since you already have a large slit insert a piece of apple, pine apple or for a spanish flair, lemon off the rind. A piece of garlic clove is good in there with the fruit and fat. Wrap the meat very well and tightly formed with foil. Cook NO LESS than 1.5 hours before poking the meat thermometer the first time. If it is over 140-145 internal (thickest spot but not too close too bone) unwrap and finish cooking if you want it browned/glazed... If glazing brush your choice of glaze on then. Seasoning was left out as what ever you wish is fine...
For small roaster whole hogs, I do the above plus I pack the cavity with a fruit/vegetable "stuffing" of lemon, orange, apple, pineapple (I use canned unless fresh is on sale which is rare). Celery, onion and garlic cloves really add alot of good flavor IMHO... I use stainless steel tie wire to "sew" up the cavity. Then I use the best heavy duty foil to wrap the entire piggy form fit. I had pics of this but photobucket lost them!
I will clarify in detail if questions arise...


April 16, 2009, 02:51 PM
Brent, can I come to dinner?

April 16, 2009, 02:56 PM
I should have waited until folks were home from work to post...:o the recipe tends to cause chop licking and I have heard reports that a tongue can cause a black eye if yer not careful...:D

April 16, 2009, 06:36 PM
Wild hogs are some really good eating. The ones around here are usually fat and the ribs and chops are much better than the supermarket stuff. I kill a lot of wild hogs and have found only one that was strong in flavor. That was a very old boar that was past his prime.

IMHO only, I feel a super huge majority of "gamey" pork is actually in the early stages of spoiled.


I hunt hogs 12 months of the year. Hunters ruin a lot of wild hog meat because they do not get the animal or meat cooled quick enough. When the temperature is over 80 degrees you have a maximum of four hours to get that hog cooled with ice or hung in a cooler. If the temperature is over 90 degrees a hunter has about three hours to get the hog carcass cooled. This cannot be stressed enough.

I know guys who go to hunt on the ranches in OK and TX. Their guides often let the hog lay around for hours before gutting it and getting it cooled down. Have seen several guys come home with spoiled meat. Much of the "strong" hog meat is really rotten hog meat.

Wild hogs are some really good eating. The ones around here are usually fat and the ribs and chops are much better than the supermarket stuff. I kill a lot of wild hogs and have found only one that was strong in flavor. That was a very old boar that was past his prime.

April 16, 2009, 06:52 PM
We have a alot of gypsy population that are only on a spot for a few days or a week and may go a long way before settling on the next spot.
Also the amount of hunting pressure (doggin' is best) will really run them around, thus the leanness. They do get chubby when the food crops are up good!

Fat White Boy
April 16, 2009, 10:18 PM
I hunt for pigs in Central Coastal hills of Californa. I prefer them under 175 pounds or so...I keep the loins whole, the rest gets turned into sausage. The game processors in the area have terrific recipes for sausage. I usually mix some 20-30 % fat ground chuck... These links don't last long!!!

April 16, 2009, 10:44 PM
The next time I shoot a hog and clean it I will take a pic and show you the worm. It's no big deal as long you cook the hog

April 20, 2009, 12:01 PM
Try This. Take a pound of ground boar, 2 eggs, and a 2 cups bread crumbs. Mix together with you favorites spices, add finely chopped onion,and a couple cloves of garlic. Roll into 1 to 2" balls and brown in a skillet. Put them an oven pan, cover with you favorite BBQ sauce,cover and bake in the oven @350 for about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep a stick handy to keep the riff raff at bay. Enjoy

April 20, 2009, 04:25 PM
Chill them off as fast as possible. A dead hog will spoil very quickly. If you don't have access to a walk in cooler skin the hog and get in a cooler with ice. I am lucky enough to have a refrigerated trailer at work. I skin the hogs and let them hang for 24 hours. My butcher says hogs (even those that are chilled) should be processed and frozen around 24 hours from death. Since I have adopted this theory, I have not had any off-flavor pork. I will say that if you harvest the hog with dogs, I would recommend tying and placing in a pen for a while.

April 21, 2009, 01:17 PM
Have never hunted hogs in North America. I have however hunted and eaten wild Asian Bore in Germany. All I can say about wild bore as table fare is (OUTSTANDING)

April 21, 2009, 02:03 PM
I have not found them to be gamey tasting but they are different from domestic pigs. I have killed many on my place in TX nad all have had very lean meat. easy to overcook and dry out. I have trouble cooking them b/c of this, take it off too soon and you have a problem, too late and it's ruined.

April 22, 2009, 06:52 AM
On my ham recipe using the slits to hold the fat back chunks, I failed to mention I put upwards of 15-20 slits on a good size rear ham and 10-15 on a front ham.
It is for wild pork I bought a good mechanical (no trust in digitals nor their batteries) meat thermometer. As publius said over done is a very dry tuff piece of dog food.