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Processing feral hogs

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  • Processing feral hogs

    First let me say that according to Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists & others, you cannot contract swine flu thru handling or consuming pork including feral hogs. Having said that I would like to share my last five years of trial, error, and learned methods of taking this "nasty" beast from the field to succulent table fare. First lets clear up that wild game has to be handled exactly the same as prime beef if is going to wind up edible. The only time I've detected a wild gamy taste in my venison was the one I took to commercial processor years ago. I threw it all away after cooking the first meal. The key in all game is it must be well bled and core temperature reduced to 38 degrees very promptly. The bleeding is accomplished by a shot that will cause massive hemorrhage while leaving the heart intact, so all blood will be pumped out. This is the quickest and most merciful kill. With deer this means a broadside shot destroying both lungs. Field dressed where it fell. If it is warm have ice bags in cooler ready to pack in body cavity. If all you are interested is wall mount and backstrap, guess this is not important. This is not intended for experienced hunters that understand, but more so for those who may be overlooking an abundant supply of meat because they don't know what to do. I trap hogs on my lease. It is 250 miles from my home in Houston. I am there every 2-3 weeks year round. Granted I have a perfect situation. Electricity, water, and an old house that I have made habitable even if is rough around the edges. I have a freezer that I stock with ice 300 lbs. at a time. I have 2 150 quart ice chests. I have a hand boat winch mounted on tree in back yard. My trap has a barrel feeder mounted on top that throws corn morning and evening. Before I leave, I block the door open. While I am gone they are comfortable with going in and out eating the corn. When I get there Friday evening, I set the trigger, bait with a lucrative amount of corn, and generally have hogs in trap next morning. Select what I have energy to butcher, head shot with .44 magnum(massive hemorrhage) turn rest loose. Too big to load by myself, poly rope loop on upper jaw and other end on trailer ball and it follows me to skinning tree. First step hang it head down, detach head to allow residual blood to drain, wash with hose to remove external dirt. Skin, gut and quarter. 150 quart igloo has 60 lbs. ice, 1 quart of vinegar and 1 lb. salt, filled half with water. The salt reduces temperature of ice water, draws residual blood, and in conjunction with vinegar kills and prevents growth of topical bacteria. Soak 12-24 hrs, remove, rinse and pack in clean ice. With experience, this all can happen in less than an hour. I like to age at 37 degrees in old refrigerator on wire shelves, or now in my Craigs List Dr Pepper cooler for about a week before packaging. Also can be accomplished in ice chest if checked regularly, shaking ice down to eliminate cavities between ice and meat, and adding ice for total coverage. Be sure to elevate end opposite drain and leave drain open to prevent sitting in liquid. If my posts are too long, let me know and I will back off. I just read too many one line posts about "I can do this" and that's the end of it. I have spent the last 5 years rediscovering "lost arts" employed by generations of our ancestors by virtue of necessity for survival, and combining them with modern technology. I am willing to share with all interested
    If at first, you don't succeed, suck harder.

  • #2
    Very good post! Not long at all. Clear and specific! We have to be "Clean" about food.
    I am fickle about it to great extents. You gotta be. When you say it is good and you gather and or preapre food, you enter a oath to make sure all has been done for the best chow available.
    Thanks Mad Dog.
    "And with a collection of minds and talent, they survived"


    • #3
      I personally think you did a good job. I've hunted about 43years and never thought too much about cooling game. I live up here in New Hampshire. We don't have any warm weather hunting . Usually when we shoot a deer and we get it home it's already 30 deg. just hang it it cools pretty quickly, but a good field dressing is very important. keep up the good work Brian


      • #4
        Must be nice hunting in reliably cold weather. Here in Texas most times if it is freezing in mornings, it's shirtsleeves and mosquitos in the afternoon. With my quick cool techniques I can harvest feral hogs year round and get quality meat.
        If at first, you don't succeed, suck harder.


        • #5
          I have live in and have hunted in Texas also your article was great. I had covered all the same issues as you mentioned except for the salt and vinegar..... Thanks for sharing your knowledge.



          • #6
            If you ever have pictures to show us, that would be the ultimate! Very good info, thanks
            "Be Excellent to Each Other"


            • #7
              I'd like to be were you are hunting year round sounds like a gas, no warm weather hunting here when the weather gets warm we all go fishing here,the good thing is we live about 17 miles from the Atlantic ocean we catch strippers,cod, haddock, blue fish ,and flounder. bad news is the same 17 miles is the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard ,if we ever get a nuclear attack this will probably be ground zero. ooohhh well can't have everything LOL


              • #8
                1st Album started

                At your request I've started an album. View in my profile. Will be adding pictures and albums. A few of my friends have asked for cleaning instructions as they see hogs on their lease but don't have a clue what to do with them. I will do a detailed series of photos of the cleaning process. After butchering, eating and sharing 60+ hogs in the last 5 years I may be semi sort of qualified. Being basically lazy, I have learned shortcuts to simplify this process. Will add detailed photos of home made smoker that anyone with limited construction skills can build for under $200.00. It will hold 100 lbs of sausage at a time. It will cold smoke, hot smoke or cook. With a little practice it requires very little attention. The bugs have been worked out, and refinements made, so you can use it satisfactorily on first attempt. To all please feel free to comment/critique.

                Rick Jadlowski
                If at first, you don't succeed, suck harder.