Wild Hogs – Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

by Stacy Taylor

As anyone in the agriculture business knows whether it be farming or ranching, wild hogs are becoming a bigger problem by the day. They are prolific breeders,they are very hardy and have almost no natural enemy besides man. As an animal behaviorist will tell you they are one of the most intelligent creatures on earth. Over the last decade they have learned to become nocturnal and learned what food is safe and which is not. They have also learned to avoid traps, making them very difficult to control in any way.

Wild Hogs - Making The Best Of A Bad Situation #TWILD HOGS: Making the Best of a Bad Situation! Wild hogs cause lots of damage to pastures, but they can also provide food #TaylorMadeHomesteadaylorMadeRanch Hog Damage

 

Their breeding capability is nothing short of a rabbit. Hogs can breed on average a couple times a year and are mature enough to breed at only 1 year old. That means after the second litter of pigs a sow has, the first litter is also reproducing. And with an average of 6 piglets to a litter you can see why their population in Texas is completely out of control. Further info can be obtained at the TAMU web site.

WILD HOGS: Making the Best of a Bad Situation! Wild hogs cause lots of damage to pastures, but they can also provide food #TaylorMadeHomestead

However there is a positive side to this story. Ferrell hogs are mostly domestic hogs that have escaped and began breeding in the wild.  So it’s just pork, and as such they can be a very good source of meat. Even though it’s classified as pork it’s very similar in texture and taste to lean beef. Most deer processing facilities are now also processing wild hogs for hunters. The meat can be cut into chops, roasts and steaks just like a domestic pig. The meat can also be smoked to produce some incredible-tasting hams and chops. Summer sausage, links and brats are also an option along with breakfast sausage.

WILD HOGS: Making the Best of a Bad Situation! Wild hogs cause lots of damage to pastures, but they can also provide food #TaylorMadeHomestead

So even though these animals are destructive and invasive, They still have a potential to be put to good use. So be on the look out for something new to try on the grill. And like the Texas Parks and Wildlife dept.says “Every county in Texas either has wild hogs now or will very shortly.

ST

~TMH~

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24 thoughts on “Wild Hogs – Making The Best Of A Bad Situation

  1. Tamara Hampton

    We are down in the pineywoods and we have a huge population on our back pasture. Everyone claims they want to come hunt them and get rid of them for us but no one ever does! Luckily there is enough for them to eat back there that they don’t come up to the house or garden!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Count yourself lucky Tamara – my parents live about 10 minutes from here but they are only a block from their main street town square and the wild hogs decimate their front & back yards and rip through their garden constantly. They’re not the least bit wary of human populations. This year my folks are surrounding the garden in cattle panels, hopefully that will at least spare their veggies! ~TMR~

      Reply
  2. janetpesaturo

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday. Love the idea of making good use of abundant species, rather than just killing and disposing to control the population. Turns a pest into a resource.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Agreed Janet. And since the pork is so lean it’s a very delicious and inexpensive way to provide meat for the family. ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Wild Game Recipe: BBQ Pork

  4. Lisa Lynn

    I don’t have to deal with them up north, but I wonder if they will adapt? Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can’t wait to see what you share this coming Thursday 🙂 Here’s the super easy link to the next hop! http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/the-homeacre-hop-8.html If you haven’t checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! 🙂 It’s a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here’s the link for tomorrow’s hop: http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/02/wildcrafting-wednesday-10.html

    Reply
  5. Kim Snyder

    We have feral hogs where i used to live. My son is a professional hunting guide and they have a ‘pig o rama’ every year. It is very hard to control them, but you are right, they are a great source of meat and we used to love wrapping and putting one in the deep pit for a party. The meat is so lean and so sweet we never bothered to smoke any or even use BBQ sauce.

    Reply
  6. KarenLynn

    Your timing on this post was perfect both my husband and my son have talked about going out wild boar hunting and maybe I will be less worried they just seem kind of dangerous. I realize all animals in the wild when cornered can be dangerous but I am so game for some pork on the table for sure! You write and think so much like me I feel so connected to your homestead. I would probably not be brave enough to be a cattle farmer but I still dream of my farm. I am so appreciate that you found my lil’ blog and linked up this week to “The Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post” blog hop!

    Reply
  7. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    OMGosh Janis – that’s a huge catch at one time! Here we have both box traps and round corral traps to catch them, but we’ve never pulled in a haul like yours before! You’re right though, they do make some good eating. ~TMR~

    Reply
  8. Janis

    We use to trap them in a small corral system when I lived in Florida. They are good eating! One time we captured 70 -8 week old piglets, 5 yearlings and 4 adults in one night, in one pig corral. We gave everyone we knew some piglets and we had two giant pig roasts with the others. Hog head cheese is one of the BEST things about feral hogs! Last year a wild hog was seen running into Vermont. Its just a matter of time before there will be free pork-on-the -hoof here too.

    Reply
  9. Joan @ The Chicken Mama

    I read about the these hogs in Texas Monthly a while back – what a nightmare! And pigs are crazy smart – they should not be underestimated. I personally am not a pig eater, but for those who are I bet those feral pigs are oh so yummy! Thanks for the info! (Stopping by from The HomeAcre Hop)

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Joan, I was surprised when my hunter husband harvested a wild hog. The taste and texture really were like lean beef. Thanks for stopping by. ~TMR~

      Reply
  10. Homestead Dad

    Up here in Michigan they are starting to be seen more and more. All you need here is any type of hunting license, or a concealed pistol license and you can shoot them on sight. The other thing about them is they are very dangerous to humans. If they ever get rooted around here, you can be assured I will be hunting them. Happy Hunting.

    Reply
    1. Matt

      Same here in SW Mich. We’ve had a few spotted in the area, but I have yet to see one. I’d almost rather get one of those then a deer.

      Reply
      1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

        Matt, they’re prolific & breed with lightning-fast speed. We have clouds of them descend on the pastures and there’s little you can do to control them except hunt them. Thankfully they’re very lean and very tasty pork! ~TMR~

        Reply
  11. Barb

    I had no idea that wild hogs were such a problem. I guess the good news is they can be eaten. Thanks for visiting me and your nice comment.

    Reply
  12. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Betty, I was surprised to find that they don’t process well into bacon because they don’t have enough fat. I guess that’s the price you pay for lean pork. 🙂 Most other cuts are fine though, such as pork chops, ribs, roasts, hams and sausage. Thanks for commenting! ~TMR~

    Reply
  13. Coloring Outside the Lines

    My grands have show hogs, but they sell them to the meat markets at the state fair at the end of show season. However, I know there are wild hogs running loose around here in the woods… they can sure rut up a yard or garden pretty quick. I hope you can catch the ones that have invaded your place.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      We have a creek that runs alongside the entire length of our property and the feral hogs will run that creek. The come in, do massive damage, then move on in a couple of days (often followed by yet more) We’ll always battle them but at least they have a culinary purpose. I really feel for the poor people that live in a small town (and even in some of the larger cities) that simply wake up one morning and it looks like someone is playing a practical joke on them, churning up their entire yard. I know they never expected such a thing living where they do. LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  14. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Interestingly enough Tracy, a family member lives in a small town not too far from here. Her house is only about 1/2 block from main street / downtown square. Even this close to town the wild hogs have come through in the last several days and completely decimated her property! In her case they’re looking for her flower bulbs ( iris, daffodils, hyacinths and others) They’ve also rototilled her freshly-planted veggie garden. The sheer numbers of these hogs that come through in the cloak of darkness are just tremendously damaging. ~TMR~

    Reply
  15. Tracey

    I had no idea it was a problem! Yikes! They scare me. I don’t like pigs to begin with (besides eating them!) and the thought of wild ones roaming around destroying things is what my nightmares are made of!

    Reply

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