Cleaning and Cooking Wild Hogs
Wild hogs, or boars, are rapidly becoming the second most common species of big game animal taken in many U.S. states. High populations are found throughout the Southeast, Eastern seaboard, Texas, California and in Hawaii. Butchers and game processors will often not take these animals, leaving their processing to the hunters. Here is how to do it.
Very often wild hogs do not come out until just about dark. If you hog hunt more than a few times, you will find yourself with a dead hog and darkness rapidly approaching. Rig a place where you can hang a hog , cut it up and have sufficient light to see what you are doing.
Process hogs as quickly as possible. At least get the animal gutted, the hide off and the meat in the fridge within a few hours if you do not have a walk-in cooler big enough to hang a gutted carcass. Hogs, and bears, should always be cleaned when wearing rubber gloves. They can carry some very bad diseases that may cause debilitating illnesses if introduced into the blood through a cut on the hand.
“Deer processed” hogs are skinned and cut up just like deer. I make sausage, take roast, the backstraps, ribs, liver and heart for my use. I sometimes skin and smoke the head to make Brunswick stew. The best-eating hogs are the young ones and sows. I shoot whatever hog happens to be in front of me, and they have ranged in size from 12 pounds to over 400.
The keys to having good hog meat are to cool it quickly, always use gloves when cleaning or handling the meat, cooking it slowly, serving it well done and applying a little smoke to some meat to use for seasoning vegetables. Much wild hog is bar-b-qued, but roasting, sausage making or even using ground meat in chilies all turn out well.
Recipes may be found in my books, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound and Crossbow Hunting.