Tag Archives: Wild boar

Poachers Cut 1.0

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There is more than one way to butcher a hog, each with it’s own pros and cons. This method allows you to pull the maximum amount of meat in the shortest amount of time, which is why this a preferred method by illegal hunters. This is also the preferred method if you are hiding from the sheriff of Jerkwater, USA, in an abandoned mine and need some grub. Go Johnny Rambo!!

This “gutless” method only leaves the rib meat, organs, some neck meat, the jowls, and the tenderloins. You can pull the tenderloins without gutting as well, but I didn’t on this night. Nothing in nature goes to waste and the carcass ended up feeding the coyotes at a bait station the next day.

I used this method because I was by myself, it was 10 o’clock at night, and 65 degrees out. Hanging it overnight was out of the question. Start to finish with a sharp knife, it only takes a couple of minutes and will work on other big game as well. If I was deeper in the mountains, I would use a different method to skin and bone it out so I didn’t have to carry the extra weight.

Get a sharp knife, glove up (see below), and let’s get started..

1. Make three cuts as shown. Don’t cut down through the hair, but up so you don’t dull your knife. For the cut closest to the hams, feel for the hip bones as your guide.

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2. Skin and peel back the flap to expose the backstraps

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3. Cut out the backstraps. This is where pork chops come from and a nice section of sinew for cordage.

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4. Remove the front quarters. Lift up the leg and cut under the shoulder blade to free the leg

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5. Cut on the inside of the groin down to the hip socket

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6. Cut through the hip socket and cut off the ham completely

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7.  You should now have 2 backstraps, 2 shoulders, and 2 hams. Stuff all of them in your fridge until you can work them up later.

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8. Be prepared for “Fridge of Death” comments and “Jeffrey Dahmer” jokes from your wife. Defuse said comments with a lecture on animal welfare in hog lots and promise to clean the fridge.

Resources:

Wild hogs, like any animal can carry diseases. Avoiding sickly animals, wearing gloves, and thoroughly cooking your meat reduces your risks.  http://www.floridahealth.gov/chdalachua/environmental/docs/hogHunting.pdf

Tennessee wild hog regulations: http://www.tn.gov/twra/wildhogs.shtml

Lots of anti-pig info: http://www.wildpiginfo.msstate.edu/index.html

Disclaimer: This fine specimen of Porkus badasseus was harvested using legal methods on private property. This blog post in no way reflects the opinions or views of my employer.

Sausage Fest…

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Mankind has been making sausage long before we had the funny reference, so why would I call it anything else? Oh yeah, so I could call my buddy and tell him I was going to title a blog after his days working on undercover solicitation stings. Sometimes he hates me, but I will give him some of the seventy plus pounds of sausage I made up and all will be well.

Anyway, I shot two good sized boars last week on some private property that I help keep the population in check, so it was time to make some breakfast sausage. Here is the recipe we adapted: http://www.themeaningofpie.com/2012/03/wild-boar-sausage/

  • 4 pounds of ground hog
  • 4 teaspoons of ground sage
  • 4 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Great flavor and my wife made a “Cowboy Casserole” out of the sausage before her trip to Florida, so I wouldn’t be tempted to live off cereal.

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Here is my favorite rifle for large game right now.  A Ruger Gunsite Scout. I am in the middle of an optics, weapon’s light, and NVG quandary, so I am running open sights on the XS rail.

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The other big boy..

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And two thumbs up for my new single bowl sink that can fit a whole hog in it..

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And here is part of an email sent through the channels telling me to add a disclaimer to my facebook or blogs so you don’t think that the government endorses sausage fests.

“Also, add a disclaimer to your social networking profile, personal blog, or other online presences that clearly states that the opinions or views expressed are yours alone and do not represent the views of the Department of the Interior or your bureau.”

Count this as my disclaimer…

On hunting and trapping..

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The most valuable hunting and trapping tool that I own is my mind. What’s that you say? How about your .308? Your .22 rifle? Or your conibear traps? Those are great, but without the first tool, the latter are useless. I cannot hunt or trap effectively without knowledge and skill, both hard wired into my brain.

Today, my mind has recognized that some viewers of my blog do not like dead animal pictures, so I will try to articulate why I hunt/trap in the hope that they set aside their disdain and can take a glimpse into the “natural” world. With trapping season only days away and hunting season already upon us, the volume of dead animal pictures on this blog will soon be on the rise. I would say this post is not for the hunters and trappers, but in reality it is for both sides of the argument. To the hunter I say “why not more?” and to the non-hunter I say “why not?”.

And with that prelude I give you the “Top 7 Reasons” why I hunt and trap.

1. I enjoy it – Plain and simple. All the reasons below are ancillary to the fact that when I am in the woods hunting, trapping, or foraging it feels right, almost spiritual in a way. I do not view myself apart from nature, but part of it. When I take the life of an animal, respectfully and humanely, I am just participating in the “circle of life”. Whether I am uprooting a plant or shooting an animal, to me they are one in the same.

Like many, I have felt that I was born centuries too late, but that is a cop out. Participating in the absurdity of modern society is a choice. If you want a simpler lifestyle, then do it. Hunt, trap, fish, forage, and grow your own garden. I promise you, the satisfaction of self-reliant hobbies is highly rewarding.

2. Subsistence – I am a meat hunter and trapper. At our house, we only cook wild game that I hunt, trap, or catch. If we go out to dinner or eat at a friend’s, I will eat what is available, but that’s it. I am able to pack my freezer with deer, hogs, coons, squirrels, turtles, frogs, fish, and a few other critters that keep me fed year round.

3. Health –  Organic, free range meat. I am not into hormones, anti-biotics, and all the other crap associated with factory farming. Since I butcher and process everything myself, I have direct control over the sanitary conditions and handling of my food. A big plus in my book.

4. Cost –  Debatable. One could argue that I save money by having no grocery bill for organic meat, expensive if you haven’t looked lately. The counter argument would be the opportunity cost of not working during those hunting hours and all the meat that could be purchased by my wages. I would then argue that my happiness while living off the land needs to be factored in, greatly increasing my stance and making it a win in my book.

5. Ethics – “Bunny-hugger” vs. “Bambi-killer”. “Meat-eater” vs. “Vegetarian” What is ethical when it comes to taking the life of any living creature, plant or animal? We cannot exist without taking energy from another source, but we can choose how we do it. My wife is a vegetarian, both for health and moral reasons, and I can respect that. However, if you oppose hunting and trapping for meat, and are not a vegetarian, then I will politely challenge your integrity and point you towards the garden.

Personally, I do not like the unnatural conditions animals are subjected to under factory farming conditions, so I choose to reduce my support of “Big Farma”. That leaves three options for meat: hunt & trap, raise livestock myself, or buy free range, organic meat. All good options, but hunting and trapping edge out the others in my situation, i.e. plenty of hunting opportunities, a “bunny-hugger” wife that would protest me killing the family hog, etc.

But how can hunting and trapping be “humane”? Sometimes it is not, but neither is nature. Pain and death are an ever present force in nature, just ask any prey species. I would like to say that all the animals I kill have a swift, painless death, but that is not always true. Modern trapping has come a long way in the area of animal welfare, but there is still the Murphy factor that sometimes comes out to play.  Have I lost game over the years? A few, but I continually work on my tracking skills and have to point out that nothing in nature goes to waste. My take is that the brief pain that I cause a creature is part of nature and better than living a cramped existence for months in a cage or pen. “Humane” in my book is the intent to make the kill quickly and efficiently.

6. Conservation –  Carrying capacity, over-population, tradition, economics, etc. I learned all the arguments in my wildlife college classes, but the big fact remains that wildlife management and conservation efforts in your state are funded by hunters, trappers, and fishermen. If you like seeing songbirds, turkeys, river otters, deer, elk, etc. then thank a sportsman, because their license purchases paid the bill for the wildlife management programs that either reintroduced those species or are protecting them.

Some of the species I hunt and trap are either non-native or cause damage to property. Want land to hunt or trap? Just offer to take care of a landowners feral hog, beaver, or coyote problem. Those three species have opened the door to some of the best hunting spots I have.

7. Self-reliance – Like gardening, homesteading, and the like, hunting and trapping promotes self-reliance. Coupled with gardening, raising livestock, and a food storage program, putting meat on the table from hunting and trapping is just one more skill that keeps the real “Spirit” of this country alive.

Resources for non-hunters/trappers: This blog. Keep reading it. You will learn some stuff about hunting, trapping, butchering, and cooking a variety of game. Check out your States DNR site for hunter’s education classes and other info: http://www.huntfishsport.com/web.aspx?cmd=dnr

Resources for hunters/trappers: Realize that you are an ambassador for our lifestyle. Question yourself why you do what you do and don’t act like a fool. Be able to express it to non-hunters in a logical way. We live in different times and the future of hunting and trapping is in our hands. Since you have the skills, unplug from the system and feed yourself. Teach someone to hunt. Watch a video on factory farming and see if you want to support that industry.

**Disclaimer – This post is in reference to the role of hunting and trapping in my personal life. Professionally, I hunt and trap as part of a damage control program focused on feral hogs, which has it’s own controversies. That said, past and future pictures of feral hogs are from legal hunting on private land and are not associated in any way with my employer.

“So this bear walks into a bar…”

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Or my hog trap in this case..

Not what I expected in the trap!! I am running some hog traps just across the state line for a friend in NC. According to state law, all hog traps  “must be constructed in a manner such that a non-target animal can easily be released or can escape without harm

I guess the bear never read the “escape” clause, even though he stuck his head up through the 18 x 18 inch hole several times when I got there.

Problem 1:  Angry bear in a trap

Problem 2:  Angry bear can reach all the way through the hog panels and angry bear is strong

Problem 3:  I need to get on top of the trap to raise the heavy door without angry bear deciding to use the escape hole to jump me from behind and/or pull me into the cage and chew me up

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Solution: A piece of scrap plywood, a big stick, some delicate footwork, and a pinch of testicular fortitude.

Cover the hole with the scrap plywood, have your big stick ready to thump him if he turns on you, and carefully climb on top avoiding the pissed off bear’s attempts to claw you.

Most likely, he will shoot out of the trap like a rocket leaving you unscathed. My bear decided it was time to cool off and go for a nice morning swim…

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NC Feral Swine Trapping Regs:

http://www.ncwildlife.org/Licensing/OtherLicensesPermits/FeralSwineTrappingPermit.asp