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Feral Pigs

1751 Views 18 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  RoyalOaksRanch
My friend from OK and I were discussing feral pigs today. I never knew that there was such a thing, not living anywhere where they have them.

He invited me up to hunt pigs over Christmas. Does anyone know how best to find them? What do you do, wander around the woods calling "sooooooeeeeey!" :)

Has anyone out there ever hunted them? How do they taste? Just like regular pigs?
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Cook really REALLY well. They can get internal parasites, and they don't get regular doses of drench.

Find em? Go look. Look where the food and the shelter is. Crop stubble, old potato fields, places where ewes are lambing (pigs are ferociously effective carnovores), rich deep damp soil full of roots and earthworms, cow or horse manure with undigested seeds, any organic material.

They like brush, cane brakes, tall grass, thickets - anything where they could back up and face a pursuer with their tusks. The REAL sport (I am told) is to hunt them with dogs and a dagger. The dogs chase and hold (by the ears) then the ex-Army Rangers (or the ordinary pig-doggers) go in to support their canine friends, ignoring the four-inch-daggers called tusks and the neck muscles that can toss a man treetop-high, wielding a four-inch or six-inch pig-stabber themselves, and see the little darlings off to a better place (AKA serving dish).

Not actually my sport. I prefer to keep them at the far end of a fired cartridge. Far FAR end.
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Oooohhh.. Sounds like fun. I almost did that with a deer this summer. :)
My husband told me about talking to a old lady here over 30 years ago. She remembered when the locals would let their pigs free range, just feeding them enough to keep them coming around. They would have to shoot them when they wanted one to butcher, because they were half wild. This lady also told about when she was a little girl and would walk to school, several miles away and how the pigs would ambush the kids and take their lunchs. The kids worked out a system where they formed groups, with the youngest children in the center, carrying all the lunchs, and the older kids armed with big sticks on the outside to fight off the pigs. For many years there were ferral pigs roaming these hills, but now they are all gone. When my husband first came out here, he was able to let his pigs free range, but fed them and penned them up at night to keep them tame, more or less. He says that free range pigs taste better, usually, than penned and fed ones, but they have far less fat, because they burn it off roaming around. YES. the ferral pigs should be cooked well. If cornered a ferral pig can be dangerous. If you want to hunt them putting out some corn will get them coming to that place and make it easier to find them. Dogs work well for hunting ferral pigs, but you may have to pack the meat a good distance. Good luck on the hunt.
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Seems like I remember J.R. in Tx talking about some awhile back. There seems to be more and more of them around now days. Good luck! Hope you get one! :D
Find where they are Feeding start putting Corn out,set you up a Treestand,hunt about the same hours you would hunt Deer.If you can shoot a Sow with Pigglets,the little ones will stay with her you can get all you want to fool with.

big rockpile
Like big rockpile said. Throw out the corn. Around here people say to hunt the swamps and bottoms next to the rivers. I have yet to kill a hog in either of these areas here. I usually end up coming over the top of a 400 foot ridge, and catch them eating acorns.
The ferral pigs here are actually domesticated pigs that have gone wild. Probably from the time period when farmers built fences around there house to keep animals out of the yard. Now days fences are built to keep animals in a certain area. Very little free roaming now days. I've never hunted them as most ferrals around my neighborhood seem to be mostly on game reserves and not private lands. When I had my little processing shop I had the privelege of butchering 3 or 4 of them. They averaged around 100 pounds but I have heard of them getting 200 pounds or more. Very lean. The few I processed were not quit big enough to make pork chops with, but made some good sirloin roast. As for parasites, all wild game whether it be ferral pigs or whitetail deer, the meat needs to be frozen at least 10 days to kill the parasites. The trichnia worm is what invades wild animals.

Good luck on your hunt here in Oklahoma. I hope you like our state. Watch out for us wild ****** and cowboys. We're a little more dangerous then any ferral pig you might encounter.
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In Florida, they're all over, even in open areas. Right now I am seeing a lot of piglets with their moms. I don't hunt but I raise them as a hobby- trying to get the Eurasian look. Not all are feral, some are closer to wild swine with Eurasian blood. I imagine the feral taste differently. Wild swine respect dogs and can be run til tired, as long as they are not cornered. I've cornered all sizes except boars with cutters. I don't mess with them at all, not even my stud boar. If it turns around, look out :eek: As for the taste, I can't tell you. We are butchering our first as a Christmas dinner. Fattening her up on corn right now. I prefer it this way- don't have to worry about parasites. Good luck hunting. Take photos!
Wild boar is some of the tastiest of the game meat. Its considerably lower in fat than domestic pigs. The first thing you will notice is they do look different than some Pig farmer Joe lost... The wild ones are narrow, usually having longer leg, and they have a long skinny noses and have a coarse hair. In winter they get rather hairy... The tusks can be quite nasty so beware of getting too close although most times they will smell you or hear you before you will know they are there. If you get too close they will bite and a swing of that head can gut a dog quick.. not to mention what it will do to your legs.. Be very wary if you happen to come across some young ones... the older ones will be very close and one squeal you will meet the entire family in a not so friendly fashion...
Look for rooted up ground, and wallows. They will eat just about anything but old fruit and nut trees are a good place to watch. Ask around and see if any farmers are having pig problems. Most times they will let you hunt their land for free to get rid of the destructive buggers. And they are very destructive. They can root up and area in no time....
If you have Dish Network tune to channel 153. Thats the Hunting network. They do pig hunts alot! One boar weighed in at 750 lbs.. Yes I did Type that correctly... He was over 7 ft long... BIG bugger.
A friend of ours is a professional trapper,. He kept a few he caught and now raises these on his ranch. Whenever a BBQ comes up you know what we are munching on LOL... The babies are really cute, they have stripes, even the solid blacks have stripes if you look close.. I am going to get some of his piglets and raise some for our freezer as well. They take longer to raise for meat than a domestic pig but they are just so much leaner and to me more tastier...
Make sure you take a big enough gun. You DONT want to **** one of these things off... Dogs are a good thing to have but are not required to hunt boar. If you find an area where they have been recently stop and listen, if you were quiet and they didnt see you when you walked in you will be able to hear them talking and grunting as they root around ...They are very very vocal.
And dont shoot them between the eyes... They have a very thick skull and most times this will just knock them out... aim for the heart, or behind the ear. The last thing you want is for that sucker to come to as your trying to drag him out....Or heaven forbid as you start to dress him....They dont come to with a real good attitude LOL...
Be careful and have fun, and let us know what you think of the taste!!
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Yep, dogs are the story, but not just any dog. He needs to be strong and very determined. If he takes a hold of the pig he must NEVER let go, otherwise the pig will likely kill him.

Some pig dogs wear leather armour, which may be just a very wide collar to protect against slashes from those tusks.

It is pretty hard to shoot the pig while your dogs are hanging on to him so sticking the pig in the chest with a really strong dagger is the preferred technique around here. Some people make special 'pig stickers' with about 10 inches of half inch round steel rod firmly fixed to the end of a short wooden handle. The handle needs to be stronger than a broom handle and you would use this in the manner of bayonet.

As someone said, cook it well.
RoyalOaksRanch said:

And dont shoot them between the eyes... They have a very thick skull and most times this will just knock them out...
We butchered our gilt this Saturday. I shot her between the eyes and the shot didn't penetrate the skull :eek: She only weighed 50 pounds so I used a .22. That would have gone straight through a domestic gilt. It did kill her however.
John Hill said:
Yep, dogs are the story, but not just any dog. He needs to be strong and very determined. If he takes a hold of the pig he must NEVER let go, otherwise the pig will likely kill him.
I have a Catahoula Leopard hound that helps me round up mine when they dig out of their pens. She has a natural talent for holding on to the ear and is fearless. A few times, she's cornered the pigs- ranging up to 60 pounds- and they charge back but she doesn't relent. I've never trained her for this work- she just thrives on it. I can't imagine letting her go after a boar. I just can't see putting her in harm's way, with or without a jacket. Boar hunting is very popular around here and dogs are highly trained for the work. If it weren't so dangerous, it seems like fun, just to let the dogs catch them and then to let them go.
We used to hog hunt all the time back home. We used between 3-5 pitbulls and knives. Sometimes we would just tie the hog up or use "hog cuffs" on them and bring them back alive. Tipping a hog is never an easy task and two people are normally required so pig sticking is the prefered method in my area. We use those cheap ($20) hollow handled knives with the 10 inch blades that you can pick up in a pawn shop. Most can be sharpened fairly well with a file. When the dogs have a good hold on the hog you must move quickly because the dogs will get tired in a hurry holding onto a big hog. Walk up from behind the hog and put the tip of the knife on the hog's chest angling up into the rib cage just behind the shoulder. Then push the blade in quickly. You don't want to "jab" with the knife, too much chance of hitting a dog.

Then the hard work begins. I've known nothing harder to skin than a wild hog. The hide just dulls a knife like sandpaper. Knives with "rough" edges (serrated or file sharpened) seem to work best.
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Around here dogs are mainly used to corner the hog, biting and holding the ear will get a tusk in their gut quick,The dogs learn real quick not to go for the head, you get enough dogs on a hog they will hold them in place for you so they wont run to kingdom come. 2 dogs can hold a good sized pig in an area without having to bite it at all if they know what they are doing. LOL Then you just shoot the pig.. . These same dogs are also used on bear, and let me tell you they are good LOL... My friend took 3 or 4 bear a few months ago with these same dogs. Around here each tag/hunter allows you to run one dog, so 5 guys get to have 5 dogs total And these dogs sure love it... And the baying the dogs make when on scent is an awesome sound, almost as exciting as the the Treed bay/bark. Incidently none of these dogs where "jackets" they know to stay out of reach of the pigs/bears. We dont want them latching on to the pig, too much damage can result and its usually to your dog. And it makes it very hard to kill a pig if there are dogs hanging off it everywhere, The dogs should hold the pig by threat, not by physically hanig on to it.....
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Hey Chuck? Are you back from your hunt here in Oklahoma yet? If so, tell us about it. Did ya get yourself a piggy? Where abouts here in Oklahoma did you hunt? Did you enjoy yourself?
If you want to see pics of the wild pigs my friend raises...
THese were trapped because well they were being PIGS LOL.... One was tearing up a golf course... Golfers dont care for that...... Anyhow anyone wants to see pics of the wild piggies who now live in a domestic setting......

I never got a chance to go. We went out with the best of intentions, but got sidetracked by my friend's brother's gun collection. Oh well.
Chuck said:
I never got a chance to go. We went out with the best of intentions, but got sidetracked by my friend's brother's gun collection. Oh well.
Awww Sorry to hear that.. My hubby and son are getting ready to go in a few weeks...What do the tags cost where your at? We get 5 tags for 10.00..its unlimited though so you can buy more books if you want..
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