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CARNITAS! (On the Hoof)

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A herd of 31 wild pigs were hitting my nephews West Texas back yard 2-3 times a week, uprooting just about everything in the ground. Photos show pigs devouring 25 lbs of corn in 10 minutes. Spicy Carnitas pork dish to be added to the Thanksgiving day menu, so I'm told.

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My son shoots several on his grandfathers ranch  in La Grange, Tx every year. Sometimes there are hundreds of them. Sometimes you won't see one for months. His biggest one is about 400 lbs so far.

We had a big problem with them here in New Mexico for about 20 years. They finally got them under control after the big freeze a few years ago and the subsequent drought. We used to see dozens every day but there have been no pig sightings in a few years. Back about 1995 there were a whole bunch around three mile canyon in the Sacramentos. We shot many over raspberry jello spiked with horse tranquilizers. We would set five gallon buckets of Jello out overnight and the stoned pigs were laying around all sleepy when the sun came up.

Down on the Gray Ranch near Animas those rascals have been roaming since the 1800's. They are lard hogs and there is hardly any meat on them. But they are fun to shoot and the cowboys have a great time roping them from a horse.

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LOL And out of State folk pay the ranchers BOO COOO bucks to shoot the none game critters.  Sorta a joke among the ranchers. 

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2 hours ago, homefire said:

LOL And out of State folk pay the ranchers BOO COOO bucks to shoot the none game critters.  Sorta a joke among the ranchers. 

You wont pay much of anything just for access to shoot a hog on most ranches. You pay for boarding and guide services.

Hogs don't attract many sportsmen outside of central and west Texas. The ranches that charge for hunts are giving you a lot more than an open gate. So that is where the "boo coo bucks" come in.

Yeah, if you want to hunt elk on the Vermejo Peak ranch and have it all waiting for you then it is going to cost $1200 per day. If you want to hunt antelope on your own and camp in a tent it will cost you $500 for simple access. If you want to hunt feral pig on your own I could not imagine it would cost you any more than $100 for the keys to the gate on any New Mexico ranch.

Most hogs in New Mexico are (were)on public land and it costs a big fat zero to hunt them. If you want to stay in the ranchers quarters and eat at his table it will cost a bit more. 

On most ranches in Texas they are happy to have you shoot them. Sure there are hunting ranches that sell hog hunts but that is a different type of ranch and a hunt is a package that comes with almost everything including a rifle if that is what you need. It is not a joke among those ranchers. It is their business.

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5 hours ago, BMc said:

A herd of 31 wild pigs were hitting my nephews West Texas back yard 2-3 times a week, uprooting just about everything in the ground. Photos show pigs devouring 25 lbs of corn in 10 minutes. Spicy Carnitas pork dish to be added to the Thanksgiving day menu, so I'm told.

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These Texas pigs are very good eating according to my nephew: "depends on the age and weight. About 150 lbs is considered about ideal, with 3/4 inch of fat under the hide and the rest lean. The meat on the  larger boars are good too, except the hams are not as good as on a younger, smaller pig. The older and larger sows are not generally as good as the boars"

Google searches show many references to the quality of the meat, such as the following: "If you think the taste of wild boar is similar to pork, guess again. Although the wild boar is related to the domestic pig, they do not taste the same. Wild boar tastes like a cross between pork and beef, with a unique juicy succulence. The meat is a bit darker, perhaps due to the healthy iron content. The biggest difference between wild boar and domestic hogs is that the meat of the feral hogs has much less fat. ... It's not necessarily tougher, but it can be dry compared to domestic pork. The reason being is that that are on the move almost constantly"

I found all of the above consistent and true of the ones I harvested in King Co. and Monterey Co. California in the 1980's.  

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To be able to hunt on the private California ranches, we paid the guide service $100.00 per hunter for a 2 day hunt with a pig guaranteed! That included access to private property with heavy brush on the ridges where the pigs bushed up during the day, overlooking the grain fields,  This was a fully guided hunt with a minimum/maximum of 2 hunters, and included a guide, transportation, (while on the ranch), open availability of several ranches that the guide had access to behind locked gates, 3-4 dogs to locate the hogs and push them out of the heavy brush, and a fully cut up and wrapped pig at the end of the hunt.

Plus, a great home cooked dinner at the guides house on Sunday night at the end of the hunt prepared by the guides Mom!

Good times! 

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The hogs in your photos are feral domestic pigs as opposed to wild boar. There is an important difference between the two.

Wild boar are a bit different animal. They walk up on their toes and have a little different tusks on top. Their meat is different and they behave different as well. Feral pigs walk on their heels and have a completely different gait. They have straight tusks on top with just a bit of hook. Ferals are harldy ever "tuskers". And feral pigs are multi colored rather than dark auburn/black. The tails are curly piggy tails and they have a bunch more fat in the meat too. Wild boars have switch tails and are super lean and dry meat.

In Texas there are sounders that are mostly feral domestic and some that are wild boar. And sounders that are every mix in between. The hogs in the photo are mostly feral domesticated swine. You can really tell by the shoats that these hogs are mostly domestic with very little wild boar genes.

There is a big boar that is servicing that sounder somewhere in the area. They are often solitary or hang with a couple other big boars. They probably wont let him get too close to those shoats. Once the shoats grow a bit then the boar will be allowed to hang with the sounder. You can get a really big hog if you hunt the sounders that have few little shoats and the sows are receptive. Sounders with nursing shoats like this one tend to have only small, immature boars and sows.

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53 minutes ago, BMc said:

These Texas pigs are very good eating according to my nephew: "depends on the age and weight. About 150 lbs is considered about ideal, with 3/4 inch of fat under the hide and the rest lean. The meat on the  larger boars are good too, except the hams are not as good as on a younger, smaller pig. The older and larger sows are not generally as good as the boars"

Google searches show many references to the quality of the meat, such as the following: "If you think the taste of wild boar is similar to pork, guess again. Although the wild boar is related to the domestic pig, they do not taste the same. Wild boar tastes like a cross between pork and beef, with a unique juicy succulence. The meat is a bit darker, perhaps due to the healthy iron content. The biggest difference between wild boar and domestic hogs is that the meat of the feral hogs has much less fat. ... It's not necessarily tougher, but it can be dry compared to domestic pork. The reason being is that that are on the move almost constantly"

I found all of the above consistent and true of the ones I harvested in King Co. and Monterey Co. California in the 1980's.  

A herd of 31 wild pigs were hitting my nephews West Texas back yard 2-3 times a week, uprooting just about everything in the ground. Photos show pigs devouring 25 lbs of corn in 10 minutes. Spicy Carnitas pork dish to be added to the Thanksgiving day menu, so I'm told.

The Google texts comparing feral and domestic hogs, (referring to them as wild boar as a synonym to feral hogs) compares/contrasts the quality of the meat, including fat content.

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1 hour ago, BMc said:

The Google texts comparing feral and domestic hogs, (referring to them as wild boar as a synonym to feral hogs) compares/contrasts the quality of the meat, including fat content.

The Google texts don't say much about the two different blood lines and origins of hogs. The domestic hog and the wild boar are an entirely different critter that came from two distinctly different sources.  It is like the difference between whitetail and mule deer. Or a wolf and a German Shepherd.

Feral pigs are not wild boars and the differences are very important. Knowing the various animals and their unique traits is the difference between an experienced hunter and a novice. If discussing those differences is objectionable then that is O.K. too.

Later Mac!

 

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59 minutes ago, BMc said:

A herd of 31 wild pigs were hitting my nephews West Texas back yard 2-3 times a week, uprooting just about everything in the ground. Photos show pigs devouring 25 lbs of corn in 10 minutes. Spicy Carnitas pork dish to be added to the Thanksgiving day menu, so I'm told.

The Google texts comparing feral and domestic hogs, (referring to them as wild boar as a synonym to feral hogs) compares/contrasts the quality of the meat, including fat content.

Wild pigs as shown and quoted, quality and taste of the meat is excellent!

Es Todo. 

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Which one is Todo?

Wasn't that the name of Dorothy's little dog in the Wizard of Oz?

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20 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

You wont pay much of anything just for access to shoot a hog on most ranches. You pay for boarding and guide services.

Hogs don't attract many sportsmen outside of central and west Texas. The ranches that charge for hunts are giving you a lot more than an open gate. So that is where the "boo coo bucks" come in.

Yeah, if you want to hunt elk on the Vermejo Peak ranch and have it all waiting for you then it is going to cost $1200 per day. If you want to hunt antelope on your own and camp in a tent it will cost you $500 for simple access. If you want to hunt feral pig on your own I could not imagine it would cost you any more than $100 for the keys to the gate on any New Mexico ranch.

Most hogs in New Mexico are (were)on public land and it costs a big fat zero to hunt them. If you want to stay in the ranchers quarters and eat at his table it will cost a bit more. 

On most ranches in Texas they are happy to have you shoot them. Sure there are hunting ranches that sell hog hunts but that is a different type of ranch and a hunt is a package that comes with almost everything including a rifle if that is what you need. It is not a joke among those ranchers. It is their business.

Not on the Hertz ranch.  They get like 4 and 500.00 a pop.  

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On ‎11‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 3:35 PM, homefire said:

Not on the Hertz ranch.  They get like 4 and 500.00 a pop.  

The Hertz Ranch? 

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1 hour ago, Bedrock Bob said:

The Hertz Ranch? 

I had the name wrong.  The old  Hearst  holdings.     http://www.scdailypress.com/site/2012/05/07/bootheel-ranchers-in-fight-with-big-landowner/  Large butt Ranch in the  Animas and Rodeo area.    Hidalgo County most of the southern half.

Edited by homefire

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9 hours ago, homefire said:

I had the name wrong.  The old  Hearst  holdings.     http://www.scdailypress.com/site/2012/05/07/bootheel-ranchers-in-fight-with-big-landowner/  Large butt Ranch in the  Animas and Rodeo area.    Hidalgo County most of the southern half.

That is the old Gray ranch that I mentioned above Homefire. It is almost all public land. They cant charge to hunt on public land. If some fool is giving them that kind of money for simple access to hunt a lard hog there then I suppose I know why all the ranchers are joking about it. 

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