by John Jefferson
Like Bacon? Me, too. But for personal reasons, I don’t eat it anymore. I do, though, go all out for grilled pork ribs, sausage, backstrap chops, and pork roasts!
Friends of ours turned up their noses when I mentioned eating wild hog. Someone gave them some once and they couldn’t eat it. They’ll probably never change their minds without a little chicanery on our part.
Guess we’ll have to invite them over for supper and serve some, properly prepared, without telling them what they had eaten until they finish desert.
We’ve done that with venison-despising friends who were telling us one night how they hated venison when my sweet wife asked, “What do you think you’re eating?” The other wife froze in mid-fork, finally responding in shock, “THIS is venison?”
It’s all in the preparation, and that starts just before you pull the trigger. It’s like shopping. If you were at the meat aisle in H.E.B., you wouldn’t pick a pack of pork chops that looked a little old, dry, and wrinkled, would you?
If the package had an expiration date long past, you probably wouldn’t select it either. And if the package said it came off a 300-pound boar hog shot in summertime and hung in a tree overnight until the hunter left for home in Dallas 200 miles away the next day at noon, you just might opt instead for a rotisserie chicken.
It’s the same with venison or any other wild game. The younger, smaller critter makes the best table fare. Field dressing quickly and getting it in refrigeration as soon as possible is mandatory in Texas unless a cold front had just blown in.
Pork spoils quicker than most other meats, and that does more than affect the flavor. It could make you sick. Not cooking it long enough could kill ya!
But please keep reading. This seemingly horror story has a happy ending – I promise.
Texas has abundant hogs. And that’s a tremendous understatement — about two million feral hogs. Maybe more. They’ll increase between the time I finish this and it gets into print. They reproduce that fast. Agricultural damage is listed at $52 million/year.
They’re officially called “feral” hogs, meaning formerly domestic, but now gone wild. Although most “feral” hogs in Texas descended from formerly domestic swine, my guess is that most nowadays were born in the wild.
There are no regulations about hunting hogs except that a hunting license and landowner permission are required. Hogs can be hunted year ‘round, day or night, even from a helicopter, and there is no bag or possession limit.
You may use any firearm or archery gear you choose. But use enough gun. A wounded hog is dangerous. I was told growing up in East Texas that many things in the woods could hurt you, but hogs could kill you … and eat you.
Shoot ‘em on sight. Take a young one, and you’ve got the best eating wild game in Texas!
CAPTION: Texas has about two million feral hogs roaming the landscape – usually at night – digging up crops and tearing up fences. Landowner damage totals roughly $52 million/year! But they’re tasty!
Photo by John Jefferson.