RITES OF SPRING

Whether almost shoat sized, as these pigs, or even younger, feral pigs will prove wild hogs are not always tough when eaten!

Whether almost shoat sized, as these pigs, or even younger, feral pigs will prove wild hogs are not always tough when eaten!

Anyone worried that feral hogs might be “tough” when cooked and eaten should think about targeting smaller hogs when strictly meat-hunting. Although hogs breed and bear young all year, spring seems to always bring forth a new “crop” of pigs. While the small carcasses can be cooked in a variety of ways, one of the most appealing to myself and my wife is to cook them whole in our electric smoker. A wood or charcoal fired unit does a good job, but the electric versions are a very easy way to get your pork ready for the table.

Young feral pigs just barely or not yet weaned make a very tender meal - or two!

Young feral pigs just barely or not yet weaned make a very tender meal – or two!

This pig just past weaning age was taken out of a group with a 20 gauge shotgun and #3 buckshot. I had hoped to get more than one pig with the shot, but this one fell and the others escaped into the brush to be taken another day.

On the small pigs, I like to split them to make for easier seasoning and cooking.

On the small pigs, I like to split them to make for easier seasoning and cooking.

After a suitable period bleeding out in a cooler with ice water, as with any other wild meat I cook, we like to “butterfly” the pigs, splitting them for easier seasoning – with commercial pork rub – and faster cooking, although I still cook slow (215 degrees or so).

One of the best ways to cook any wild pork is very slowly, with aromatic wood chips, in an electric smoker.


eight=”608″ class=”size-large wp-image-2985″ />
One of the best ways to cook any wild pork is very slowly, with aromatic wood chips, in an electric smoker.

Several varieties of wood chips make for tasty smoked pork, including apple and mesquite.

After several hours in an electric smoker, the "butterflied" feral pig is tender and tasty!

After several hours in an electric smoker, the “butterflied” feral pig is tender and tasty!

Younger pigs are much better eating than trophy boars, and it still does the local environment good to take as many out of the woods as possible. To me, eating them makes much more sense than leaving them lay for the coyotes to feast on.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
This entry was posted in Hog Hunting. Bookmark the permalink.