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