I’ve been getting an awful lot of requests from folks that want to learn how to hunt. With crazy cost of living increases and meat shortages in the forecast, quite a few people are seeking out the skills to procure their own foodstuffs if the economy further shuts down. Well, this time of year especially, my answer is always the same; learn to hunt a hog. Now, fact is there are few critters that I enjoy hunting more than feral hogs. They are wary enough to be fun, large enough to provide quite a few meals, have no bag limits and in most places can be hunted year-round. But best of all… they are delicious to eat.
Living in Hernando County we are surrounded by great hog hunting and although I’ve taken porkers in several southern states, none provided any better opportunities than what I find right here at home. My preferred method of hunting is establishing a bait station, using corn in an open area near thick cover and feeding them up until they begin to visit the site daily. Then I select an ambush location depending upon the direction of the wind (stay downwind as their noses are incredible) and pass a broadhead tipped arrow where it will do its job. I’ll pass up the largest, stinking boar in favor of a young eighty to one hundred-pounder for my cooler, as they provide the best dining. And fine dining is the whole point of all of the effort!
Wild pork, to my taste, does possess a much better flavor than commercially raised pork, is far leaner, and you have the satisfaction of dining on truly organic protein derived from your own skills. But, wild pork does come with a caution as they can be carrying some undesirable parasites, most significantly, Swine Brucellosis. Now, Swine Brucellosis doesn’t affect the edibility of the meat, but to be safe, it should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The prolonged heat will kill any unsavory parasites or potential diseases, whether they’re present in your meat or not. The point is not to take any chances and never serve your wild pork rare.
Outfitting yourself for hog hunting does not need to be terribly expensive. Archery is my first choice on pork procurement, but handgun, rifle, or shotgun are great options as well. It’s up to the individual really, but know they just aren’t that hard to kill. Enough fall each year to pointy sticks flung off of a string; you just don’t need the high-power rifles or magnum shotgun rounds. If you need a hand finding the setup that’s right for you, feel free to reach out to me and we can discuss it. Whatever it takes to get you in the woods and be successful.
As always, if you have any feedback, suggestions or even just want to share a good hunting story, give me a shout at [email protected] God bless and good hunting!