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For those of you who eat wild pork... #8081887 12/09/20 03:11 AM
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Question. scratch

While you're cleaning a pig, is there any you guys can tell whether the meat is going to be better or worse than usual? I've always heard people claim wildly different things about pigs....e.g. only shoot pigs under 100lbs, only pregnant sows, only nursing sows, never anything over 150lbs, never in the summer, etc.

In my 10 or so years of hunting, trapping and eating wild pig, I've never found any of those rules to be very reliable. For instance, I cooked up a small (about 60lb) sow last spring and it was really gamey, but just the other day I cooked up some pork from a 200lb boar and it was great. Multiple people told me to leave him in the field.

All this being said, is there anything specific you look at in the carcass/meat that would put you off or give you a hint that it will be quality pork? Maybe the color of the meat, smell, number of lymph nodes in the fat, etc.?

Just curious to know what y'all think

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8081936 12/09/20 04:14 AM
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Some very, very experienced hog guys say you can tell by the smell of the pig. Wether it’s 30lbs or 300lbs, if it smells rank when you kill it, it’ll taste rank. If it smells ‘sweet’ then it’ll taste good. Personally, I’ve never smelled a ‘sweet’ smelling pig. I rarely eat them but am now on a lease with a ton of them so I’ll be eating more. I used to hunt on a huge ranch and it wasn’t uncommon for the group of us to dozens every time we were there. I believe the record was 40 in 1 day. Just no way to eat all that so 90% of the time they were left where they were shot.


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8081963 12/09/20 04:39 AM
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smell the fat

if it stinks you'll taste it - metallic taste

my experience: I like 80 lb sows, sows with milk even better,
sows with piglets are good

boars are hit and miss: a cut boar will be fine, a horny boar
during mating season is asking for trouble

hogs shot during cold months are better eating than
summer months: more fat, less humping around


smell the fat and if it's white mo betta (young pig )

also dependent on what they eat, west texas where
they feed on wheat = good

in the canyons , rough terrain where they eat whatever:
weed, sage... they'll smell like dirt

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082168 12/09/20 01:59 PM
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I’ve always followed the small pig idea too - keep the smalls leave the bigs

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: cabosandinh] #8082222 12/09/20 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cabosandinh
smell the fat

if it stinks you'll taste it - metallic taste

my experience: I like 80 lb sows, sows with milk even better,
sows with piglets are good

boars are hit and miss: a cut boar will be fine, a horny boar
during mating season is asking for trouble

hogs shot during cold months are better eating than
summer months: more fat, less humping around


smell the fat and if it's white mo betta (young pig )

also dependent on what they eat, west texas where
they feed on wheat = good

in the canyons , rough terrain where they eat whatever:
weed, sage... they'll smell like dirt



Another question for you. When is mating season? I always thought they bred all year...

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082244 12/09/20 02:47 PM
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I've heard that if you trap, they are full of adrenaline and taste bad. The theory is sound, but I've never tasted adrenaline so I can't say. If this theory is true, I would assume a pork that is killed instantly would taste better than one that takes a bit to expire. Freestone County buzzards have never complained.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Dadof2] #8082250 12/09/20 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by garyrapp55
I've heard that if you trap, they are full of adrenaline and taste bad. The theory is sound, but I've never tasted adrenaline so I can't say. If this theory is true, I would assume a pork that is killed instantly would taste better than one that takes a bit to expire. Freestone County buzzards have never complained.



There's a lot to that.

My family had a meat packing company when I grew up.

It was common knowledge that wild or distressed animals were much inferior to calm ones when they got to the table.

One of my friends eats mountain lions. He will not eat one that he has trapped though. Only those he shoots when hunting (without dogs.. Dogs make them stress out too.)

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082263 12/09/20 03:02 PM
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I don't discriminate by size, only by smell. Some of the best wild hog meals I've had came from the meat of 200+ lb. boars, I think there's a lot of myths out there about wild hogs and a lot of is (pun intended) hogwash.

Last night we had teriyaki meatballs with coconut rice and sauteed snow peas for dinner, and the meat was from a 200 lb. boar I shot in the Hill Country a few weeks ago. Meal was fantastic!

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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082282 12/09/20 03:13 PM
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Every hog I shoot gets eaten.

Just not by me. wink

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Dadof2] #8082320 12/09/20 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by garyrapp55
I've heard that if you trap, they are full of adrenaline and taste bad. The theory is sound, but I've never tasted adrenaline so I can't say. If this theory is true, I would assume a pork that is killed instantly would taste better than one that takes a bit to expire. Freestone County buzzards have never complained.


That makes sense to me. I'll start marking the package with "trapped" or "shot" and see if I notice a considerable difference.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Exiled] #8082325 12/09/20 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Exiled
I don't discriminate by size, only by smell. Some of the best wild hog meals I've had came from the meat of 200+ lb. boars, I think there's a lot of myths out there about wild hogs and a lot of is (pun intended) hogwash.

Last night we had teriyaki meatballs with coconut rice and sauteed snow peas for dinner, and the meat was from a 200 lb. boar I shot in the Hill Country a few weeks ago. Meal was fantastic!

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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: BbarVRanch] #8082379 12/09/20 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BbarVRanch
Every hog I shoot gets eaten.

Just not by me. wink


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082693 12/09/20 07:36 PM
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The general rule of inquiry is that if you ask an audience of N persons for an opinion, you will get no less than N+1 different responses.

I eat virtually all of the hogs I shoot unless they're just too small to be worth the trouble.

We made ground meat out of a 295Lb boar we trapped a few years ago.

Tasty!


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: BbarVRanch] #8082730 12/09/20 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BbarVRanch
Originally Posted by garyrapp55
I've heard that if you trap, they are full of adrenaline and taste bad. The theory is sound, but I've never tasted adrenaline so I can't say. If this theory is true, I would assume a pork that is killed instantly would taste better than one that takes a bit to expire. Freestone County buzzards have never complained.



There's a lot to that.

My family had a meat packing company when I grew up.

It was common knowledge that wild or distressed animals were much inferior to calm ones when they got to the table.

One of my friends eats mountain lions. He will not eat one that he has trapped though. Only those he shoots when hunting (without dogs.. Dogs make them stress out too.)


How often does your friend kill mountain lions not trapped or using dogs?

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082732 12/09/20 08:09 PM
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I eat most all the pigs I kill. I never had a bad one, but the best ones seem to be in the fall when the acorns are dropping.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8082736 12/09/20 08:13 PM
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There are a lot of myths out there about eating pigs, like mentioned above most are hogwash. I've been cleaning, cooking, and eating feral pigs all of my life and prefer them over domestic. Below are a few things that I've learned.

I eat pigs of all sizes, (boars included) killed instantly with rifles, killed with arrows, shot in traps, ran down & caught with dogs and stabbed to death. A lot of folks say if the pig stinks, the meat will stink too so off to the bone pile. This is absolutely NOT true. Normally the case is, people just don't want to clean them (to each their own). If a boar stinks, don't let anything on the outside touch the inside especially your hands. (after skinning wash your hands or change gloves if you wear them, wash your knife or use a different knife before cutting meat). If the stank from the outside gets on the meat, the meat will stink. Stinky outside does NOT automatically mean stinky inside, but I get it. Folks get a whiff of that smell and their mind is made up LOL. Just like javalina. Some people do the same thing with buck deer. They just had their hands all over the tarsal glands, and now their hands are all over the meat. Anyway, when done rinse the meat well just in case.

Unless it's a pig with gangrene (have killed a few of those), there is no real way to tell the quality of the meat unless you slice a piece off and cook it right there in a skillet or on a campfire. Try some fat too, fat is flavor. The pigs diet has more to do with meat quality than anything. Adrenaline or Lactic Acid from a stressed pig doesn't ruin the meat. The best eating pigs I've ever eaten in my life were 200 - 300 pounders caught with dogs and knifed, but these were corn crop country pigs. They fed in corn fields every night, and bleeding them out also makes a difference, which happens when you stab one in the heart. I can tell the difference in eating corn country pigs vs brush country pigs.

Big boars are usually tougher, so all of mine get turned into chorizo, smoked sausage, or slow smoked BBQ after ice aging. On big boars especially, here is an IMPORTANT tip -

Remove the glands, all of them. Especially the glands that are hiding inside (behind) the muscle in the hams and in the armpits of the shoulders. If you grind the meat and make sausage with these glands intact, it sometimes will smell like dirty socks when you're cooking it in the house. The meat will taste fine, but it will smell while cooking. Once I learned where these glands were and started removing them, it stopped smelling. One of the advantages of processing your own is that you can find and remove these glands, a processor is not going to take the time to do that.


For BBQ/pulled pork etc, I like sows of all sizes and young boars. Nursing sows are my least favorite because they are normally drawn down some - less meat and fat. Big boars, because they are normally tougher, get ground up for sausage. If a test piece from a big boar smells a little strong, I'll either dump it or turn him into chorizo or tamales. The vinegar and spices will cover it up, big boars make some good chorizo. Especially if they are fat. There's no breeding season, they breed year round and the time of the year doesn't matter either. Although, the older I get the fewer big boars I kill for food during the Summer because it's freaking hot and I'm normally cleaning them by myself. More enjoyable cleaning the big ones in the Winter nowadays.

With all of that being said, if you eat enough of them eventually you are going to get one that just doesn't smell right when cooking it in the house. So cook it outside. smile

Sorry about the long post, hope this helps.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Erny] #8082738 12/09/20 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Erny
Originally Posted by BbarVRanch
Originally Posted by garyrapp55
I've heard that if you trap, they are full of adrenaline and taste bad. The theory is sound, but I've never tasted adrenaline so I can't say. If this theory is true, I would assume a pork that is killed instantly would taste better than one that takes a bit to expire. Freestone County buzzards have never complained.



There's a lot to that.

My family had a meat packing company when I grew up.

It was common knowledge that wild or distressed animals were much inferior to calm ones when they got to the table.

One of my friends eats mountain lions. He will not eat one that he has trapped though. Only those he shoots when hunting (without dogs.. Dogs make them stress out too.)


How often does your friend kill mountain lions not trapped or using dogs?


He used to quite often. Maybe a couple times a year.

But the USDA transferred him out of a lion rich environment because the bunny huggers were offended at the number of lions killed in his monthly reports.

Now he only gets called in on specific cases of lions killing stock, or people. wink

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: skinnerback] #8083771 12/10/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnerback
There are a lot of myths out there about eating pigs, like mentioned above most are hogwash. I've been cleaning, cooking, and eating feral pigs all of my life and prefer them over domestic. Below are a few things that I've learned.

I eat pigs of all sizes, (boars included) killed instantly with rifles, killed with arrows, shot in traps, ran down & caught with dogs and stabbed to death. A lot of folks say if the pig stinks, the meat will stink too so off to the bone pile. This is absolutely NOT true. Normally the case is, people just don't want to clean them (to each their own). If a boar stinks, don't let anything on the outside touch the inside especially your hands. (after skinning wash your hands or change gloves if you wear them, wash your knife or use a different knife before cutting meat). If the stank from the outside gets on the meat, the meat will stink. Stinky outside does NOT automatically mean stinky inside, but I get it. Folks get a whiff of that smell and their mind is made up LOL. Just like javalina. Some people do the same thing with buck deer. They just had their hands all over the tarsal glands, and now their hands are all over the meat. Anyway, when done rinse the meat well just in case.

Unless it's a pig with gangrene (have killed a few of those), there is no real way to tell the quality of the meat unless you slice a piece off and cook it right there in a skillet or on a campfire. Try some fat too, fat is flavor. The pigs diet has more to do with meat quality than anything. Adrenaline or Lactic Acid from a stressed pig doesn't ruin the meat. The best eating pigs I've ever eaten in my life were 200 - 300 pounders caught with dogs and knifed, but these were corn crop country pigs. They fed in corn fields every night, and bleeding them out also makes a difference, which happens when you stab one in the heart. I can tell the difference in eating corn country pigs vs brush country pigs.

Big boars are usually tougher, so all of mine get turned into chorizo, smoked sausage, or slow smoked BBQ after ice aging. On big boars especially, here is an IMPORTANT tip -

Remove the glands, all of them. Especially the glands that are hiding inside (behind) the muscle in the hams and in the armpits of the shoulders. If you grind the meat and make sausage with these glands intact, it sometimes will smell like dirty socks when you're cooking it in the house. The meat will taste fine, but it will smell while cooking. Once I learned where these glands were and started removing them, it stopped smelling. One of the advantages of processing your own is that you can find and remove these glands, a processor is not going to take the time to do that.


For BBQ/pulled pork etc, I like sows of all sizes and young boars. Nursing sows are my least favorite because they are normally drawn down some - less meat and fat. Big boars, because they are normally tougher, get ground up for sausage. If a test piece from a big boar smells a little strong, I'll either dump it or turn him into chorizo or tamales. The vinegar and spices will cover it up, big boars make some good chorizo. Especially if they are fat. There's no breeding season, they breed year round and the time of the year doesn't matter either. Although, the older I get the fewer big boars I kill for food during the Summer because it's freaking hot and I'm normally cleaning them by myself. More enjoyable cleaning the big ones in the Winter nowadays.

With all of that being said, if you eat enough of them eventually you are going to get one that just doesn't smell right when cooking it in the house. So cook it outside. smile

Sorry about the long post, hope this helps.

Good info. Thanks.


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: LFD2037] #8084025 12/10/20 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LFD2037
Originally Posted by skinnerback
There are a lot of myths out there about eating pigs, like mentioned above most are hogwash. I've been cleaning, cooking, and eating feral pigs all of my life and prefer them over domestic. Below are a few things that I've learned.

I eat pigs of all sizes, (boars included) killed instantly with rifles, killed with arrows, shot in traps, ran down & caught with dogs and stabbed to death. A lot of folks say if the pig stinks, the meat will stink too so off to the bone pile. This is absolutely NOT true. Normally the case is, people just don't want to clean them (to each their own). If a boar stinks, don't let anything on the outside touch the inside especially your hands. (after skinning wash your hands or change gloves if you wear them, wash your knife or use a different knife before cutting meat). If the stank from the outside gets on the meat, the meat will stink. Stinky outside does NOT automatically mean stinky inside, but I get it. Folks get a whiff of that smell and their mind is made up LOL. Just like javalina. Some people do the same thing with buck deer. They just had their hands all over the tarsal glands, and now their hands are all over the meat. Anyway, when done rinse the meat well just in case.

Unless it's a pig with gangrene (have killed a few of those), there is no real way to tell the quality of the meat unless you slice a piece off and cook it right there in a skillet or on a campfire. Try some fat too, fat is flavor. The pigs diet has more to do with meat quality than anything. Adrenaline or Lactic Acid from a stressed pig doesn't ruin the meat. The best eating pigs I've ever eaten in my life were 200 - 300 pounders caught with dogs and knifed, but these were corn crop country pigs. They fed in corn fields every night, and bleeding them out also makes a difference, which happens when you stab one in the heart. I can tell the difference in eating corn country pigs vs brush country pigs.

Big boars are usually tougher, so all of mine get turned into chorizo, smoked sausage, or slow smoked BBQ after ice aging. On big boars especially, here is an IMPORTANT tip -

Remove the glands, all of them. Especially the glands that are hiding inside (behind) the muscle in the hams and in the armpits of the shoulders. If you grind the meat and make sausage with these glands intact, it sometimes will smell like dirty socks when you're cooking it in the house. The meat will taste fine, but it will smell while cooking. Once I learned where these glands were and started removing them, it stopped smelling. One of the advantages of processing your own is that you can find and remove these glands, a processor is not going to take the time to do that.


For BBQ/pulled pork etc, I like sows of all sizes and young boars. Nursing sows are my least favorite because they are normally drawn down some - less meat and fat. Big boars, because they are normally tougher, get ground up for sausage. If a test piece from a big boar smells a little strong, I'll either dump it or turn him into chorizo or tamales. The vinegar and spices will cover it up, big boars make some good chorizo. Especially if they are fat. There's no breeding season, they breed year round and the time of the year doesn't matter either. Although, the older I get the fewer big boars I kill for food during the Summer because it's freaking hot and I'm normally cleaning them by myself. More enjoyable cleaning the big ones in the Winter nowadays.

With all of that being said, if you eat enough of them eventually you are going to get one that just doesn't smell right when cooking it in the house. So cook it outside. smile

Sorry about the long post, hope this helps.

Good info. Thanks.


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8084049 12/10/20 07:43 PM
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Like said above with the poling N people results in N+1 opinions we are all different.

Ive eaten big boars that were great and ive eaten little ones that were awful. I have never butchered a pregnant sow that wasn't a nice fat as can be sweet meat pig. Eaten loads of them out of traps and snares and notice no difference between them and ones shot. Like most anything i believe a lot of it is in the care and handling of the meat, but I know how to process my critters and i have undoubtedly had some rank ones come through that were not a result of my handling.


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Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: redchevy] #8084310 12/10/20 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by redchevy
Like said above with the poling N people results in N+1 opinions we are all different.

Ive eaten big boars that were great and ive eaten little ones that were awful. I have never butchered a pregnant sow that wasn't a nice fat as can be sweet meat pig. Eaten loads of them out of traps and snares and notice no difference between them and ones shot. Like most anything i believe a lot of it is in the care and handling of the meat, but I know how to process my critters and i have undoubtedly had some rank ones come through that were not a result of my handling.


Agree with you on this. I feel like you can’t go wrong with a pregnant sow.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8084330 12/10/20 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by NicS
Originally Posted by redchevy
Like said above with the poling N people results in N+1 opinions we are all different.

Ive eaten big boars that were great and ive eaten little ones that were awful. I have never butchered a pregnant sow that wasn't a nice fat as can be sweet meat pig. Eaten loads of them out of traps and snares and notice no difference between them and ones shot. Like most anything i believe a lot of it is in the care and handling of the meat, but I know how to process my critters and i have undoubtedly had some rank ones come through that were not a result of my handling.


Agree with you on this. I feel like you can’t go wrong with a pregnant sow.



Pregnant sows are great! But after birth when they are nursing, often times they will get drawn down like a post rutt buck.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8084425 12/10/20 11:59 PM
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Boars over 150 lbs. are not for me. Too many others out there.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Wilhunt] #8084570 12/11/20 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilhunt
Boars over 150 lbs. are not for me. Too many others out there.


This used to be my rule of thumb. I shot a 200lb boar a couple months ago and he just seemed "clean" (if that makes sense), so I decided to dress and quarter him. I pan-fried some diced shoulder meat with just salt and pepper a few days ago and I was shocked as to how delicious it was. Now I have 15-20lbs of bratwurst in the freezer. I understand though. In my opinion, a 150lb pregnant sow is ideal for me.....very fatty, tasty, and a good yield.

Re: For those of you who eat wild pork... [Re: Sauerkraut] #8085095 12/11/20 03:09 PM
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Made this one Al Pastor style. It was delicious.

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