Do wild hogs exist in the wild anymore? We have all heard of the Piney Wood Rutter or the Razorback hog, but do they still exist in the wilderness? The original wild hog commonly known as the Piney Wood Rutter, roamed the woods and rutted for food with their long noses. The name razorback hog was given to a species of hogs that were in the wild and the hair on there backs would stand up when he was excited, appearing to be a razor shape. He would also tend to be lean and his back bone would appear to be sharp, giving it even a greater affect when the hair was raised.
In the South, timber companies owned large chunks of land to grow timber. An individual would lease the land to raise hogs and cattle. As time passed the leasee would introduce the domestic hogs into the lease to breed with the wild hogs. This would increase the size of the animal and when the hog was processed or sold the leasee would receive a greater yield. Through time the domestic hogs would become wild as the two blood lines were mixed. This changed the make up of the original wild hog in the southern part of the United States. A second way the domestic blood was mixed into the wild herd was when a farmer failed to maintain his fences and the domestic hogs would escape into the wild. The combination of the two above examples changed the Piney Wood Rutter and Razorback hog forever.
A lot of hunters will pass up harvesting a wild hog, while they are in the wilderness. There are many reasons the hunter will give to justify passing up a tasty wild hog. A few reasons are as follows; "They are not good to eat, they do not taste good", "They have a strong taste", "My family will not eat a wild hog", the list of reasons continues. Before the domestic blood line was introduced into the wild hog, a lot of the above reasons would have been true. The original wild hog did have a gamey taste and was tough, but the introduction of the domestic hog changed this forever. A number of hunting land lease and land owners have feeders in the wilderness now to supplement the deer herd. Trust me, when I say, a hog will find food (corn or pellets) if it is there. Most wild hogs of today are much healthier then the early Piney Wood Rutter or the Razorback hogs of the past. At Wilderness Calls we do not hesitate to harvest a wild hog and everyone enjoys the tasty meat. When a large ham is cooked for hours on the grill, there will be little waste when the dinner bell rings at the camp. (We do not think it is because of rule number 3 either, see camp rules)
A big myth around most hunting camps is that a wild boar hog (male hog) is not good for human consumption. This myth has caused a lot of hunters to just harvest the large animal and let it lie. At Wilderness Calls this is NOT an acceptable practice; if you shoot it you consume it. It does matter how you harvest the large boar. If he is excited or has been chased it is better to watch him walk away, for the meat will not be good for human consumption. When the wild boar hog is excited his body releases adrenalin or more commonly know as musk, into the blood and meat of the animal. This will make the meat strong and not good to consume. The best way to ensure this dose not happen is to hunt him by still hunting or stalking. I have seen some large boars that I would not wish to stalk, in case I did not get a good shot. The boar has large teeth called tusk that can rip a human or animal to pieces. A skilled hunter should have no problem shooting the large wild boar hog in the head, making it easy to approach the beast. As soon as the large boar is shot, you should approach the magnificent animal as soon as possible. Then remove his privates or reproductive outer organs. This should be done before he has totally died, to keep the musk from entering the body of the wild boar hog. This process is used in domestic hogs at an early age to make the meat better for consumption; however it can be done at any time in a male hog's life. Once this is done the large or small boar can be processed and consumed. If the boar is harvested correctly his meat is very tasty.
Wild hogs are a part of the wilderness and no matter how much they are hunted for meat or sport, they will still be in the wilderness. The wild hog reproduces at a rapid pace and when they mature, there are very few predators except man that can eliminate them. The large, older boar can be as challenging to harvest as a large buck, with his keen sense of smell and eye sight. I have observed a large boar stick his nose into the air to check for scent and bolt if he feels the least bit threatened.
The true wild hog is gone, but even though domestic hogs have been interbred with the wild hog, the hogs in the wilderness are very much wild. The greatest difference in the wild hogs of the past and today is the wild hogs of today taste better. At Wilderness Calls we harvest hogs and no one objects when wild pork is on the menu.