Pigging Out, Wisconsin Edition

A few days ago James Rummel put up a post about the expanding feral pig population. In his post he had a link to a map that showed where the populations of the feral pigs were. I wondered why there were none reported in Wisconsin, and others raised questions about the map.

I would have to now agree with those who said that it was a reporting issue – looks we have them in Wisconsin after all. Here is a page from the Wisconsin DNR site from January of ’08. Seems they are indeed all over the state.

The position of the Wisconsin DNR seems to be the same as the DNR in Ohio – they want them dead, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. All you need is a small game license and the permission of the land owner to harvest as many of them as you want. If you are a land owner you can harvest them no questions asked.

This is a very good page from the Wisconsin DNR website that describes feral pigs, how they live, breed and feed. Amazing creatures, as they eat just about anything they can get their snouts on. I am sure they are tasty as well, and I just may need to gear up to find out someday.

Don’t forget, if you have photos of wildlife in urban or suburban settings, Jonathan is looking for those and you can find his new blog on the subject here.

6 thoughts on “Pigging Out, Wisconsin Edition”

  1. Dan,

    They are indeed quite tasty. I am familiar with the California variety, but feral pigs in Wisconsin should be just as good. One significant difference between commercially produced pork and the feral pigs is that one should assume that the feral pigs have trichinosis. The meat should be thoroughly cooked, or prepared by a competent butcher who will freeze the meat at the appropriate temperature and for the correct length of time to kill the Trichinella cysts.

  2. Although I have not “been” myself over the years I’ve been told about hog hunts by central and southern Floridians (“crackers” and other natives). It strikes me as a very sporting venture consisting of long chases. These hunts happen in thick palmetto-pine woods. Several dogs of large and ferocious temperment are used. It is not unusual for a dog be killed in the process and injuries are common. Because of the thick brush 00 buck shotguns and large caliber pistols (357s and larger) are used. It seems to me that the are hunts at night but I can’t imagine why this would be true.

    The first time I saw a hog’s head mounted on a wall I couldn’t believe that it was truly a local animal but thought it must be some plastic or fiberglass model. I could not have encircled the neck with my arms. The snout/head was aprox. 2 feet in length and the front tusks were about 3 inchs long.

  3. I just took a look at the Wisconsin DNR page that describes wild swine. The second picture shows the hairiest pig I have ever seen!

    And people think the winters in Ohio are tough. They don’t know how good we’ve got it.


  4. I want to get in on some of the meat. Someone needs to bag one of these monsters and have a ChicagoBoyz-themed pig roast. Are they extremely lean? Do you need to lard the meat, or make sausage out of it? How gamey are they?

  5. It depends on when you bag one. In the winter? They’re lean. But summer and fall when they have been eating everything in sight they should be nice and fat. Not as fat as domestic, but certainly enough fat to flavor the meat. And their gaminess is a function of age, supposedly. The big old boars are not good eating, but I can’t confirm that becauseI have never tasted anything other than young, plump and delicious.

  6. James – I too was surprised at how furry/hairy those pigs were. That breed must have been here for quite some time to evolve a layer of hair/fur to protect themselves like that. And yes, the winters here are amazingly, painfully cold. If you have never felt zero or below (much less with wind), it is “take your breath away” cold.

    Lex – I fully support that idea, and would spend a lot of time making my way to a wild boar roast. I will even put up the money to buy Jonathan some salmon or something so he doesn’t feel left out while we pick at the lovely carcass.

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