Wild hogs — hunt (or trap), shoot — and let’s make excellent barbecue!

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Perry attorney Larry Walker penned an interesting article on wild hogs and describes their increasing destruction of flora, fauna, and property — a scourge and a serious concern to citizens in more than 40 states. He cites corroborative evidence from the University of Georgia (UGA). Wild hogs, as I have written elsewhere, are indeed a growing problem.

After citing disheartening statistics about wild hog damage, Walker further opines, “…trapping is difficult, if done properly, and shooting is not very effective.” I ask: Are there any challenging tasks or arduous sports worth pursuing that are not difficult?Wild hog

Where there is a will there is a way. Moreover, Walker’s assertion is not entirely correct. While trapping feral hogs is vastly superior, hunting them is not impossible, and the sport is not devoid of value and excitement: The hog population can be culled, or at least the sounders can be forced out of valuable pasture and agricultural land and chased to more natural habitats in swamps and low-lying brush by hunting and trapping by private sportsmen (or farmers can invite hunters with dogs to do so). There is no need to bring more government agencies to do a job that we can do as private citizens. A story, that took place along the banks of the Ocmulgee River, “Whose bread I eat, his song I must sing,” told by the late Dr. J.G. McDaniel of Fulton County, illustrates the story, conveying meanings at several levels:

“Years ago in the great Horse-Shoe Bend down the river, there lived a drove of wild hogs. Where they came from no one knew, but they survived floods, fire, freezes, droughts and hunters. The greatest compliment a man could pay to a dog was to say that it had fought the hogs in Horse-Shoe Bend and returned alive… Finally a one-gallused man came by the country store on the river road and asked the whereabouts of these wild hogs. He drove a one-horse wagon, had an ax, some quilts, a lantern, some corn, and a single barrel shotgun. He was a slender, slow moving patient man — he chewed his tobacco deliberately and spat very seldom.

“Several months later he came back to the same store and asked for help to bring out the wild hogs…he had them all in a pen over in the swamp. Bewildered farmers, dubious hunters, and store-keepers all gathered in the heart of Horse-Shoe Bend to view the captive hogs. ‘It was all very simple, said the one-gallused man, ‘First I put some corn. For three weeks they would not eat it. Then some of the young grabbed an ear and ran off in the thicket. Soon they were all eating it; then I commenced building a pen around the corn, a little higher each day. When I noticed that they were all waiting for me to bring the corn and had stopped grubbing for acorns and roots. I built the trap door. Naturally,’ said the patient man, ‘they raised quite a ruckus when they seen they was trapped, but I can pen any animal on the face of this earth if I can jist get him to depend on me for a free-handout.’ ”

The story is instructive on several levels: Wild hogs like men can be trapped if they can be made dependent on a free-handout!

Wild hogs in Taylor County, GeorgiaAnd so it was that by baiting large sturdily constructed traps with corn, we trapped ferocious wild hogs at the farms of our friends in Taylor County, and ended there the deprivations of crops, sod and hay farms caused by these animals over the years. Other hunters nearby used dogs (we didn’t). The hogs have not come back in force for two years! But we are ready for them if they return! It is open season on feral hogs year round in Georgia.

As a result of the hog hunts, we have had sausages, pork chops, and ribs in our freezer — pork that was so “important to the Walker family” in previous generations. Farmers are frequently willing to allow hunters to hunt wild hogs on their property, and pork can also be donated to the needy. It is the most consumed meat in the world. (Wild hog is lower in fat than regular pork.) My friend and butcher, Ernest Thomas of Bolingbroke, does a magnificent job of preparing the meat with our favorite cuts. My freezer is depleted; not only have we consumed a lot of venison and pork in the last few years, but we have even taken some to my family in Miami.

Worth repeating: There is no need to bring any government agencies to do a job that we can do as private citizens. And let’s turn this problem into an opportunity, while protecting our property, the environment, and exploiting a natural resource that sorely needs exploiting!

Note: Meat from feral hogs must be butchered and processed by qualified personnel and pork must be cooked well before consumption. Well cooked feral hog pork is much leaner and in my opinion healthier than other meats heavy in fats.

Written by Dr. Miguel Faria

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is an Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International (SNI). He is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.), Mercer University School of Medicine. Dr. Faria was a member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; 2002-05). He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is http://www.haciendapub.com or http://www.drmiguelfaria.com

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Wild hogs — hunt (or trap), shoot — and let’s make excellent barbecue! HaciendaPublishing.com, March 12, 2016. Available from: http://www.haciendapublishing.com/articles/wild-hogs-%E2%80%94-hunt-or-trap-shoot-%E2%80%94-and-let%E2%80%99s-make-excellent-barbecue

Shorter versions of this commentary were posted and reprinted in The Macon Telegraph on March 27, 2014.

Copyright ©2016 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Comments on this post

Feral hogs = barbecue

Back by popular demand, we bring attention to wild hogs. And when reading this article don't miss the analogy about wild hogs and humans and how they both can be trapped!

The predecessor article may be of interest: A nation of Elois. Also published as "Hogs Gone Wild" in a shorter version published for The Telegraph (Macon).

More on Elois, Morlocks and feral hogs!

It was with great pleasure that I read your article "Hogs gone Wild.” I completely agree with your analysis of the political and P.C. situation of our times. If we don't turn things around, our nation is certainly heading down the the path to “Eloi-hood.” Alas, the Europeans are more than half way there. The meat eating Islamic invaders/terrorists are ready to have them for lunch. I will definitely view the movie "Time after Time.” It's nice to hear from a kindred spirit...

And speaking of wild hogs, I've had several adventures with them. I snared one at a Boy Scout camp years ago when I was camp physician. I wrote it up someplace and will see if I can find my memoir. I also took a hog with bow and arrow in Savannah Georgia circa 1982. I will have an opportunity to go hog hunting in the Everglades this March if all goes well. There, the trick is to get a hog before the mosquitoes get you. All the Best, Wally

Wallace Schwam, MD is a retired internist with interests in geriatrics and pharmacology who trained at Duke University. He rated expert in marksmanship in the Army and continues to enjoy hunting and tactical training with handgun, rifle and shotgun.

Dr. Faria replies: Hi Wally, I’m another reader fascinated by H. G. Wells and The Time Machine and enjoyed your article, "Weena, Weenies, and Morlocks."

In fact I have given a different spin to the topic of the time machine, a couple of years ago that may be of interest. Interestingly enough a local attorney, local columnist and state legislator was trying to get state government help to eradicate wild hogs that were damaging his farm and amicably took issue with me about private hunters being able to get rid of wild hogs!

There is an (1979)excellent film "Time after Time" with Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen that I recommend just for enjoyment that gives the story the most poignant and thrilling twist!---MAF

Feral hog meat!

Feral hog meat, like venison, is not for sale. You have got to hunt, or trap and shoot!

Wally Walters: Very interesting analogy about how free men can be trapped if made dependent on something.

Charles Richardson: I just want to know where I can buy some of the meat!

Dr. Miguel Faria: Unfortunately feral hog meat is not for sale. One has to trap and hunt!