High on the (Whole) Hog
The bad news. Texas has a feral hog problem, with an estimated 2.6 million-plus animals roaming in destructive packs around our ranchland, woods and suburbs. The good news. They’re delicious. If you still haven’t picked up our August issue, check out writer Philipp Meyer and photographer Jody Horton’s feature, “Whole Hog,” in which South Texas hunter Tink Pinkard and Austin butcher/chef Jesse Griffiths (of Dai Due) lead a wild boar hunt, followed by a knives-on class in breaking down the beast. The piece includes a recipe for tomato-braised wild boar, and you can also check out Horton’s slide show. On top of that, we gave Texasmonthly.com staff writer Sonia Smith a gun and , sent her on a helicopter hunt. Starting on September 1, outfitters (who were previously hired privately by landowners) will be able to take hunters “porkchopping” in an attempt to reduce feral populations. Writes Smith:
As we flew over a small reservoir on a 25,000-acre spread of land, we spotted a sounder of hogs—two sows and their piglets—lounging in the shallow water, seeking respite from the 103-degree heat. The pilot, Dustin Johnson, maneuvered his Robinson-22 helicopter over the group, flushing the pigs out of the water and onto a nearby wheat field. Terrified by the sound of our blades and the rat-tat-tat of my gun, they ran at a fast clip in single file, with striped young piglets bringing up the rear. It was dusk, and this was my final chance to score a kill. I stared down the barrel of my AR-15, gripping the trigger.
Read the rest here. – JASON COHEN