June 28, 2021
Dominant males are aggressive, persistent and crafty, but with the right treatment they're not as gamey as you might be led to believe.
Walton County tusker caught on the author's game camera. Removal helps with deer hunting, and makes for fine BBQ.
The Florida Panhandle, specifically Walton County,
seems to host a strain of
Russian boar that are big
and meaner than anything else in the
woods. I've got a game camera photo of one around 200 pounds chasing off a 400-pound black bear, and
personally watched one over 200
pounds stomp a 6-foot alligator to
death in two feet of water. Unfortunately if they are not afraid of bears
and gators they sure are not going
to be intimidated by any of our local bucks, either. If one of these monsters show up at your deer feeder,
he just claims it as his and runs off
every other creature from the raccoon to the deer. While every county
in Florida is well-supplied with wild
hogs, I think the ones in my woods
Wild boar can live to be around 14
years. I'm not sure how old they are
when they reach that 200-pound
range, but it's at this age when they
just don't care and take over a patch
of Panhandle turf. They are smart
as dogs, can hear better than anything walking and smell you back
in your truck. If they could see anywhere near as good as deer, you'd
never kill one.
When these boars show up on private land, you have two choices: One
starve them out, do not give them
a single piece of corn; might take a
while but they will leave, once the
free food is gone.
Or two, hunt them!
In Florida we are blessed with the
ability to hunt wild boar on our land,
year around, and even at night—
which I won't do. These big old boars
are a real challenge to outsmart and
doing it in the daylight just feels like
a fair chase rule. The two weaknesses these animals have is one, they are
pigs and love their groceries and two,
being old they probably need glasses.
We have found that these big fellows like to dig. Game camera photos
show they would rather dig the corn
out of a hole than eat it poured on
a nice patch of grass. So we dig a
5-foot hole with a post hole digger
and dump 50 pounds of corn in the
ground. It drives them nuts. Within a couple nights it'll look like someone with on excavator started to dig
a swimming pool in the swamp. If the
pigs hit ground water level or heavy
rains fill up the pool, they seem to
like it even more!
You need to get these boars comfortable. It takes monitoring game
cameras, and dollar bills spent on
corn. As soon as that boar shows up
anywhere near sunset, it is tree time;
by now you'll have enough film on
them to see which direction they normally come in at. I want to set up a
ladder stand fifty yards from the hole
and the wind in my favor. So preferably two stands set up for wind choice.
I want to be close enough to plant
these guys. I'm not keen on following
a wounded Russian at night, and no
way will I even think about putting an
arrow in one.
The larger the boar, the thicker that plate over the shoulders and
back. What you hunt with isn't as important as shot placement. I've harvested monsters with .223 to 30-06
and I've also seen them soak up 150
grains on that plate running off to
show up a month later wearing some
new scar tissue. Easy: Don't shoot
them in the plate. It helps to skin and
dress a few to really understand the
areas you are best to shoot them: the
back of the head and neck area. The
heads are huge on these creatures.
They have massive necks; that huge
bone is a big target and he won't get
up. The front shoulder low, below the
plate is backup if I can't spine them;
it'll knock them down, then I'll shoot
them in the spine!
You'll hear all kinds of stories that
big wild boar is not good to eat.Well
go take a trip to Germany, the Germans swear the bigger the better.
It is vital to take proper care of your
boar. They are usually covered in mud
and grime, so hose them off before
you skin them, and then quarter the
animal and in a large cooler brine the
pig for three days in ice water, a bottle of apple cider vinegar and six or
eight halved lemons. Drain the water and replace with fresh ice water, vinegar and lemons at the halfway mark. We eat the loins and backstraps, put a couple of roasts aside
for the slow cooker and keep the
shanks. Then grind up everything
else. The grind is so versatile; burgers, meat loaf, lasagna, spring rolls,
pot stickers, meat pies and so on. FS
Published Florida Sportsman Magazine March 2021