Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hog Wild...

Two of the ranches we lived on had wild hogs.

 Dad hunt'n hogs on the Cowman's home ranch

 One of those, the SV Ranch, had a lot of them, and the hogs were about as mean as they come. 

not my pic, but just like the SV wild hogs

 Years before a neighboring rancher had brought in some Russian boars and they "accidentally" broke out of the pens.  Hogs can go feral pretty darn quick and those boars did a bang up job of over populating the countryside. I'm sure the rancher that brought them thought wild hog hunts would help supplement his bottom line. But those damn hogs did way more dollar damage than was ever made by selling hunts. They tore up pastures, destroyed watering holes, ripped out fences, and killed fawns, lambs, and the occasional calf with abandon.
The Cowman was checking cattle a horseback one day, on a small oak flat up in the hills, when out of a grease wood thicket came an ol tusker. He charged the horse the Cowman was on. In the melee that ensued, the ol tusker slashed open high inside of the right hind leg of the Cowman's horse. The Cowman managed to get his saddle gun out and put a kill shot in the ol tusker.  He then ripped both sleeves off his shirt to bandage and tourniquet his horse.  After getting him bandaged he lead his horse off the mountain to home. It was the only way, if he had left him to go get a trailer, the horse would most likely have bled out before he could get back to him.  
The horse healed up after a long course of home doctoring.  I had to do some deep tissue cleaning and suturing on that cow horse. It never bothered me to stitch up a cow, but I hated having to do it to a horse.  They are so different in hide type, with cowhide you can be a crappy stitcher and get away with it, with horses fine sutures are called for.
The guys took a four wheeler up the mountain and cut the tusks out of the stinky ol boar. The Cowman showed the kids how the tusks worked to slice and dice. Included was a lesson on how you always needed to be packing, don't be caught out alone a foot, and where to aim so you got a fast kill, because your wellbeing  or your horse's could depend on it.
Between the rattlesnakes, (I killed 29 in my yard alone the last summer we lived there) and the wild hogs it was not my favorite ranch. There must have been a few redeeming features to that place, but they have been lost to my memory. 


  1. You needed to get a couple mongoose to take out the rattlers. Of course they'll also compete with the skunks for bird eggs.

    As to feral hogs, they simply need to be aggressively hunted to extinction. Any other course of action won't work.

  2. I like a good ham sandwich, but I'll get the ham at the store.

  3. LL: It would have taken a lot more than a couple... there where whole side hills that would humm & buzz when you rode by.. I agree with you on the total eradication of feral hogs.

    ODIE: I love Bacon! The hogs on the SV were not even edible. The ones on the home ranch were only good as pit BBQ.

  4. I would like to know if the rancher that brought them in ever did his fair share to try and reduce the population of terror he had unleashed on the neighbors?

  5. GRANNY ANNIE: I don't know, he had moved on to greener pastures by the time we moved there. If you extrapolate the production potential of just one sow... the numbers become horrendous.

  6. You're exactly right... Kill em all! And no most of them aren't edible...

  7. Oh, Brighid, wild hogs are nothing to mess with! When I was a little girl visiting my grandparents, the young farmer nearby got cornered by a wild hog he came across in one of his fields. It nearly killed him; and if my grandfather hadn't been out in his field and heard the cries, they wouldn't have stopped the bleeding with a tourniquet in time.

    On a happier note, I'm still laughing with you and your parents' caregivers about the loaf of break you tried to make. Just remember, we don't live by bread along...but also by laughter! ;)

  8. OLD NFO: Yep, they are a nasty piece of work.

    MARYLIN W: They are dangerous, thank goodness your gramps was there. Baking is not really in my skill set...sigh

  9. Our kune kunes are very quiet pigs but the tusks on the male scare me. He sliced a collie dog's leg with them. £80 worth of veterinary work to put him right then a month later he got himself killed on the road.

  10. NELLY: You could saw off his tusks once a year or so, then it wouldn't be such a risk.