Technically known as Feral Swine, wild boars are not native to the United States although they can be found in 35 states. Wild boars were first brought by the earliest inhabitants as a food source. However, some escaped into the wild becoming feral animals. Eurasian wild boars were brought into the US mainly for game hunting but they eventually bred with the escaped boars, resulting in the hybrids we know today.
Wild boars have been labeled as one of the most destructive, invasive species in America damaging the ecosystem by competing with the local wildlife for resources like food and shelter. They have also been known to prey on birds and amphibians. Furthermore, wild boars are notoriously known to damage crops and have even caused damage to military planes by colliding with fighter jets and military planes.
Wild Boar Meat Trivia
- A $16 million-dollar, Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet burst into flames and incurred major damages after a wild boar charged into its front wheel after take-off.
- Texas a big piggy problem! Out of the 5 million wild boars in the US, over 1.5 million are inhabiting Texas and almost all of its counties, incurring damage of 50 to 52 million dollars.
- Wild boars can be truly wild and aggressive. It has been known to attack and injure humans although deaths are rare. Humans need to be careful in the presence of wild boars as they are extremely territorial animals; their strong charges and sharp tusks can easily damage the soft tissue of both humans and other animals.
Wild Boar Meat Buying Guide
Texas is a paradise of free-range wild boars! They freely roam the wilderness, forage on natural and nutritious food, and drink cool and refreshing water from streams.
Wild boar tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat. It should not be overcooked as it will get tough and dry.
Wild boar bacon differs from domesticated pork bacon. Wild boars contain less fat so the bacon is a much smaller slice. However, it is packed with a gamey, pork flavor that is deeper and stronger than its domesticated counterparts.
Ground wild boar is great for stews and meat fillings. It has a sweeter flavor compared to domesticated pigs and is a unique way of making meatballs, sausages, and meat sauces.
Wild Boar Meat Production & Farming in Texas
Texas once had the so-called “plague of pigs.” There’s no need for a swine production of wild pigs as they’re roaming everywhere. Texans live by the saying, “if you can’t beat them, eat them!”
Hunting laws are now more relaxed to permit the capture of wild boards and hunting licenses are no longer required in the hunting of wild boars in private lands. However, a hunting license is still required if the hunting will be conducted in public lands.
Landowners are permitted to kill wild boar if they are causing excess damage to their properties. However, snaring or trapping wild boar requires a hunting license to protect and control the other species that may be implicated in the process.
Wild boars are native to Africa and parts of Eurasia including Indonesia and the Philippines. They were believed to have originated in the Early Pleistocene period and were considered as Old-World species. They are the ancient ancestors of domesticated pigs and have long been used as a food source.
In recent years, Wild boars have been evolving into different species while some have become feral pigs after they were introduced in America and Australia. Wild boars were heavily introduced in North Carolina and were shipped into California, then spreading into Mississippi, West Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Enjoying Wild Boar Meats
People have been consuming wild boar even since hunting existed. Ancient Greeks are known to have been fond of this meat and boar hunting was a sign of manhood in ancient Greek society.
Eating wild boar is a unique experience. It is said that wild boar has a nuttier and stronger flavor compared to domesticated pork. However, wild boar meat contains germs and diseases that the infected hogs forever carry. Thus, wild boar or feral hogs must be thoroughly examined and cooked in high heat to kill viruses, bacteria, and pathogens.
Wild boar must be stored like any other meat. Clean the meat and remove any hair, dirt, or mud. Wrap it with a clean cloth to make it dry and maintain insulation. You can store it in the freezer for 1 to 2 years. Vacuum packing wild boar meat will extend its shelf life.
Wild boar meat may be an exotic delicacy for some people but it’s a healthier option because of its leanness and low-fat content due to the boar’s free movements. It ain’t Texas without the barbecue! Wild boar is one of the most ideal meats for a barbecue as its wild and gamey flavor pairs well with fruity and sweet sauces. Try adding some caramelized fig sauce into your next wild boar barbecue.
Wild boar meat has plenty of nutrients and minerals with health benefits.
Thiamine: Thiamine is essential in heart, nerve, and muscle function. Pregnant women are advised to take thiamine for their baby’s cognitive development.
Niacin: Niacin lowers LDL Cholesterol by 5 to 20% and increases HDL cholesterol by 15 to 35%. This helps prevent heart disease by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation. Niacin boosts brain function and is commonly used to treat schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is essential in the creation of red blood cells, neurotransmitters, fats, carbohydrates, and protein. It also decreases homocysteine which leads to depression and other mood disorders.
Zinc: Zinc is essential in cell development as it mainly targets cell growth and division to aid in the healing of wounds and cuts.
Selenium: Selenium is a powerful mineral that acts as an antioxidant, fighting the body’s free radicals. A selenium-rich diet can lower the risk of heart diseases which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This is also essential in keeping the thyroid healthy. People with selenium deficiency are more vulnerable to hypothyroidism and other autoimmune diseases.
Protein: Protein is essential in the overall repair of the body. It supports the development of muscles which provides anatomical support and structure. It also helps the immune system function and creates hormones that help coordinate bodily function.