Her First Hog

((all the pics are clickable for bigger view))

WOW, what a big day!

First, we were gifted a wild hog.
Was just shy of 75 pounds (hoof weight)
(Never look a gift hog in the mouth)

Claudia scrubbed, gutted and skinned the critter! Her very first.
She did a GREAT job and was a nice refresher for me as well.
(I hadn’t gutted/skinned any game larger than a rabbit in over 25 years)

Hang it up
Scrub it down
Rinse it off

She was an absolute beast when it came to bleed out and head removal.
She ran the knife blade full circle until she hit the neck bone from all sides.
Then I just held the body while she gave the head a twist to separate the vertebrae.
After the “pop”, she finished severing the head with her blade.
(Unfortunately, I did not get pics of this step. My hands were busy)

Next was cutting around and separating the anus. Stay about 1/2 inch to an inch away from the anus and cut in about 2 inches deep. Pull the anus outward and wrap the end with a rubber band. Once the surrounding membrane is fully separated it will fall back into the body cavity – allowing the intestines to fall freely away when the belly is opened.

Opening the belly …
Take it nice and easy so you don’t nick any internal organs. All the way, End to end – right on the center line. Better to take a few passes than to get in a hurry and foul the meat with pig poop.
Claudia did it like a pro. No slips, no nicks.

Once she got past that final membrane — floooop.  Everything came falling out just like it should.

Snacks for the dog!
**Spoiled Dog**

Once the cavity was cleaned out and rinsed, she prepared a table for the next phase:

Wild Hogs have very very little fat on them. So little in fact, that attempting bacon is next to impossible.
This also makes skinning, without damaging the meat, a bit more challenging.
(** TIP ** The process can be a little tedious – so, Ice down the carcass for an hour to help solidify the fat layer.)

Regardless, Claudia once again came though it like a pro!

She is tickled with herself!
She even threatened to take over the power tools next.

Then off to the cooler in a nice Salt & Ice Brine for a few days. We will be parting it out after 72 hours. This not only helps remove the gaminess, additionally rigor mortis has usually released by this time and results in a far more tender end product.

Also be sure to salt the inside of the cavity and pack it with ice.
Cover it up and close the lid!

Claudia Kicks Ass!!

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