Hunters for the Hungry: not hogs, not in Texas.


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Texan Scott
September 27, 2012, 08:00 PM
First, I put this in hunting instead of activism because it relates to hunting, not 2A issues per se. Mods feel free to do as you think appropriate, naturally.

Second, I'm posting a link that is both generally informative about feral hogs, and a good synopsis/ explanation of current law vis a vis donating hogmeat (it isn't legal. Churches and food banks may not accept or distribute it for the needy) .
http://www.extension.org/pages/63712/where-can-i-donate-feral-hog-meat-that-i-do-not-plan-on-consuming-in-texas

Third: there was a period of time not all that long ago after I got out of the service that my wife and I needed charity from local private food banks to help feed ourselves and our kids. It was humbling to my pride, and worse, it scared me and hurt my heart to see that some had been doing this long enough that they'd given up on pride. They aren't all just lazy drunks with an entitlement complex; many of them were once strong, proud people who simply haven't held hope for a long, long time.

It's getting worse. Texas's budget for food stamps has been strained to the point that they've already had to slash benefits last year, and the people who run one of the largest local food banks tell me they'be been seeing both an increase in needy families and a decrease in some donations. Meat, which has been getting more expensive because of last year's drought, is hard to come by. Now, even as the State is making noise about the hog population increasing, they tell me that it's not LEGAL to donate hogs (live or dead) to feed the poor because the law treats wild hog meat just like commercially raised livestock.
This is ludicrous. This NEEDS to change.

As hunters (or even just violently protective gardeners), the State is depriving us of the opportunity to make a difference in our communities and feed the poorest of our own, including children and the elderly. Changing the law would enable us to use our guns and our abilities to make the best of two bad situations. A hundred pounds of meat feeds a LOT of people, y'all.
As always, enthusiasm will not be enough. There is resistance (or at least apathy) to overcome, and details to be worked out.

None of this will happen, however, until enough of us start demanding it, and loudly. If there's already a serious effort underway that I haven't heard about, I'll support that. If anyone wants to make noise of their own, welcome. If there's a State lawmaker who wants to champion a cause or sponsor a bill, you have my voice and my vote.
If you live in another state, push the idea there ... because it's a good thing, and so Texans can goad our lawmakers not to let Arkansas or Oklahoma make us look bad by beating us to it!

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Art Eatman
September 27, 2012, 08:51 PM
For now, any effort must go through some meat company which is approved by the Texas health department. They can provide a list.

Then, companies must be approached to see if they can be of use in a food-bank sort of program. Or are willing. (If so, it's good PR.)

Odds are that for now, only live, trapped hogs could be used.

As far as any change in the law, talk to your local state representative.

Quite a few of those who post here are quite knowledgeable on the how-to of trapping hogs.

calaverasslim
September 27, 2012, 09:03 PM
I suspect part of the problem is the different diseases that feral hogs carry. I know a lot of meat processors will not process feral hogs for this reason.

That is why I generally do my own processing.

Texan Scott
September 27, 2012, 09:06 PM
Thanks, Art. Exactly! Whereas with deer, one simply shoots them, and the game processor runs them through a grinder into 2lb tubes to donate to the food bank, frozen. It should be that easy with hogs as well.

MCgunner
September 27, 2012, 10:44 PM
Brucellosis...deer don't have it, hogs do. I've been searching info on trapping and transporting feral swine in the thread on the subject in this forum. There are set rules on transporting 'em, MUST be to an APPROVED buyer, boar only to an APPROVED game farm, or strait to the approved exporter/processor (there are 4 in Texas). This is to prevent spread of disease. Now, I'm not sure of regulation concerning a CARCASS, though. I do butcher my own, as was said most processors will turn you away, but then, I butcher and grind and stuff my own venison, too. I'm cheap. Texas German, born that way. :D

I'm sure that disease is THE major concern about donating pork, though. It MUST be well cooked, think the temp is 180 internal degrees for an amount of time IIRC.

MCgunner
September 27, 2012, 10:49 PM
Here ya go, some reading on transporting LIVE feral hogs.

http://today.agrilife.org/2011/03/17/trapping-transporting-feral-hogs/

Texan Scott
September 27, 2012, 11:41 PM
I have to agree with the restrictions on live swine... they carry lots of nasties that can't be allowed to spread to other livestock. That makes good sense. Dead, gutted, and bled out, taken someplace where all the other animals are dead too... not such a worry... just cook it well.

alsaqr
September 28, 2012, 09:17 AM
So far as i know the state of Oklahoma has no restrictions on the donation of wild hog meat. i donate processed and wrapped hog meat to the food bank. i also donate clean field dressed and skinned hogs to needy folks: Some folks get clean field dressed hogs.

A friend owns a meat processing plant. His refusal to accept undressed wild hogs has nothing to do with hog diseases: Domestic hogs raised for meat by ordinary folks have many of those same diseases. He will accept a clean well cared for wild hog thats been field dressed and skinned with feet and head removed. He has a cooler dedicated to wild game and hogs.

If you saw the hogs hunters drag into processors you would understand their reluctance to accept wild hogs. i was at the shop of my friend when a guy came in with two huge, dirty and bloated wild hogs that had not been field dressed. The guy got angry when the butcher turned him away. Hunters drag dirty and improperly cared for hogs to the processor who is then expected to work miracles with hogs that may even be spoiled.

Wild hogs often come with ticks, lice and sundry other creepy crawlies.

shaggy430
September 28, 2012, 10:27 AM
If you saw the hogs hunters drag into processors you would understand their reluctance to accept wild hogs. i was at the shop of my friend when a guy came in with two huge, dirty and bloated wild hogs that had not been field dressed. The guy got angry when the butcher turned him away. Hunters drag dirty and improperly cared for hogs to the processor who is then expected to work miracles with hogs that may even be spoiled.

I worked for a deer processor when I was a teenager. My job was the skinner. I can vouch for the above. I would say that only about 40% of the deer that were brought in were actually properly dressed. Lots still had the bladder or anal cavity still in them. Some people would only remove the digestive organs and leave the heart and lungs. Some people just brought them in without even trying to field dress them. Nothing is worse than field dressing someone else's gut shot deer for $5 extra. I made $3 dollars a deer to skin. I could do about 4 an hour on a good day if I caught them before they went into the cooler. I thought I was rich!

Double Naught Spy
September 28, 2012, 10:34 AM
Brucellosis...deer don't have it,...

The CDC and other authorities say otherwise.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/brucellosis_g.htm

I have to agree with the restrictions on live swine... they carry lots of nasties that can't be allowed to spread to other livestock.
What nasties do they carry that are not carried by other wildlife?

As related members of the Order Artiodactyla, they share a lot with deer, elk, goats, sheep, cattle, and bison.

I understand the need to treat wild game different than farm animals that receive vaccinations and such, but otherwise, pigs are not the gloom and doom plague carrying horrors people often make them out to be. Pigs get blamed for a lot, but things like food contamination blamed on recent feral pig problems were food contamination problems that existed in the past when feral pigs were not a problem.

For example, this study looked at feral swine and cattle and found the particular strain of E. coli blamed in a recent outbreak to be more common in cattle than the feral swine, but feral swine had been blamed for the outbreak because feral swine had been seen free ranging in the area.
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/13/12/07-0763_article.htm

The swine could have been the cause, no doubt, but so too could have been a single infected cow that got out into the particular fields that were harvested and processed on the particular day blamed in the outbreak. Similarly, it could have been carried in by raccoons, feces eating or otherwise infected canids such as domestic dogs or coyotes, other carnivores, etc. that were unseen and hence unblamed, but are part of the animal community in the local area. How would these animals go unnnoticed? Some would be unnoticed because of their nocturnal cycle. Some would be unnoticed because they are expected in the area, such as domestic dogs. Some would be unnoticed because they are not expected or commonly noted carriers tyically vilified such as feral hogs.

As for the Texas buying locations mentioned by MCgunner, see list and links here...
http://www.wildhoghunters.com/hog-hunting/601-texas-tahc-approved-hog-buying-stations.html

Currently, we have 140 holding facilities.
http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/animal_health/swine/2012_FeralSwineFacilitiesMap.pdf

MCgunner
September 28, 2012, 12:32 PM
What nasties do they carry that are not carried by other wildlife?

Brucellosis.....LOL

I jerk lots of venison. I will NOT jerk wild pork. I cook it thoroughly and any of it I don't wanna BBQ, I grind and make sausage out of and smoke. I'll put it directly over the coals for the last 30 minutes to an hour to make SURE the temp gets up there enough. Of course, my venison sausage has pork in it, but I usually buy commercial pork for that as feral pigs often don't have much fat on 'em, not like a corn fed pig.

TexasPatriot.308
September 28, 2012, 10:53 PM
I kill hogs almost every day, all I feed is the coyotes and buzzards, aint got time to go thru all the BS to get it to people, kinda shame in a way, just impractical for us swamped by hogs.

threefortyduster
September 29, 2012, 11:28 AM
Brucellosis.....LOL

hmm...from the CDC site:
Hunters may be infected through skin wounds or by accidentally ingesting the bacteria after cleaning deer, elk, moose, or wild pigs that they have killed.

Sure looks like the government disagrees with your assessment.

Double Naught Spy
September 29, 2012, 12:53 PM
Yeah, that is what I said, but he apparently thinks otherwise or didn't bother with the link.

Bison can carry brucellosis as well, not to mention elk where it is endemic in some regions. Don't forget bighorn, moose, mountain goat, fox, raccoons, etc.
http://www.jwildlifedis.org/content/45/2/398.short
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/11/ted-turner-bison-herd-infected-with-brucellosis/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15362833
http://wildliferehabinfo.org/zoonoses_mnpg.htm#BRUCELLOSIS_(Undulant_Fever)


Check the links, MCgunner, brucellosis is alive and well in the native animal community.

MCgunner
September 29, 2012, 03:08 PM
Sure looks like the government disagrees with your assessment.

Well, ain't the first time! But, you know, the gubment is always right. :rolleyes: Don't get me started.

Either it's safe to jerk wild pork (I don't think so, low temps and all) or venison is unsafe jerked which I've been doing for a LOT of years and ain't dead or sick, yet. I'm going to keep jerking venison. Know lots of folks that do that, too.

Art Eatman
September 29, 2012, 11:58 PM
Drifting...

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