Feral Hogs  &  Javelina

Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are an old world species belonging to the family Suidae, and in Texas include European wild hogs, feral hogs, and European-feral crossbreeds. Feral hogs are domestic hogs that either escaped or were released for hunting purposes. With each generation, the hog’s domestic characteristics diminish and they develop the traits needed for survival in the wild.


Most people think of Javelina as "pigs", just a desert variety of the common barnyard animal we all know so well.  Javelina do share common ancestry to old world pigs and similarities in appearance.  However, Javelina have many significant differences.  They have a different number of teeth, a different gestation period, a complex (versus simple) stomach, and a musk gland on their backs--the fact is, they are not "pigs".

Feral hogs may appear basically the same as domestic hogs and will vary in color and coat pattern. A mature feral hog may reach a shoulder height of 36 inches and weigh from 100 to over 400 pounds.

The adult Javelina weighs between 40 and 60 pounds, its coat is a grizzled grayish black throughout, except for  a whitish collar extending to the mane, over the shoulders.  Sows and boars are similar in size and color. 

Feral hogs are very intelligent and considered to be challenging quarry. Many hunters consider the long tusks and mean appearance a genuine trophy, in addition to the quality of their tasty and lean meat. They also provide a great off-season challenge and another opportunity to hone your hunting skills and spend extra time in the field.

There are many hunting techniques used, including stand hunting from a blind over a baited area, quite often incidental to white-tailed deer hunting. Stalking or still hunting over baited areas and areas indicating recent hog activity, such as wallows, are commonly used techniques. Corn or milo, spread on sendaros or soaked in water and allowed to sour and then buried underground is also good bait.

They offer a very challenging hunt for the bowhunter, handgun hunter, or even a young rifle hunter. Spot and stalk, under a corn feeder or spreading corn on the sendaros are techniques we use to harvest one of these unique animals.

 Javelina have poor eyesight, which enables hunters to approach within closer distances than other big game. This does not mean they are easy. Hunters must keep the wind in their favor when making a stalk and be extremely quiet in order to get within a desired shooting distance. Because of their large canines, javelina make nice open-mouth mounts.  If you are successful, a full-body mount of a snarling peccary (javelina) can be a very unique trophy.  The meat can often be made into tamales, sausage or chorizo.

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