How to Butcher a Wild Hog – Photo Essay

Larry Hoffner shot this 150 pound sow with our Ambush Firearms 6.8 SPC, a Vortex Viper PST riflescope, and the ND3 nighttime target designator from LaserGenetics. Shown here with professional guide Dwayne Powell at Kissimee River Hunt & Fish

Resources from this article:
Kissimee River Hunt & Fish
Ambush Firearms
Vortex Viper PST Riflescope
LaserGenetics ND3 Nighttime Target Designator

With so many first time gun owners out there, many are bound to be a whole bunch of first time hunters as well. Wild hogs are available to hunt year round, and because they have a short gestation cycle, there are almost no bounds to their numbers. Corn feeders can bring wild hogs in to a specific location at fairly reliable regular times, and the wild-caught meat is not gamy at all. Most would agree that especially corn fed wild hog is much better than feedlot commercial pork.

The problem is, this meat doesn’t come in nice little Styrofoam packages. You have to learn to butcher the hogs yourself, and if you have never done it and never received proper instruction in doing so, it can be a real mess learning how. Your first inclination will probably be to “gut” the animal, but on small sows, the tastiest of the wild hogs, there is very little meat outside the major cuts to justify opening the gut at all. As you’ll see, separating the major cuts from the unusable portion is not very difficult, but it is definitely something you should know how to do before take your first animal.

This is a short photo essay on how to butcher a wild hog with Dwayne Powell of Kissimee River Hunt & Fish. Later we will do a bigger animal, but this is the most common size for what is considered a “meat hog.” It is a sow, around 130-150 pounds, taken by one of Dwayne’s guide clients, Larry Hoffner. The hunt was fairly simple, but not uneventful.

Shooting from a tree stand about 30 yards away, about a dozen hogs came into the feeder right after dark. Larry waited for the right sized animal to work its way around to his side, then took his first shot. Nerves can get the best of us at times, and the first one was low, clipping the small sow’s leg, so after the whole pack of them spooked and began to get out of Dodge post-haste, Larry had to take a 100 yard plus running second shot. As you’ll see from the butchering pictures, the shot shattered the hog’s hip and made some of the meat bloodshot, but all is well that ends well. Just over 35 pounds of fresh meat went into the cooler and the gators feasted on the rest of the hog that night. We also managed to document the basic butchering process of a wild hog.

Note that this is a “no saw” method of processing a hog. Butcher shop hams and pork parts often contain cross cut sections of bones where a saw is used. There are merits to using a saw, but on a wild hog (as well as a deer and other game), the bone marrow being dragged by the saw blade across the meat can add a gamy taste. Wild meat hogs that aren’t stuffed with growth hormones on a feedlot grow to a fraction of the size of their commercial domesticated counterparts, so you don’t have as many small specialty cuts regardless. A 150 pound wild sow will yield about the 35 find pounds of meat you see here, and it won’t be gamy at all. It is simple process to mostly de-bone the major cuts , and you will end up with a whole bunch of natural and healthy meat that may be the tastiest pork you have ever eaten.

Larry used our resident Ambush Rifle in 6.8 SPC for the hunt. It is topped with a Vortex Viper PST riflescope, and because the hogs come in after dusk this time of year, we added the LaserGenetics ND3 nighttime target designator from Gamo (full review on that coming soon). He made a running 100 yard shot at night from a single seat treestand with this rig, pretty sweet. That 6.8 SPC has got some real potential in the hunting rifle market. For today’s next generation hunter, just like the Ambush Rifle, it seems to be about “just right.”

All of these photos are clickable to see a larger image, and to print if you want to make a booklet to take into the field. To print you hold CTRL and the hit the P key.

This metal spreader is called a “gambrel.” You can find them on Amazon for as little as six bucks, and Cabelas has a whole page of them with pulley systems for not a lot of money. They even have a hitch tree you can mount on the back of your truck if you don’t feel like throwing a rope over a tree limb. Slit the rear legs behind the hooves and slip the arms of the gambrel in, then hoist the animal up to working height. Wash the animal with a lot of water if you can. Hogs are smelly.

Make sure to keep a small thin bladed and not-serrated knife and sharpening steel with your gambrel and tackle. There are times when you need a thick hunting knife, but most of the job requires a very sharp thin bladed knife. The first thing you should do is split the skin around all four legs beyond the joint.

Then cut perpendicular to the rings in a line, down to the middle, joining the two lines in the center. Just cut the skin lightly and pull it away as you go.

Then cut right down the middle of the belly, being careful to pull just the skin away so you don’t puncture the gut. During this entire process there was not any smell at all, not even a gamy meat smell. If you are careful to not puncture the gut, butchering a hog is not unpleasant at all and no more bloody or gruesome than your local butcher shop.

Repeat the process for the front legs, joining the cut at the seam you just made. When this is done the head will be removed with the cape of the hide that has been cut away.

Carefully begin to pull at the tab of skin and cut it away from the underlying meat. This hog is well fed with corn on one of Dwayne’s feeders so it has some fat. A purely wild hog on forage will not have as much if any fat.

The area around the anus is the most difficult to separate without upsetting the intestines and getting into stuff you don’t want to be in. Carefully cut around the anus and separate just the skin. Your first time this will be the most time consuming part of the job, but the more careful you are, the more chance you can get through it without making a mess of it. Pulling tight with little touch cuts is always going to be your best bet rather than slicing down into anything.

Even a corn fed hog has very little if any fat in his back so you have to concentrate on cutting the gristle attached to the skin away from the usable meat.

Slowly and patiently work your way down the carcass, and until the skin is hanging from the head like a cape in the back.

Dwayne is actually a licensed butcher, and his patience in doing the job right shows in how clean this animal hide is when he is done with it. If you have a little meat here and there on the hide don’t feel bad. It is normal, especially if you haven’t done this a lot.

If you have not already cut away the neck, do so, and twist off the head. The hide will be attached at the back.

Then cut off the front feet at the knuckles. You don’t have to cut bone, just cartilage, but you may want to use your hunting knife for this. On a small hog like this you don’t have to worry about eating the hocks.

Then wash the carcass down to remove any contaminants from the outside.

You are going to start removing the cuts of meat from the back. Make an incision to the bone on both sides of the backbone down the length of the carcass.

The backbone gets wider as you approach the head. As you can see, Dwayne is using the tailbone as a holding point for leverage and to steady his cut.

Feel with your finger where the meat gets thin at the ribcage and make your outside cuts along this line the length of the carcass.

Then cut the filet away from the back plate working down as you go.

Hunters call these the “backstraps” but you may know them as “tenderloin” or “sirloin.” They are the best eating part of the hog.

The only bones you will take away from this process are the front quarters. These are called “shoulder roasts” but the most common usage is to grind for sausage or cook on the bone for pulled pork.

Pull the front quarters away with the same small cuts, getting as much meat as you can.

Now we can move to the back legs. Dwayne is going to remove this as one large boneless ham. Start below the knee joint in the thigh beyond the tendons and follow down the bone.

You will find that although the armchair commenters on blogs and discussion boards talk incessantly about “shot placement,” often in the field you don’t make the ideal shot for coming away with all pristine meat. Larry’s running long shot on this hog in the dark with the 6.8 SPC Ambush entered one hip and came out the other after smashing the hip.

The Hornady 110 grain FTX bullet is extremely effective for this size game in the 6.8. It is basically a .270 Winchester for ballistics, in an AR-15 platform rifle. This clean entry resulted in a hog stopped dead in its tracks.

Slit down the thighbone on the front side and separate the meat from the thigh, then work back over the rear quarter following the thickness of meat. Cut the ham away from the back of the animal when you reach the end.

The rear quarters of this hog where fairly bloodshot but they cleaned up just fine.

Even the devastation in this hip shouldn’t scare you away from harvesting as much meat as you can. Larry lost a couple pounds off of one quarter but otherwise it cleaned up fine.

A lot of the blood will wash out of meat that was effected by the temporary shock cavity of the round. The 6.8 SPC leaves the barrel at about 2400 feet per second for a 110 grain bullet. This is not enough energy to “jellify” meat at 100 yards away like some faster and lighter rounds. This is one reason why it is becoming so popular with hunters.

There is more meat on this hog if you work at it, but you can get it this far without ever smelling the gut or having to deal with flowing entrails. There are those who eat the heart, liver, and there is a little bit of meat on the ribs and in the hock joints. Knock yourself out. The gators got the rest of this girl.

This sow yielded about 35 pounds of fresh natural meat. Hormone injected feedlot hogs can’t compare to wild run free hogs on corn feeders. We didn’t get a whiff of gamy smell this entire time. This is about as good as it gets.

{ 110 comments… add one }
  • Bruce Adams November 11, 2017, 1:10 pm

    Really should be using surgical gloves. Our conservation dept even recommends double-gloving. Wild hogs can carry some nasty crap. We don’t chance the risk.

  • wayne hayes September 27, 2017, 8:00 pm

    Recently purchased a Taurus model 85 revolver the box and the serial numbers match say it will shoot +p ammo but nowhere on the gun does it say that can you tell me why I am not sure I have ever seen one that did not tell you the kind of cartridge the gun used Just curious, Thanks for your time

  • Ray Cummings December 26, 2016, 4:47 pm

    Great article ! However, the “gamey” smell / taste most people complain about is because the meat was not handled properly after the kill. Blood is the first part to spoil. Then the fat. If the carcass is not bled out immediately you will get a bad “gamey” taste from the spoiled blood that is allowed to set in and on the meat. Always hang the meat head down and allow the blood to drain. This is especially important if you are going to hang it more than a couple of hours. This is the same reason most people are told to get rid of all of the fat on deer. If not handled properly and cooled asap the fat will begin to spoil. Since the fat gives venison ( or beef, pork, etc.) it`s unique taste, this is a big mistake.

  • Patrick Robertson June 9, 2016, 11:30 am

    What about the ribs? How hard is it to get the ribs out. I know that you will hit the gut and entrails.
    I usually take mine to a butcher shop to cut it up but I am thinking about going camping and doing it myself this summer.

  • Steve Annastas May 2, 2016, 9:29 pm

    Good illustration ! Great ! Growing up in American Samoa. It was always a messy job. I have a cousin up in Oklahoma that would go through the whole bloody process and I’d always wanted to know. But I think I’d rather do it this way. Getting ready to get a 40acre hunting property up in Oklahoma and I’m ready to exercise my skills. Thank you for the help! Very interesting !๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ

  • Cynthia January 13, 2016, 2:26 am

    My first time butchering and this was great! Our neighbor shot a small wild boar — maybe 40 pounds and gave it to us. They are a running nuisance here in Hawaii. So maybe there was more meat to be had with another method, but I loved how clean and simple this is. Friends are in awe that I butchered a pig today.

    • Cynthia January 13, 2016, 2:55 am

      — change that boar to a sow in my comment– I didn’t know the difference, but what I did was a female.

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  • situs judi February 23, 2015, 5:14 am

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  • Hank Bradley February 2, 2015, 11:41 am

    Great demo and pics. Growing up on the fruits of our hunts, my grandpa passed on to me a very valuable tip.
    If it’s a boar you’ve shot, castrate them on the spot as soon as you get to them ! Remove the testicles and reach up and remove as much of the cords as possible, as high as possible. Don’t even move the boar without doing this first.
    Once you’ve waited and the testosterone has had more time to diffuse through the tissues, your meat will be worse tasting. It makes all the difference in having a ham that’s edible and tasty as opposed to too gamey.

  • Breen Smith February 2, 2015, 11:35 am

    I was raised on a farm and we saved everything. If you have a roofers torch, you can torch the skin, wash it off and a thin layer of skin sheds off in the washing process. What remains is perfectly clean skin. Roast size peices of meat with the skin attached have an enhanced flavor and if you leave the skin side up it becomes crispy and some love to snack on that. If you are planning on grinding for sausage, you can save all the fat attached to the skin once you are home, toss the skin and grind all the fat with the meat. Some old butchers have spice packets to pour in the mix for great sausage. With wild hogs you need to put all the fat in since they have a limited amount, not like farm raised. We made some sausage with only 5% fat and it was dry. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • Mason Hamilton February 2, 2015, 11:08 am

    Nice clean butchering. However, there are some basics you may have not discussed. Whether you hang the animal by its hindquarters depends on a couple of things – both related to the gut. If the animal has been gut shot, it’s better to hang it by it’s front quarters, and also splay the hind quarters before beginning. If you think you will open the body cavity and or remove the guts (field dress or to save all the meat for sausage or whatever), it’s better to hang from the front quarters so the gut contents spill out and away from the carcass and contaminate less of the meat.

    If you have plenty of fresh water (chlorinated) during the dressing process you can prevent most, if not all potential gut contamination (except from a gut shot that was dressed several hours afterwards). If chlorinated water is not available, washing/soaking the meat in brine will also help with potential gut contamination issues. Washing with a detergent can also help decontaminate, but you will have to more thoroughly rinse the meat – meaning using much more water. Ultimately, the last bastion for decontamination is thorough cooking.

  • Craig Ramsey February 2, 2015, 10:44 am

    When it comes to hunting, Larry is clearly a $50 horse with a $200 saddle.
    The author doesn’t speak of the 20 or so ticks you find on you during your morning shower and where they came from.

  • Dennis February 2, 2015, 8:56 am

    What a wast of good meat .hate to see videos of this sort, especially with newbies on their comments, I have lived on wild Hog for 65 it, all ways, might be only food source some day. First off , better gun control would help, if shooting from a tree stand over a feed trough. …make a head shoot only!…no waste…use all the meat you kill or share with others, people who waste meat will never hut my ranch…thousands of hogs here…oh ..I do some guiding at times, but never charge, it’s called game management here, enjoy your wild boar….the best, use it all

    • Steve October 31, 2016, 10:17 am

      I’d pay to come hunt hog on your ranch

    • Hope Crosby November 1, 2016, 9:33 pm

      I couldn’t agree more Dennis. Too much waste!

  • cris February 2, 2015, 7:30 am

    Interesting pictures, but both my grandmother and mother would ask me to hunt the bigger pigs when company was coming over. They both soak bigger cuts in different marinades or just brining will do. Buttermilk or milk also works. I slow smoke with mesquite and have never had any complaints except for late comers who got small portions.

  • togel singapura January 10, 2015, 6:01 am

    this article so useful for me. c’mon make a good article anymore, thank you

  • Tracie December 8, 2014, 11:42 am

    Thanks. Googled this when I shot my first wild boar this morning. A couple hours later, all done. Glad I didn’t go the field dress etc. route.

  • Randy Ross November 30, 2013, 5:11 pm

    You referred to the backstrap as the tenderloin. I believe this is inaccurate. To access the tenderloin, you have to first remove the guts. It is on the underside of the spine. It looks like the backstrap, but it is not as long. It is a lot more tender than the backstrap.

    • Colin Nash May 24, 2017, 6:45 pm

      He was correct in his calling the backstraps the tenderloin. On hogs it’s confusing, because of the loin, which is the cut of meat that you are referring to. It is the large cut behind the ribs, where as the tenderloin is the long and thin muscle that runs along the spine. Hope this helps clarify the terms.

  • Eve September 10, 2013, 11:10 pm

    I’m a 62 year old woman that has a sow I plan to butcher this winter and have been looking for a site that would give me pictures . I am a visual learner and have found your presentation to be very informative . Thank-you for the education. As a first time experience for butchering my sow , I think your style will be perfect without the blood and guts . Quick and simple . Then I will also like to have a spring ranch party and put a whole sow on a turning pit . Just saying . Just a country girl trying to live Gods way off the land.

    • Ken August 22, 2016, 7:44 pm

      Just an old 69 year old farm boy who has both killed, scalded, scraped and butchered hogs, bulls, cows, deer, etc. for a few years now. I suppose a lot of folks appreciate the way you do you hogs after you have shot them but to me there is too much meat being wasted that way. If it is a small hog you are getting just about all the edible meat your way. But there much more on that hog besides backstraps, hams and shoulders that should be harvested and not fed to a gator, I have gutted an awful lot of animals and never had a problem on a consistent basis with getting into the paunch or guts which allows you to get into the tenderloins, ribs to either trim out or use as short ribs, the neck, once ground twice makes great meat for sausage, if you have a smoker how about doing the hocks and using them in a hearty bean soup. Heck as a kid we would all sit around the kitchen table and meat pick the heads after they were skinned and washed for meat to be used in our scrapple. We had neighbors who would even come by and take the heart, liver, lungs and intestines for chitins. If we were doing domestic pigs we had an Italian friend who would follow us from farm to farm to collect the blood after the hog was shot and then bled out. Our feeling was, if you kill it then eat it, every bit of it.

  • Meat Suppliers July 25, 2013, 5:51 pm

    Hey this is a great blog page. Maybe you can sell the meat that you hunt on our website

    • Carlos M. Lopez August 5, 2013, 8:35 pm

      Meat Suppliers,

      Glad you enjoyed the blog articles…

      According to the 2013-2014 Florida Hunting Regulations Magazine, the “Buying or selling game” paragraph on page 22 stated… “Selling or purchasing game is prohibited except for pen-raised game produced on licensed game farms that are lawfully identified and handled. When lawfully harvested, nonprotected and resident game bird feathers, and hides of deer, squirrels, rabbits and wild hogs may be sold.” Guess that rules that out. Basically, you can give your friends/neighbor some meat, or donate to charity, but not sell it to them.

  • Wilma July 3, 2013, 9:46 am

    I have a lot of wild pigs to butcher. But we usually get small pigs . But having a problem with cutting this big pigs shoulder. I can not find any thig on how to cut it up. I am not real savy on large pigs. this one is to big for a bag.

    can you please help?


    • Administrator July 3, 2013, 9:49 am

      The anatomy is the same. Just follow the pictures. What do you need a bag for?

  • Greg C February 23, 2013, 11:34 pm

    This is one of the best step by step articles on dressing a wild boar. Really good job! Check out my state by state wild boar hunting page at

    Mind if I add this article link to my site in the resource section?

    Thanks, and again good job!

    • Carlos M. Lopez July 24, 2013, 10:45 pm

      Greg C,

      Glad you enjoyed the article! We did our absolute best under the circumstances.

      As for the link…I guess the Administrator was cool with it…since he listed it!!


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    I just got me a buck last week. Sat in my tree stand for 10 hours before he finally showed up. What a rush!

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  • Carlos M. Lopez June 22, 2012, 12:12 am

    Hey John,

    What you commented on is what we are trying to do with these articles on GunsAmerica. We want to help new hunters and bring back some past hunters that have strayed and had less time to have fun in the outdoors.

    I am glad that you enjoyed the article and that it has helped you.

    Good luck on your first hunt and pass it on to your kids,


  • John June 20, 2012, 12:01 am

    Thanks for the article. I always wanted to hunt as a kid, and now I have my own kids and I’m finally learning. I want to know enough to get them an intro at some point. This is helpful for the likes of me which is as you intended. Thanks for putting it out there. This is the sort of article that demystifies part of the hunting process. Some things that are obvious or routine to those ‘in the know’ are completely foreign for the untrained. Which is why we value expertise. Anyhow, the guys who know all about butchering can perhaps rightfully nit pick points in such articles, but those guys already know how to do this and I’ve never seen any version of hog butchering. So, I do appreciate the follow up posts as well, some of which are also helpful. Thanks to all for keeping their posts respectful.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 22, 2012, 12:27 am


      What you commented on is what we are trying to do at GunsAmerica Magazine & Blog. We want to help new hunters like yourself and stimulate past semi-retired hunters that have strayed from enjoying the outdoors.

      If we can help one person with our articles, than we have succeeded in our outdoor way of life mission.

      Good luck on your first hunt and enjoy the outdoors,


  • Jon June 12, 2012, 11:18 am

    Hi, New to the site, and have read at least three different blogs so far this morning. They have all been very informative and helpful; looking forward to more stuff you all. I really liked this one because I am just starting to get into hunting; and I believe I needed to have more information on the butchering end of things. Thanks for what you folks do.

    • Administrator June 12, 2012, 12:10 pm

      You are very welcome Jon. Make sure you register on GA so you get our emails.

  • Mike Fiske June 12, 2012, 9:30 am

    On my first hunt this spring I got to try out my sawzal technique. Then I had a dream soon after that about your technique and ever since then I wondered if anyone really butchered hogs like this, very nice thanks.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 19, 2012, 9:12 am


      We are glad that you liked the article. A sawzal is new to me but I have a friend that use a large hedge shears to cut off the hooves of hogs or deer. I have seen it work and it is effortless. Thanks for reading GunsAmerica Magazine/Blog.


  • esmael orosco June 12, 2012, 6:45 am

    do you have video on how to butcher a hog. would like to show it to my sons (2)

    • Administrator June 12, 2012, 9:08 am

      Not yet but one is coming.

  • Jerry June 5, 2012, 10:08 am

    Carlos, Thanks for this great photo lesson. I am a future Hog hunter, planning trips to a freinds ranch in Texas. However I am an avid deer hunter here in VA. Glad I viewed this article, since it pretty much looks just about like butchering deer… not much difference, but did increase my confidence. Thanks again, Jerry

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:13 am


      We are glad that this article and photo essay helped you. That was our intention. Not much difference between deer and hogs at all. Go slow, use rubber gloves and use a sharp skinning knife.

      Good luck and have fun in Texas,


  • AliRez June 5, 2012, 12:24 am

    Hi all friends, hunter and fisherman
    AliReza. I am from Iran, the photos were very beautiful and very much enjoyed, if you could tell me the best clothes for camouflage in the foothills is what fabrics and clothing.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:07 am


      Thank you and we are glad that you enjoyed the article and pics.

      I believe a Desert Camo pattern would work best in your foothills. Check in The Sportsman’s Guide.

      Hope that helps,


  • Marty B June 4, 2012, 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the butchering info, great pics. I hung my last deer and cut most all the meat off myself. The butcher processed (jerky), ground, and packaged it much cheaper that way. I found that deer hair will float off the meat when soaked in cold water.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 8, 2012, 9:56 pm

      Marty B,

      Glad that you liked the article & photo essay! We just hose everything down…. here in FL.



    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:02 am

      Marty B,

      Glad that you liked the article and photo essay! Down here…we just hose everything off.


  • Tammie L. Little June 3, 2012, 12:36 am

    AWESOME ILLUSTRATION, DWAYNE! Very proud, lil sis!

  • Chuck June 1, 2012, 10:42 am

    Great way to go on this type Pig. Have done some like this in Germany many years back.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 8, 2012, 9:48 pm


      Thanks for the positive feedback and for reading GunsAmerica Magazine & Blog…


    • Carlos M. Lopez June 8, 2012, 11:58 pm


      Thanks for the positive feedback and for reading GunsAmerica Magazine!


  • Chris Holcomb June 1, 2012, 10:40 am

    Excellent write up and explanatory pictures. I have hunted deer all my life and love it. I have always wanted to go on a pig hunt and missed out on it when I was stationed at Fort Benning. There was a bounty on the pigs there, they are destroying every thing. I recently read an artical about helicopter hunts and that looks amazing. I still have yet to hunt pigs, but I would love the opportunity. I live in North Carolina and there aren’t any pigs where I live, but we are over run with coyotes. They are illusive little boogers and if you want to fing them walk up on a deer you’ve been tracking after dark, they’ll be there. I carry a .38 to remedy the problem though. Where does Dwayne guide hunts? I have a new AK47 that has no kills on it, and I think it would be good pig medicine. ;D

    • Administrator June 1, 2012, 12:23 pm

      He is in Okeechobee, FL. There is a link in the article to his website.

      • Chris Holcomb June 1, 2012, 1:09 pm

        Thank You Mr.Admimistrator

  • Vic Mazzone June 1, 2012, 12:45 am

    Hi, Great for a quick reference for everyone who want to hunt big game animals. You always learn more by actually doing it. It’s very ‘hands on’ experience. The meat is my true “trophy” after any successful hunt.
    We would take the rest of the meat and salt,pepper,onion powder, garlic powder it and place it into a covered BBQ @ 275 degrees fo 2-3 hours or until the is well done and tender. Nothing goes to waste. It make a fun
    Pig Pickin with all your family and friends. YUMM!! A side note, I’ve had fantastic results with that Knight and Hale pig call when hog hunting. I feel like I’m calling in ducks…even though I’m not a bird hunter. It’s wild how those social pigs will come to a call. Good luck with your corn chips a green chile pork burritos. Vic

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 8, 2012, 11:57 pm

      Vic M,

      Thanks for the input Vic and you are right about “hands on” & friends and family. I also call in hogs and it usually results in bringing in a lone adult boar.

      Keep reading,


  • Perry May 31, 2012, 10:47 pm

    Excellent work gentlemen. Thank you.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 8, 2012, 11:52 pm


      Thanks for the comment & for reading GunsAmerica Magazine/Blog!!


  • Lynn Powell May 31, 2012, 8:14 pm

    Throwing in my 2 cents here. There are many ways to skin a hog, when time allows the best way is to Scald. This process does not waste any meat, skin, insides if some one would like them, along with the brains. Dwayne when given time normally will keep the ribs along with the tenderloin. This skinning process that he used on this evening is a time saver. Depending on hog size determines if he keeps the ribs or not. We do not eat Boars. If you are entertaining a large group (bar-b-que) Gut, scald, grill the whole hog…Head included. I promise you nothing will get wasted.

    Come for a hunt! We would love to have you!

    • Administrator May 31, 2012, 8:17 pm

      Are you suggesting that there may be a Kissimee River Luau on the horizon Lynn?

  • Dave May 31, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Even with this method the Tenderlion is very easly reached . Slit the Belly Skin from between the hams and follow to the Loin Area close to the Hip then run your cut downward to last Rib on both sides. The Intestines will generally be far enough foward in the Body Cavity at this point. You can then Access the Tenderlion Area for Removal of the Finest Eating There Is.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:15 am


      True that!! Nuff said……


  • Mark Wynn May 31, 2012, 7:51 pm

    We’re doin’ good on this first hog, Maynard, now scroll down … what do you mean, the internet signal is gone?!

  • Steve Wiedmaier May 31, 2012, 7:13 pm

    A wild mature sow should not have a gamey taste at all. But if you should shoot a mature boar you will have another situation entirely. When a boar matures no matter if he is wild or pen fed the carcass is flowing with testosterone. This is where a feedlot animal is better than the wild. On the farm, male pigs are routinely castrated at a young age to avoid this tainting of the meat with testosterone. A mature boar while heavily muscled will taste like a giant mountain oyster when cooked. For those that don’t know what a mountain oyster is it is a fried pig testicle. Some people like them but I am not counted amoung them. I’ll shoot a mature boar but my philosophy is coyotes and gators gotta eat too.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 10:19 pm


      You hit the nail on the head…I think that in “The Outlaw Josey Wales” Clint Eastwood said it best….”Buzzards gotta eat, so do the worms!!”

  • David Haskett May 31, 2012, 5:30 pm

    As a FWC hunters safety instructor and hunter you should probably know that many hogs in Florida carry brucellosis which is blood born and transferred through cuts so be careful and wear gloves for protection, hopefully they will make it through the cleaning process which mine never seem to…just a thought.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 10:12 pm


      You brought up a very good point that we left out of the end of the article. Everyone should wear gloves when skinning wild game, especially hogs.

      I wrote about that in my first article ever published by GA titled “Not your Daddy’s Whitetail! – Hog Hunting is Always in Season” that can be found in the “Authors” tab under “Carlos Lopez”. Check it out!

      Thanks for the insight,


  • Bill May 31, 2012, 4:46 pm

    I agree on going after the tenderloins and, if you do, could you use pruning shears to clip off the ribs?

    We did it on deer, even the 90 – 100 lb Blacktails, to get the makings of a “Rib Boil” since there wasn’t enough meat to bone out for burger. But a Rib Boil with seasonings and added vegetables makes a nice meal for two hunting partners, or hunter and adventures Spouse.

  • Derek May 31, 2012, 3:22 pm

    I always gut mine so I can get at the loin inside. That is the best part second to the backstrap.

  • Carl May 31, 2012, 1:51 pm

    I am a son of a butcher/meat cutter with a little experiance. Good job, illustratrations and instructions were excellent. It was a pleasure to view it. Thank you.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 9:26 pm


      Thanks for taking time to post a comment and we are glad that you enjoyed the article!

      Where else can you read about a wide array of gun related topics for FREE….only at GunsAmerica!! Product reviews, tutorials, photo essays, hunting articles, collectables, tactical, military, latest new guns, rifles and shotguns etc….only with us at GA!!

  • Ken Maples May 31, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Five butchers could show five ways to do this, and there could be criticisms of each, bless the internet. If this tutorial helps one person take the plunge to butcher an animal it is a success—no matter how good/bad a job someone does the first time.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 4:35 pm

      Ken…I could not have said it better than you did!!

      GA thanks you for your straight-on comment,


  • brockkl May 31, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Hey Graham s
    I don’t want to start a flame war or anything, but if the title of the article is “how to butcher” , Common sense should be your warning. There will be blood!!
    Have a great day.

    Good writeup. Thanks

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:17 am


      “Common Sense” is not so common…

      Thanks for the comment,


  • Ken Wade May 31, 2012, 1:18 pm

    Just a suggestion that I have done.I grew up on the northern coast of California and hunted wild pigs all my life.When you are shinning the pig Cut it in strips about 4″ wide all the way down and pull each one.It saves meat and a lot of hard work.Ken Wade.I had a smoke house and smoked the meat except the back stap,,,that went on the barbe.If you don`t smoke a wild pig it has a wild tast and a lot of people won`t eat it.But smoking you come out with perfect hams.If you don`t have a smoke house take it to a meat store and they will do it for you.Thanks for the article.

    • Carlos M. Lopez June 9, 2012, 12:20 am


      Your welcome!! Thank you for your input. Smoked pork is awesome… you are making us hungry!!



    • Tim February 2, 2015, 5:22 am

      So that’s why they call it “pulled pork”!

  • Ron May 31, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I really enjoyed your explanation of cleaning the kill. I would really like to go on a hunt. I think with a sharp knife I could do a job, not as good as Dwayne.
    Thanks for the class.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 1:40 pm


      You are welcome for the class. We cannot please everybody and we do not intend too. Go on that hunt…you owe it to yourself.

      Even with our request at 10:30 PM, Dwayne made it look effortless and he had to be ready to rock and roll again at 4:00 AM.

      Sharpen that knife,


  • Jerry May 31, 2012, 12:02 pm

    @Mick..I vote for your method but was raised by farm families. Everything was used on fish and game. We seldom filleted fish, perfering the bone in taste. I like to saw off hog or venison ribs for the grill. Shoulders are also great with garlic slivers inserted and slow smoked/BBQ`d.

  • graham s May 31, 2012, 11:47 am

    Photo’s like these should have a warning about content!
    Not very nice to say the least.
    I know I will get negative comments but I can speak my mind like everyone else.

    • Ron May 31, 2012, 5:14 pm

      What did you expect? It’s called How to Butcher a Wild Hog!

      • Dave May 31, 2012, 7:43 pm

        Kiss This Big Boy ( ! ) and get your butt to the Grocery Store. Your Option is to stay off this type of web site if you don’t wanta see this kinda stuff. Beleave me I stay off your Rainbow Sites.

    • Perry May 31, 2012, 11:14 pm

      Are you serious? No wonder women complain about not being able to find enough REAL men in the world.

      Where do you think meat comes from? Animals. Not cellophane-wrapped little packages hanging from magical trees.

      Even if the pics for whatever wussy reason bother you, do you really HAVE to comment on it publicly? Maybe you should just keep it to yourself and say “I think I need to expand my horizons a bit, grow up, grow a pair, and go try to deal with reality a little more. It’ll be good for me and everyone around me. We’ll all progress and get a little tougher.” Something like that. Instead of complaining. Just a thought so you can look yourself in the mirror with a little more self-respect in the future.

      • Deano June 2, 2012, 12:03 pm

        Maybe……ah heck, just head on down to the cow butchery where masses of cows are butchered, bled out, skinned, cut up and packaged. No difference, just on a larger scale. Nice litle packages of steak, ribs and roasts don’t grow on supermarket shelves, you know. Just saying……..

  • Wes May 31, 2012, 11:42 am

    I would like to see a graphic of the glands on a hog and deer.

    • Administrator May 31, 2012, 11:44 am

      There are websites for that kind of thing buddy. This is a family show!

      • Dave May 31, 2012, 8:03 pm

        I don’t think he means the Genitals he means the Hidden Glands that are located inside Shoulder Area and the small Gland that is inside the Ham. Some Folks Call them the Kernels. When the meat is De-boned in this fashion the Ham Gland is Easily found and removed and generally the Front Shoulder Gland or Arm Pit Gland Is left on the Carcass.

  • kj May 31, 2012, 11:24 am

    hi…clean cool job…but, hey, how about the ribs…? i’d open it up in an open area or just burn some loggs and also a couple shot of cognac would make me ok , all the way….cheers

  • Mick May 31, 2012, 10:35 am

    Nice field dressing job !! It is hard to take it , as a lifetime BUTCHER, to see how everyone calls the backstrap “TENDERLOIN “. It isn’t the tenderloin ! Simply the LOINS ! The REAL TENDERS are INSIDE THE LOINS and in this method is fed to the gators, what a shame…. With this method, a real harvester of game would totally DEBONE the entire carcass and make sausage, tamales, etc from every ounce of the hog (sans the head). Field processing, like this, WASTES at least 15-20 lbs of pure pork.
    Now I do understand, as a guide , one must get the GAME, control the population of the hogs and be ready to make another customer happy with a successful hunt, so don’t get down on me too hard for my criticizing the loss of meat with this field dressing method !! Throwing the REAL TENDERLOINS to the GATORS IS SINFUL ! Quit calling the LOINS, TENDERLOINS, THEY AIN”T TENDERLOINS !!

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 1:52 pm


      What would be wasteful would be to let that hog lay even though countless dozens of hogs get shot at KRHF per year.

      When A&E comes out with a reality show called “Butcher Wars” I will make sure they contact you so you can go head to head against Dwayne. I am biased so I will bet my money on Dwayne. lol

      You are right about backstraps, loins and tenderloins…let’s not get so touchy and just have fun in the field even though it was 10:30PM and everybody had to be ready by 4:30 to hook up again with Dwayne.

      Thanks for commenting whether negative, positive or both,


      • Scout May 31, 2012, 10:33 pm

        I agree with Mick.. I am a bit tired of hearing folks call the loin a “tenderloin” – Even though it may be a ‘tender’ loin. But this article was supposed to be about hog butchering . I was disappointed to get drawn into it and see that you have done just like you would do a deer or other large furry critter.

        Hog buthchering is a totally different skill ( or art) that involves bleeding out the animal, leaving the skin attached after scalding the hog in a vat of boiling water and scraping the hair off, then you gut him. You save the innards or offal and clean (scrub ) the intestines out in hot water (inside and out – to use for the sausage casing). You butcher into the cuts you want for the smokehouse and/or freezer and throw the scraps and offal into the sausage or scrapple pile. For small wild pig like this one I would just throw the critter on the BBQ after scalding ( and yes with the head on).

    • tomtriker February 2, 2015, 9:59 pm

      ditto mick. young hog as this one if heart or neck shot yeilds tenders, liver and kidneys for mush, gut for sausage caseing – the crispiest sweetest sausage you’ll ever have and ribs and flank meat. I understand the need for speed though but a full dress&butcher for lots more goodies. neck/head shots are the best to preserve meat.

    • Dennis December 4, 2015, 9:53 am

      Amen! Cut meat all my life. Tenderloin strips are on the inside of the spine! Outside is loin. Think of T-bones. The big part is a NY strip. The small fork tender part on the other side of the bone is the tenderloin. So really, on a beef we call those two outer loin strips NY Strip Steak after sliced. On deer, hunters call it blackstrap. Tenderloins on the inside!

  • Bil Farrell May 31, 2012, 10:31 am

    Not a hunter so this was all new to me but I think I could do it after reading and the pics showing your technique. I fish a lot and have learned from several Mates their secrets for fillets. Dad always said learn from the PRO’ s every chance you get.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 1:15 pm


      Thanks for being a loyal GunsAmerica subscriber and good luck with your first harvest butcher job in the field.


  • Doug May 31, 2012, 9:45 am

    Great writeup! One thing I would like to add is that you really don’t need to skin out the whole hog unless are planning to gut it and harvest the whole hog. If you slit down the back and peel the hide away from the backstrap area on both sides, this will allow for harvesting the tenderloin with far less skinning required. Then you just need to skin out each of the legs and remove them.

    The end results are the same but it is a little easier getting there, especially for an amateur butcher.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 1:08 pm

      Hi Doug,

      You are right. I use the same method that you use and it basically is the same… only we do it in reverse. Different strokes for different folks! Dwayne butchered that hog faster than anyone we have ever seen!!



  • Dustin May 29, 2012, 7:43 am

    Great write-up, I was always told to not mess up around the scent gland as that will really give the meat a bad taste.

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 9:31 am


      Thanks…it is always a good idea to avoid the scent glands, waste canals, and gut contents. Clean and ice the meat soon and you will be good to go!


  • Shonny prichard May 25, 2012, 10:28 am

    Thanks that’s how I’ve always done it.didnt know if i was doing it right but kust did it like i do adeer

    • Carlos M. Lopez May 31, 2012, 9:27 am


      There are a few ways to butcher game and some are more efficient than others. It is strictly a personal preference. GA thought the readers would be interested in how a professional licensed butcher/guide like Dwayne does it.


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