Nine Bar Ranch Blog
Hog hunting has become so much more than just a sport in the state where everything’s bigger. The wild hog population is bigger than anyone could have ever imagined, that’s for sure.
If you don’t live in Texas, you may not be fully aware of the feral hog quandary that has been slowly brewing for decades and has now fully manifested in the Lone Star state. It’s true: many outsiders simply don’t know that Texas is currently being quite literally overrun by an increasing number of wild hogs. It has been said that this breed of animal is simultaneously a blessing and a curse, but the curse is due to the fact that the wild boar population is growing, and doesn’t show any signs of stopping anytime soon. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. There is just no simple answer to the predicament. While all of us at Nine Bar Ranch more than happy to help with necessary population control, stronger efforts will have to be put forth by more Texans interested in hog hunting if we are to see a substantial decrease in the overall population of wild hogs in TX.
About eighty percent of the Texan landscape is picture perfect for the thriving survival of wild hogs, and for that reason, their population has now skyrocketed to somewhere between 1 and 4 million in Texas alone. It’s challenging to determine a more accurate range due to the fact that the region is simply so saturated with these beasts that they can be hard to count. Approximately fifty percent of the entire United States’ wild hog population calls Texas home, mostly because the Texas landscape is so conducive to their existence.
Wild hogs have the highest reproductive rate of any hoofed animal, which is a leading reason why a reduction in their numbers is so critical. At a mere six months of the age, a hog is able to and ready for breeding. Typically, they carry four to six young per litter, but can have up to twelve, and most healthy females will produce two litters each year. Research has shown that if we do nothing to reduce their population, the Texas hog population will be able to triple in five years!
Wild hogs can practically live just about anywhere in Texas, from the vast, pine forests of eastern Texas to the rough brush of southern Texas. Generally they prefer habitats that provide them with a solid water source such as a creek, river, or drainage area, but they’ve also been found to thrive fairly well in dry climates. Their adaptability to different living conditions adds to the challenge of reducing their numbers.
If a scorching heat wave rolls through Texas (and if you’re from around these parts you know that happens on the regular), the hogs will retreat to a wet, muddy bungalow, usually one with dense shelter that will protect them from the direct sun. Synonymous to most living organisms, they are smart enough to congregate in areas with food availability with a variety of farm crops.
Not only do the beasts have the ability to live in any number of weather conditions and landforms, but they can (and do) consume just about any food. By nature, they are omnivorous, but their diet is primarily based on what foods are available to them. Some examples of the wide variety of their meals include: grasses, roots and tubers, acorns, bulbs, mushrooms, fruits, insects, snails, reptiles, amphibians, animal carcasses, and other birds and mammals if the opportunity presents itself.
Unfortunately, they also really seem to enjoy digging into local agricultural crops like watermelon, cantaloupes, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, rice, and corn, and they’ll eat to their satisfaction. This means they eat until they are stuffed! They will partake in nighttime or daytime feeding (whatever is most convenient for them at the time), and they’re willing to eat in any type of weather, whether it’s scorching hot, cold, or wet. By now, you have probably started to see a trend; they are basically unstoppable, which brings us full circle: hog hunting is absolutely, 100% necessary.
Because feral hogs will eat almost anything, their ecological and economical damage is outrageous. It is estimated that it costs approximately $1.5 million dollars each year to replace damaged crops and install control measures. In addition to eating many farmers’ livelihoods, they damage an exorbitant amount of crops while eating, simply because they are so gigantic and aggressive that they physically trample everything in their path. They also destroy the habitats of many other species as well as the eggs of turkey and quail. Though they are not normally predators, they will feed on fawns and other smaller animals if the right opportunity presents itself.
As a result of the uncontrollable population of feral boars in Texas, there is currently no legal limit set on how many of these wild beasts one individual is permitted to kill. In addition, any method of killing is allowed, except poison. Feral hogs can be hunted just about anywhere and it’s not uncommon for a hunter to ask for hunting privileges on private property, especially because most landowners recognize the overpopulation and are happy to see someone taking action. Want to join in the fight against the Texas takeover? Take a quick trip down to Nine Bar Ranch and test out your skills. Come join us in the fight against the omnipresent wild boars. We need your help!
Nothing exists in the sphere of North Texas hunting that incites heart palpitations like the sight of a deer that quickly scampers into the brush to conceal itself. Suddenly, a tiny shadow that enters your peripheral vision causes a rapid turn of the head, turning that translucent speck into a well-defined image. Before you know it, the stealthy animal becomes a shadow once more. Just the prospect of going home with one of these trophies makes you itch even more to get out in the woods. Your tree beckons you like a lighthouse summons a ship. Sure, it’s possible to head out to the woods via your well-trekked path, but the idea of having a unique hunting experience at one of the best ranches in Texas should be even more enticing. At Nine Bar Ranch, providing a superior hunting experience is our passion and priority. We also give our customers tips and tricks on the final steps in taking care of their new trophy, a beautiful white tail deer.
Situated in Decatur, Texas, about 45 miles northwest of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, Nine Bar Ranch boasts a 12,000 acre plot of land on which our hunters attest to an excellent crop. Lodged in a long history of Texas tradition, Nine Bar continues to thrive in the Texas hunting industry. Our traditions are rooted in creating a positive and successful environment for each of our customers. Primarily, we ensure that our grounds are well-kept and that customers are able to obtain the intended trophy when they come to hunt. We place an emphasis on assisting with each step of the process, from guiding hunters to their desired target to providing scrumptious meals. One of the salient steps in taking care of the trophy is ensuring proper processing. Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too.
Once your target has been taken down, it’s crucial that the proceeding steps are completed in the appropriate amount of time and in a proper manner. Before you do anything else, roll up those sleeves; it’s about to get messy. After the kill, you’ll want to open the chest of the deer and extrapolate the internal organs as quickly as possible. This step will inhibit the growth and spread of bacteria by accelerating the cooling process. We suggest using a knife specifically made for this task.
Next, you’ll hang the deer up in the appropriate manner and begin the skinning process, using a skinning knife for this. Your next step in processing is quartering the deer. Once the quarters are free, it’s crucial to place them in a cool container for preservation. Here is our tip: find a cooler that has a drain plug. Place the quarters on ice and allow the blood to drain off. According to regulations, if you are at camp, you are permitted to remove and prepare a portion of the animal as long as all tagging and proof of sex remain intact until the deer has reached its final destination.
As long as the various parts of the deer are kept in cool conditions for preservation, they will make an excellent source of meat. On the other hand, if you’re choosing the taxidermy route for your deer, you’ll obviously need to take alternate steps. You’ll want to freeze the deer or other animal until you begin the taxidermy process in order to preserve it as well as possible. It is possible to complete the taxidermy process on your own, if you have the proper tools. If you prefer to take it to a professional taxidermist, just be sure to freeze it during the time in between.
At Nine Bar Ranch, we will assist you and provide advice for each of these steps whether that be killing your target or knowing how to properly preserve it. We want your experience with us to be outstanding. Our customers have sustained our long-standing business and we strive to show our appreciation for that with each and every new or returning individual. Don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email; we can’t wait to meet you!