Perfect Pork Belly–Friday’s Successful Hunt

With the region gripped in a winter storms (34 and rainy) my pal Clayton and I figured there would be no better time to procure some pork. I was as excited to test some of my cold weather gear, as I was to actually be hunting. Most passed the test.

We began our hunt around 11 and with the wind in our face, Clayton and I crept through some dense underbrush which displayed a ton of pig sign. Rifles strapped to our backs and carrying 12 gauges with buckshot, we made two long stalks with no success. We did creep within 40 yards of a sizeable herd of deer, but we have enough venison.

After a lunch of sardines, crackers and grapefruit Clayton’s brother arrived. While they took care of some ranch business for an hour or so, I did a quick stalk on my own and settled over a field which we baited with some diesel soaked corn.

I hadn’t been sitting five minutes when out walked an 8 point, within 40 yards of me.  Nothing was interested in the corn and I met back up with the Bonnot brothers.

We scattered out over their property and I hunted from the leaning box stand. Anchored to a pecan tree, three lanes have been cut into the dense Southeast Texas underbrush. You can see down left lane 560 yards, down the middle lane 275 yards and the right lane 125 yards.

This is a fun spot to hunt because you have to stay ready, the critters will appear and disappear within a matter of seconds as they cross these alleys. This year I’ve seen several doe, a young 7 point buck, several pigs and racoons, and a bobcat. Lots of activity.

So while diligently looking for porky straight ahead of me, I glance to the left and suddenly glimpse a mammoth red hog as it just finishes crossing the shooting lane. My disappointment in letting this “color phase” pig walk dissipated quickly when a smaller black pig materialized. The wind was wrong for this lane, and it lifted its head to smell me giving me just enough time to squeeze off a shot and see the pig drop in its tracks. Success!

Can’t sneak up on me with the rearview mirror employed.

After having to track my last boar, I did some research into their anatomy. I have been using the same round I used on my bear hunt and was miffed that the piggies weren’t dropping dead in their tracks after taking 180 grains from my .3006 into their shoulder. This link explains why I have been having to track these animals. Notice how much further forward the vital organs are on pigs, compared to deer and other game animals. I will now aim well forward of the shoulder and the results are clear.

Look closely and you can see the porker lying on the ground.

The pig seemed small at this distance, especially compared to the big cinnamon red that came out first.


As I approached I was pleasantly surprised to find it was much larger than I thought.


My shot went through the jaw and out the back of the opposite shoulder, severing the spinal cord and aorta.




We opened the carotids so she would bleed out on the truck ride back to the skinning station. Makes for a less messy butcher.
So much yummy fat. Can’t wait to fry some up.
Watching Clayton and Shane dress out the pig was like performance art. Fast and clean, it took them less than 15 minutes.

This pig is by far the fattest I’ve ever killed. She weighed 150 pounds even on the scale, making her my heaviest pig to date. The pork belly is close to 3 inches thick which is nearly the size of domesticated pigs. Definitely going to be making some maple flavored bacon with this sow.


  1. Holy moly, she is fat. Looks like you could get some respectable fatback in addition to your bacon. Are pigs like rabbits in that there’s a lower chance of parasites when it’s cold?

    • I don’t know. But I wear gloves during the skinning process and none during the final processing. Regardless it only freezes here ten or so nights a year.

  2. Three inches of fat? Really? That’s some good eatin’. Please chronicle the bacon-making process if you go that route. I’d love to follow in your footsteps. The pigs we’ve gotten have had ticks and fleas. Did you have that problem?

    • I counted the meaty bacon in the description, so probably half and half. So far I’ve been lucky–the two pigs I’ve shot this year were in 26 and 32 degree weather. Neither pig had been in mud recently and neither stank. I don’t particularly remember any ticks or fleas..

    • I may keep the next one I shoot because they have been awfully furry. However, these skins are so greasy, fleshing them out would be the messiest job ever.

      • I was thinking how greasy they would be to tan. People list bear skin and stuff like that as greasy, but they never mention hog.

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