I have only been hunting once in my life when I was a young teen. After watching my clean out a deer and promptly passed out, I decided hunting was not for me.
However, I have a son who has loved guns and knives since he was a toddler. I have no idea where that came from as both my husband and I never talked about it. I was always having to follow the little guy around as he had a knack for finding pocketknives hidden in the garage in toolboxes and anywhere else we had forgotten about. It came as no surprise at fifteen, my son felt he was ready for his first hunt. Fresh off taking the written portion of the Hunter Safety Course, Caden’s thoughts of when he could do his first hunt.
My husband, Mike, spoke with some colleagues at a conference who suggested he take his son on a wild boar hunt while on our recent trip to Orlando, Florida.
Of course, Caden jumped at the chance while I ran from it. Standing in lines at Disneyworld® sounded better to me but alas that is not what we did.
Instead we trekked out towards the Omega Ranch in Volusia Country at nine o’clock at night for a late boar hunt. Our guide suggested rubber boots or hiking boots that could get muddy so if you go, plan accordingly.
|Caden trying to claim his dad’s boar.|
After dropping the guys off, I managed to escape to a nearby Starbucksto read until closing time. Thank you Starbucks for letting me hide out with hot chocolate and a muffin. When I returned, it felt eery sitting in the dark car waiting for them. I tried to distract myself by transferring photos to my computer. Then I heard a shot ring out and I thought, “Oh no, they actually got one.” After another shot about five or ten minutes later, I got this pit in my stomach that settled in for the long haul.
That means I would have to figure out how to get wild boar meat home and how to cook it. I have told my son for years that hunting is not a sport and if you kill something you have to eat it. Now I would have to make good on that word.
When the boys returned to the car in the side by side ATV their guide had taken them out in, I found out I not only had to worry about one wild boar but two.
The guide cleaned and skinned the hogs and passed off the larger pieces of meat to the guys. The rest of the meat would be donated to somebody else. I had to remind myself that wild boars are not native to Florida and are considered an invasive species that needs to be cleared out and not cute little piggies that wouldn’t harm a flea. That way it made it easier to know that hunting and eating the meat of a wild hog is not a bad thing.
|Mike with his boar|
The guys had a great time. They loved using the night vision scope to find their wild hogs. Caden has been looking on the internet ever since trying to figure out for which scope he should save his money. The night hunt was more expensive than the day hunt. At $300 each I thought it was a bit much but after the guys reminded me of how much it would cost to buy hunting rifles and equipment, the cost didn’t seem that bad. Besides, the guide did the work of cleaning the hogs and he made my son’s first hunt memorable.
The fun part (NOT) was trying to get the meat from Florida to Utah. We had a small refrigerator in our hotel and was able to get the meat frozen solid before our return trip. We were not able to find dry ice though we tried. Airline regulations do not allow regular ice to be packed in a cooler. That meant we had to hope the airlines did not lose our new cooler checked in as luggage (yes, we had to purchase a cooler). Thank you Southwest for having on time flights and for making sure our cooler made it. The meat stayed frozen except for a few spots on the outside and we were able to get it into our freezer in time. Now I have to figure out how to cook it. I am not a fan of wild meat. I usually only eat chicken and sometimes pork so I have a huge challenge ahead of me. Help! I need help.
Do you cook wild boar? Share your tips, tricks and recipes with me in the comments section, please.