Wild Hogs Are Always in Season in Florida. And Kentucky. And Georgia. And…
There may well be no better place to hunt the other white meat—some would say the real white meat—than Florida. Home to more than 1 million feral pigs, the most per square mile of any state in the country, it’s always open season on wild hogs on private land in the Sunshine State’s 67 counties, all of which have resident populations of the pigs. Maybe that’s why only the state’s whitetail hunt is bigger. Also in the hunters’ favor: No license is required to hunt hog, there are no bag limits and the use of most types of rifles and bows, as well as dogs, is allowed. Feel like trapping them? That’s legal, too. Hunting is open year-round on several species, including raccoon, opossum, coyote, nutria, beaver, skunks and rabbit. But none of them makes as good a barbecue companion as a wild hog.
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Florida isn’t alone in having year-round open season on wild hogs. Also known as feral pigs and wild pigs, the animals are considered a “nuisance” (Mississippi), an “exotic” (Texas) and, a fan favorite, an “outlaw quadruped” (Louisiana). In fact, 14 states in Farwide’s hunting database have year-round open season on wild hogs, as long as you’re hunting on private land. The same is largely true for lots of other nuisance species, like coyotes and armadillos.
Why the easy regulations? Wild hogs are opportunistic omnivores that will eat anything they can get their snouts on, which can result in a great eating experience for hunters who consume their kill—and a terrible experience for farmer’s ranchers and golf course managers, among others. Pork from wild hogs is dark, nutty, rich and lean, tasting more like bacon than farmed pork, which has had much of the porkiness bred out of it by farmers trying to create low-fat meat. Consider yourself lucky if you find a hog population that’s been feeding on acorns; one bite and you’ll be planning next week’s outing. Just be sure to cook the meat thoroughly.
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