Land of the Monster Hogs - Stasney's Cook Ranch in Texas
The Russian Boar – the Big Lie
Editor’s Note: The Stasney’s Cook Ranch, near Albany Texas, is the land of the monster hogs. One of the reasons there are so many older, trophy-class hogs on this ranch is because unlike other ranchers, Johnny Hudman, the ranch manager, isn’t on a mission to eradicate hogs. “We kinda like to have them around,” Hudman says. This week, we’ll tell you what a Texas hog hunt for monster-sized hogs is like. In many states, like Texas, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, you can hunt feral hogs all year long almost any way you want to hunt them. In some southern states, there’s no season and no bag limit on wild hogs. However, before you plan a trip to hog hunt anywhere, make sure you know that state’s season rules and regulations for hunting hogs. Hogs provide a great off-season sport for gun hunters, bowhunters, and handgun hunters. When there’s nothing else to hunt, often you’ll find hogs are available.
One of the biggest lies told by most hog hunters is when they say, “That’s a Russian,” implying that a brindle- or a black-colored hog with the big long teeth that the hunter just has taken is a Russian boar. The other lie often promoted is, “That hog has a lot of Russian boar in him.” For some reason, hog hunters seem to feel saying that they killed Russian boars instead of feral hogs sounds manlier and more dangerous. If you’re wondering if the wild pigs didn’t come from Russia, then where did they come from, most of the feral swine in this country came from boats. They were brought to this country by early explorers and European settlers as domestic swine and allowed to roam free up until the time of the fence laws in the early 1900s. Rounding up all the feral hogs on a piece of property would be much like trying to herd cats. You just can’t do it. Therefore, many sections of the country have a long history of feral swine.
Because hogs reproduce so rapidly, their numbers are growing at phenomenal ratesin almost every state in the United States. The average feral hog will weigh from 50 to 150 pounds. But older hogs can surpass the 200-pound mark. Usually a boar with trophy tusks will weigh from 175 pounds up to as much as 300 to 400 pounds or perhaps more. Although there have been reports of feral hogs weighing 600 to over 1,000 pounds, if you really investigate the lineage of these hogs, most often you’ll find that these super boar were captured in the wild, kept in a pen, and fed like livestock until they reached a desirable weight and then released for a hunter to take.
But before we begin to discuss the merits of hunting the feral hog, let’s talk to a hog guide. Joe Barrington of Throckmorton, Tex., has been guiding on the Stasney’s Cook Ranch located about 7 miles from Albany, Tex., for about 15 years. The ranch is 25,000 acres with 15,000 acres of leased land. Besides guiding hunters for hogs, quail, and deer, Barrington is a welding sculptor, who grew up in a welding shop before he got a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Sculpting at college. He took his love for welding and his art degree and became a metal sculptor. To meet Barrington and to see his work, go to www.redstarstudio.com.
To learn more about Stasney’s Cook Ranch, write P.O. Box 1826, Albany, Texas, 76430, or call (325) 762-2999, or visit www.stasneyscookranch.com.
Tomorrow: The Two Types of Hogs at the Ranch