Archive for the 'Feral Hog' Category

Challenges of Controlling Feral Swine

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Herd of feral hogs.

This is Passport

Trapping and hunting are not effective controls against feral pigs.

These methods have not been able to reduce the geographic spread and the increase and abundance of feral pigs in our state, nationwide, and – I’m sorry to say – globally.

Justin Foster, research coordinator at TPWD for region two, says we need new tools to combat the pigs. The agency is evaluating sodium nitrite based pig toxicants.

What we don’t have is a tremendous amount of information that tells us that we can deliver any pesticide safely, reliably and humanely.

They’re collecting that data now. During one field test the pigs dropped baits, perhaps detecting a difference between the placebo and poison versions. This lead to unintended costs for passerine birds.

And so, as this bait was being dropped, and those feral pigs were going back to the feeder to try some more—it wasn’t so bad that they weren’t trying more—they were trampling the bait that had been dropped. And that bait had some grain in it. We assume those passerine birds were targeting that grain.

Researchers do not take such losses lightly, and continue to work on a reliable and humane protocol.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series and funds the development of toxicants and delivery strategies for controlling feral hogs in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Food Week: Wild Game Ups His Chef Game

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017
Jack Gilmore says working with wild game helps him to "up" his chef game.

Jack Gilmore says working with wild game helps him to “up” his chef game.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

Hunters call them feral pigs. Chefs call them wild boars. Names don’t matter as long as the end result is delicious.

We use wild boar for a lot of chilis and things like that.

Feral pigs cause millions of dollars in damage to cropland in Texas, and tear up wildlife habitat, too.

Chef and restaurateur, Jack Gilmore serves game dishes at his namesake restaurants Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Austin and Round Rock, and says cooking wild boar offers challenges and rewards.

You really can’t write a recipe for it, because each time it’s different because it’s wild. It might be a little gamier, or a little fatty – or it may not have enough fat in it. You really have to be a chef again and say: ‘Well, if it doesn’t have enough fat in it, we could add bacon to it. If it has too much fat in it, we have to render it.’ You never know what a wild boar eats. You just don’t know. But, if they’re raised in the Hill Country, you know they’re eating persimmons; you know they’re eating acorns; you know they’re eating pretty good. But, sometimes you just have to realize what you’ve got and make it taste good.

Braising feral hog meat in the oven on low heat over a long period of time creates a tender and tasty result.

Find wild game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Wild Game for the Holidays

Friday, October 6th, 2017
Wild Boar Chops

Wild Boar Chops

This is Passport to Texas

This time of year hunting seasons begin to overlap: quail….duck…deer…you get the picture.

As a result, hunters—and those of us who benefit from knowing hunters—end up with freezers full of game meat. There are worse problems to have.

With the holidays on the horizon, wouldn’t a dish featuring game be a nice addition to your feast? Heck, even the Great British Baking Show had their contestants bake festive game pies.

If you’re stumped when it comes to preparing wild proteins for the holiday table…perhaps a little hands-on cooking class can set you on the right course.

Texas Parks and Wildlife collaborates with Central Market Cooking Schools statewide to offer hands on wild game and fish cooking classes to the public. November’s class is all about dressing up game for the holidays.

Class participants will prepare: Grilled Quail with Red Chile Honey Glaze…Whiskey Spiced Duck with Swiss chard & celery root…and Venison Filet with Blueberry Pan Jus on Cheese Grits.

Tell me that doesn’t sound like a party waiting to happen. The next class is November 14, and takes place in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Southlake, and Plano. All locations are currently accepting registrations.

Find more information at That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.


Find A Central Market Wild Game Class Near You

A Hunter / Cook with Tips on Cooking Game

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Solana Ranch near Salado, TX.  Photos for TPW Magazine story "Hunting with Chef Marcus"

Solana Ranch near Salado, TX. Photos for TPW Magazine story “Hunting with Chef Marcus”

This is Passport to Texas

To coax the best flavor from deer hunters will harvest this fall, proper care from field to plate, is a must. Just ask Marcus Paslay [paz-LAY]. He’s chef and owner of Clay Pigeon Food & Drink in Fort Worth.

Every step of the way—the way it’s handled—drastically affects flavor. You know, in the field, it’s something you want to get cleaned out as soon as you can, and get it cold as soon as you can. It keeps that flavor a little bit more clean.

Clean and less gamey, but not without some gaminess.

It is an acquired taste. So, I think whoever’s eating it is going to have to have a sense of adventure to a certain extent. But there are ways to overcome it a little bit. I always like using brines. Soaking the meat in a sugar, citrus, salt bath overnight—or whatever it takes. That really helps out well with big game such as venison, or hog.

Brining is just one method Chef Paslay uses to impart flavor into game.

Another way I really love on venison is rubbing it down with coffee grounds. And the tannins in the coffee help break down the proteins and they also impart a pretty strong flavor themselves, which masks the gaminess of the meat.

Find Chef Marcus Paslay’s recipe for coffee rubbed venison loin is in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW Mag – Hunting with a Chef

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
Chef Marcus Paslay hunting at Solana Ranch

Solana Ranch near Salado, TX. Photos for TPW Magazine story “Hunting with Chef Marcus”

This is Passport to Texas

Marcus Paslay, chef and owner of Clay Pigeon Food and Drink in Fort Worth, says he started hunting in Texas when he was around eight years old.

You know, I’d go with my Dad and my Granddad. We’d go hunt and fish. And then, you know, as I got older, and a little more responsible, I was allowed to hunt on my own. [laughs]

The restaurant offers a changing seasonal menu of made from scratch dishes that often include game.

Being a hunter, and using game, it just gives you a deeper appreciation for the ingredients in its raw state. You become a little bit more sensitive to throwing stuff away when you’ve seen it alive. And that’s what we do at Clay Pigeon. You know we’re a from scratch kitchen, so we’re buying everything in its whole, raw state. So, it’s just one of those deals that allows us, you know, a little bit more responsibility with our food.

Reid Wittliff wrote an article for the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine where he invited Chef Paslay to bow hunt on the Solana Ranch in Central Texas.

Any time that I can go out and hunt, and we can make a deal of it, where it’s eating what we hunted the next day, I mean, that’s pretty cool. And to be able to put that in an article for people to hear about it pretty awesome.

The October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine is on newsstands now, and includes Chef Marcus Paslay’s recipes from the hunt.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.