SHWAT’s ammoland.com press release offers readers a chance to sign-up for a $25 membership that automatically enters them into a series of drawings for rifles, ammo, training classes and the like. While the lawyers amongst us might scratch their heads on that one there’s no mistaking SHWAT’s main mission: making money. Sorry. Killing hogs. SHWAT = Special Hog Weapons and Tactics. While the pedants amongst us might scratch our heads and wonder what makes hogs so “special” and what kind of weapons and tactics they use (tusks and aggression?) SHWAT’s all about hog killing. As you’d hope . . .
There are millions of feral hogs in southern America. They swarm in large packs, hide during the day, rip livestock to pieces and spread necrotic diseases to humans, who then spread the flesh-killing virus by biting others. Hang on. That’s zombies. Hogs. Zombies. Same thing.
OK, yes, a zombie is a fictional creation (really). A wild or feral hog is a live animal. And there are no more millions of wild pigs on the loose in the U.S. than there are 11.7 million undocumented Americans hoovering up government subsidies in The Land of the Free. In other words, there are. And there’s no getting away from the fact that both zombies and feral hogs are considered “pest species.”
Zombies’ dangers are self-explanatory. Here’s the anti-pig agit prop (jk) from feralhogs.tamu.ed:
A 2004 survey conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service placed annual damage to agriculture in TX alone at $52 million with an additional $7 million spent by landowners to attempt to control the pigs and/or correct the damage. This is indeed a very conservative estimate. Other researchers suggest that damage per pig per year averages $200– but the problem there is that the assumption is made that a 40 pound pig causes as much damage as a 300 pound pig, which is unlikely. The total pig population in Texas has been estimated recently (2011) at 2.6 million. However, estimates for the United States population as a whole are non-existent but “guesstimates” place that number between 4 million and 8 million animals. Some reports estimate total damage in the U.S. may be $1.5 billion annually—However, these damage estimates are in part based on population estimates—but again, a figure we don’t have a good handle on nationwide.
Whatever. Kill the bastards.
[Note to the politically correct: according to the book 1491, hogs released by Spanish conquistadors spread diseases that pretty much wiped out the Native American population. If it weren’t for feral hogs, we’d all be singing the Cherokee morning song. Or have sharp burning stakes thrown into our bodies for two hours.]
Here’s the really good bit: while tooling up for zombie killing is expensive, unnecessary (so far) and impractical (i.e. you can’t really use all that kit on anything other than paper and fake blood oozing zombie targets) feral hog killing is totally guilt-free, fully justifiable real world adventure! And it’s good for business.
Want a reason to buy a new Remington 700 Tactical Chassis Rifle in .338 Lapua with bipod and a thermal and/or night vision scope? Sure you do! And you want to be able to tell the ATF/FBI/ATF/DHS/prosecutor/jury why you own such a thing; you know, eventually. See that logo right there? That’s Special Hog Weapons and Tactics. Did you know that hogs kill seven to eight people each year? They’d eat 10 trillion dollars worth of corn—if Uncle Sam hadn’t paid farmers not to grow it.
To paraphrase the Grinch, the toys, the toys, the toys! Trijicon’s ad on the shwat.com site calls their ACOG red dot sight the “Hog Whacker.” Wilson Combat, EOTech, laserdevices.com, Daniel Defense—all the bad boys have their ballistic toys on display. And why not? Hog hunters do it tactically! From helicopters! At night! Bow hunters taking hogs from 30 feet notwithstanding.
But there’s a small problem in all this. While SHWAT and their ilk are into ethical (tactical!) feral hog killing, the animals aren’t all that good to eat. Something to do with roundworms, kidneyworms, lungworms, stomachworms, whipworms, liver flukes and trichinosis. (There’s a reason I didn’t link to any of that.) Even proponents of wild hog eating aren’t that convincing. Here’s dumdum at answers.yahoo.com:
Very good to eat. Just try not to shoot the larger boars, sometimes, not always they have a rank smell and taste. With pork, I’ve found it is best to gut it as soon as it hits the ground. And skin it before taking it to be processed. If it is a little distance to the butcher shop, you need to pack it in ice. To make it fit in an ice chest you may have to quarter it up. Pork, unlike deer, tends to spoil very very quickly. If you kill a large boar, when you get home take a small piece of ham meat and put it in a skillet and fry it up. If the odor runs you out of the house, don’t bother about processing it. But you can actually tell when the boar is on the ground if he has a real strong odor, don’t even bother with processing him. But if he just smells like a hog, he will turn out ok. I don’t really know why the odor is so strong sometimes and sometimes it isn’t. But it may have to do with mating time.
Yeah, no thanks. Besides, they’re pests, remember? So just shoot ’em and leave ’em for the coyotes. We like coyotes, right? Nick?
Bottom line: feral hog hunting is great for the firearms industry’s bottom line. And getting greater. In our pursuit of Kirsten Weiss trick shot excellence we’ve discovered dozens of hog hunting helicopter companies throughout Texas. Morally, ethically, spiritually, tactically and financially, feral hog hunting is like killing zombies on steroids. Only real. How great is that? Hey, I’m in.
One thing. Can someone please tell the hog hunters above to aim a little lower? Thanks!