Enter the Thermal Scanner

Enter the Thermal Scanner



I came upon a deeply discounted thermal scanner. I got it, and now I’m ready to open a new chapter in my mission of feral hog eradication.

Son Ben and his family planned to visit the tree farm this weekend, so daughter Ella and I drove down Thursday after work.

We got down in time to refill the pig pipes with corn and to confirm that all was in order.

At about 2250, a picture came in of a large boar at the pig pipe. Out I go with thermal scanner and AR equipped with night vision.

I made my stalk while using thermal to look for the pigs. Very handy in white hot mode. 

To my shock and surprise, there was no hog, but there was a raccoon. I could see the raccoon with the night vision and took the shot. Raccoon down.

What became of the hog? Obviously, this was a shape-shifting animal that appeared as a hog and transformed into a raccoon within ten minutes. (And, it changed from a boar to a sow. Amazing.) You can rest easy knowing that this shape-shifter has been eliminated.

Ben and his family arrived in time for lunch Friday. Thank you Ella for the Scotch eggs. Delish!

After a fun afternoon with the grandkids, we all played with the thermal scanner. We could see small birds in the trees. Really a nice device.

Saturday at 0050, a photo came in with three hogs at the pig pipe. Ben and I got up. I had the scanner and tripod, he took the AR. It’s a short walk down the road to the opening where we could see the pigs.

As we walked, we heard a squeal/grunt that sounded a bit hostile. When the pigs came into view, there were only two. I guess one got run off.

Ben was set up on the sticks. I was watching through the scanner. He took aim with the night-vision equipped AR and took the shot.

Bang. Both hogs ran, one going east, one going west.

We could hear a few squeals. The thermal located the hog immediately. It had run about 20 yards. Dead as a hammer.

We left the sow there until the following morning.

After we got up, we retrieved the sow with the tractor. 160 pounds. See photo with grandson Jared. It was fat, it’s skin was stretched as tight as a snare drum.

We used the following technique for butchering. We skinned the hog without gutting it. We took only the hams, shoulders, and back straps. All the meat was on ice.Then we could dispose of the remains with the torso intact and all the vitals contained. Very tidy. Neck shots are best.

That afternoon, we boned it out and ground all the meat and bagged it into one-pound bags. The 160 pound sow yielded 25 one-pound bags.

Note that there is limited yield from a pig of this size. First, their hide and hair is very heavy. Also, using the above method loses considerable meat that might otherwise be used. We have tried keeping the ribs for smoking. It just doesn’t work very well. These are not domestic hogs living in pens. They live outside and are often on the run. Even a fat feral hog doesn’t have fat, meaty ribs. (Not as tasty as you might enjoy at a barbecue joint.)

Also, the bags are labeled with a one-pound mark. If each bag was slightly overfilled, there might have been a few more pounds.

I have used a dry sausage mix with ground feral hog. I like it, but I didn’t bring it or a scale for proper mixing. Ben had his grinder, and I had my bagger. Worked out fine. 

Ben and I walked around for a while after dark Saturday hoping to see some pigs. No pigs, but we watched a couple of deer grazing through the food plot. This is promising for next fall.

No pigs Saturday night.

Sunday morning, we had venison steak and eggs for breakfast. La vida grande!

It was a great weekend with the family. Looking forward to doing it again.

Porcus Hogrelius
Make Yourself a Better Hog Hunter