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Land of the Monster Hogs - Stasney's Cook Ranch in Texas

The Two Types of Hogs at the Ranch

Click to enlargeEditor’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. Today we’ll talk with hog guide, Joe Barrington of Throckmorton, Tex., who has been guiding on the Stasney’s Cook Ranch for about 15 years and also has a metal sculpting business.Click to enlarge

Question: What kind of hogs do you have here on the Stasney’s Cook Ranch?
Barrington: They’re all domestic hogs that have gone wild – that farmers turned loose at one time. In years past, these hogs fed on the river bottoms throughout most of the year and then were gathered up in the fall and taken to market. Over the last 100 years, these domestic hogs have gone wild. This ranch has an extremely-large hog population with numbers, I’ve heard, as high as 10,000 animals.

Question: How do you hunt the hogs here on the ranch?
Barrington: You can spot and stalk these hogs, but here on the ranch they put out feeders for the deer, and they corn the roads. The hogs come out in the early morning and the evenings to get the corn. They also go to the wheat fields and the watering tanks, and those are usually the best places to find the hClick to enlargeogs. We have about 50/50 meat hunters and trophy hunters. About half the people want to take big hogs with big teeth, while the other half of the people want to hunt for meat hogs to eat.

Question: I understand that there has gotten to be a market for these hogs.
Barrington: Yes, there has. There is a trapper’s market. A live feral hog will bring about $.50 a pound on the hoof for hogs that weigh 150 pounds or more. Most buyers will pay $20 for a hog over 150 pounds and then $.50 a pound for the additional weight above 150 pounds. I have one friend that sold about $5,000 worth of hogs in one season. My understanding is that a lot of these hogs are processed in this country, and the meat is shipped to Europe where it is sold as wild boar meat. The market doesn’t want hogs that have been trapped and then fed corn. They want hogs that are totally feral. Right now there’s a good market for these hogs.

Question: How many litters will a sow have in a year?Click to enlarge
Barrington: My understanding is a sow can have a litter of pigs 180 days after she’s born. After that they can have up to 3 litters a year. There will usually be 8 to 12 piglets per litter, but I’ve seen as many as 16 in a litter. This reason is why we have to hunt hogs not only on this ranch, but anywhere else in the country where wild hogs call home. Their numbers easily can soon get out of control, if you don’t hunt them, or if the land doesn’t have a good supply of natural predators. The hogs are most susceptible to predators from the time they are born until they weigh about 5 to 10 pounds. After that, they have very-few natural predators. Luckily, here on the ranch, we have a healthy population of coyotes, bobcats, hawks and owls that help us keep the hog numbers in balance.

Question: How do the litters of small piglets survive the winter?
Barrington: The sows create what I call a hog nest. She’ll root up a hole in the ground, line that hole with grass and cover that hole with grass. Then you can hardly see her and her litter in the wintertime when they’re down in that hog nest.

Question: How many hogs will you see in a good day of hunting here on the Stasney’s Cook Ranch?
Barrington: On a good day, you can see 150 hogs in a day. If you’re here on a 3-day hunt, you can take 3 hogs.

To learn more about Stasney’s Cook Ranch, write P.O. Box 1826, Albany, Texas, 76430, or call (325) 762-2999, or visit For more information about Barrington’s metal sculpting, go to

Tomorrow: More about the Stasney’s Cook Ranch Hogs

Check back each day this week for more about "Land of the Monster Hogs - Stasney's Cook Ranch in Texas "

Day 1: The Russian Boar – the Big Lie
Day 2: The Two Types of Hogs at the Ranch
Day 3: More about the Stasney’s Cook Ranch Hogs
Day 4: Yes, You Can Call Hogs
Day 5: The Stasney’s Cook Ranch Has Plenty of Coyotes and Bobcats Too


Entry 451, Day 2