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

More about the Stasney’s Cook Ranch Hogs

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, and Hudman.

Question: What is the biggest hog taken on this ranch?Click to enlarge
Barrington: We’ve taken a hog that weighed 464 pounds. But I took one in Throckmorton County where I lived that weighed 600 pounds and had bottom tusks that were 6-inches long. Here in Texas, there’s no season and no bag limit for wild pigs, as far as the state is concerned. We can hunt them year-round, we can hunt them at night, and we can hunt them with dogs. The ranchers that aren’t in the hunting business really want their hogs removed. So many times you can go do the rancher a favor by helping take hogs off his ranch.

Johnny Hudman is the ranch manager of the Stasney’s Cook Ranch and sets up the wildlife-management program for all the wildlife on the ranch. On most Texas ranches, all hunters are asked to shoot hogs on sight, as most ranchers believe that the hogs compete with cattle, goats and wildlife for grazing, they destroy turkey nests, and they can become carnivorous, feeding on newborn calves as well as newborn deer fawns. But Hudman doesn’t share this philosophy. We wanted to know why.

Question: Johnny, when do you do most of your hog hunting?
Hudman: We hunt hogs year-round, except during the really-hot months. We stop hunting about the end of April or the first of May because the weather’s so hot then you can only hunt about 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. The rest of the day is just too hot to hunt. Click to enlarge

Question: Johnny, why do you have a different philosophy on hogs than most ranches in Texas do?
Hudman: I believe that wildlife management, regardless of the species, is sight specific. By that I mean the management practices that are set up on any piece of property has to be designed specifically for that property, and the wildlife that live there. On the Stasney’s Cook Ranch, we have a lot of shallow soil and rock. Therefore, we don’t produce any crops. If we were producing hay or grain, we’d probably hate hogs as much as any ranch does. We don’t have net wire fences that hogs are notorious for tearing-up. So the hogs really don’t bother us much. We use our hogs as a public-relations tool and a part of our marketing program. If an organization is having a charity raffle for a hunt, then we’ll often give them a hog hunt to raffle off. The people who come out here to hunt hogs see the large number of deer and turkey we have, and they’ll often come back to hunt deer and turkey. We have a lot of fun with the hogs. And if we get too many, we can quickly and easily thin their numbers.

On croplands 100 miles from our ranch, hogs do a lot of damage to the crops. However, since thereClick to enlarge are no crops here, the hogs aren’t a bother, and they give us almost a year-round animal to hunt for the trophy hunter and the meat hunter. Feral hogs also provide an interesting and different animal for our wildlife tours and our wildlife photographers. We have a bed-and- breakfast program here at the ranch and the option of going on a wildlife tour. And folks really seem to enjoy riding around in a vehicle, seeing and photographing not only the hogs, but the bison, elk, deer and other wildlife and game we have here at the ranch. As ecotourism continues to grow, we’re seeing more and more people who want to come to our ranch and stay in either the bunkhouse or the cabins that we’ve built to spend quality time with their family and friends and fish, photograph and watch wildlife. Evidently the more wildlife that folks see and have the opportunity to photograph, the more they enjoy our wildlife tours. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’re not coming to the ranch just to see the hogs. But the feral hogs are part of the overall wildlife package that they can view and photograph when they are here.

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

Tomorrow: Yes, You Can Call 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 3