Whatya do with 35 pounds of Russian Boar Fat Trimmings? By Ed Hale

I was just amazed at the quantity and quality of fat from my very hairy Russian Boar.

Of course I have boasted about the quality of meat a bit, but here I could have just thrown that beautiful fat in the trash as a byproduct of the butchering process.

That is not me, I love to experiment! Accordingly, I read up on the rendering process and what I could do with the resultant lard. For the record, the fat does not smell much, the wet rendering process creates little odor in the kitchen that my wife was concerned about. “Wet rendering” is a hot water bath in a large pot that renders (pulls the fat as a liquid) the fat so that as the fat melts, it will not burn.

Below are 2 pots that have slowly heated water, beginning the process. Some folks, I did not think of it, will put the fat through a meat grinder which speeds up the rendering process significantly.  I turned the stove vent on low to ensure little odor.

The next best thing was to cut up the fat in the pot with scissors.

After 3 hours, the fat was somewhat liquified at a temperature of 275ºF measured with my candy thermometer.

I could tell when the water which boils at 212 F was gone because the temperature of the liquid rose slowly above 212 to the 275 mark. I was patient to heat the fat slowly over my natural gas stove so I did not burn it.

Here I am pouring the fat into wide mouth canning jars.

After cooling for several hours the fat now called Lard has solidified and off to the freezer. The lard is good enough for making fine pastry dough or for frying foods such as chicken, fish, seafood, french fries or even to make donuts or fried dough. The good fats in this lard are abundant but like everything, moderation is key.

Below is a neat article suggesting that Lard is the new health food. It is a fun read or the saturated-fat-healthy article below that.

http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/lard-the-new-health-food

http://greatist.com/health/saturated-fat-healthy

So don’t throw out that fat, render it. I now give a tiny bit to my dogs in their food. They love it. I can’t wait to fry with it too.

Here is the fat in my freezer below. I did not mention the left over fat solids are called crackle and can be used in salads etc. I have yet to use the crackle but saved some for a later use.

© 2017 All Rights Reserved

 

 

Carving My Russian Boar at Home? How’s it Going? by Ed Hale

If you have butchered your own game then making the jump to a large skinned and quartered wild boar is just simply more to cut-up but you need refrigerator space or a very cold garage to store meat while cutting.

I have stored the quarters of meat in my cooler in very cold February winter garage at around 15 to 20 degrees F until I got to them to cut up. Below are the ribs laying on the large rear leg roasts. Look at the fat on the base of the ribs!

I have had the meat home for one week and have literally just one piece left to cut up, a rear leg,and I might just leave it whole and freeze it. Below my LEM Grinder.

I have created nearly 100 pounds of vacuum sealed meat such as Chops, Stew meat, Roasts, Steaks, Boar Burger, Breakfast Sausage, Italian Sweet Sausage, Chorizo Sausage, and mild Apple and Leek Sausage.

I used the book “Home Sausage Making” 3rd Edition by Susan Mahnke Peery and Charles G. Reavis by Storey Puiblishing. It is a simple straight forward book. I like it!

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Sausage-Making-How-Techniques/dp/158017471X 

below breakfast sausage patties on left, Italian sausage links on right and coarse grind meat below.

I have grilled a few chops, they are soooo good and the sausage is fantastic!.

 

Made a boar stew that was so good that I shared it only with my family.

 

My wife loves the Apple and Leek sausage perhaps the most but the breakfast sausage patties are fabulous too. Much of the sausage I did in 2 pound increments so if I liked it, could make more or didn’t like it, I lost 2 pounds meat in the test.

My boar burger is rough ground and works “the nuts” in my Chili Recipe. Honestly, I have been a hunter for over 50 years and this Russian Boar, a female, is the best eating game animal I have ever experienced so I am taking care to vacuum seal every morsel.

I have yet to use any tenderizer methods on this meat! Wow!!

Good Hunting and Good Eating!

© 2017

Russian Boar Shield No Match for Nosler E-Tips by Ed Hale

Long before the bullet entered my 300 lb plus Russian boar at Skinner Bog, the bullet encountered the “Shield” at 15 yards. The “Shield” is an unbelievably thick leather like gristle in the hide itself perhaps 3 inches thick that protects the vitals of these boar. The shield is for protection in battle for mating purposes, to prevent the tusks of an aggressor boar (some as large as 5 inches) from entering the vitals.  Having said that, the 168 grain copper bullet was designed to  “E”xpand and it did just that on the shield placing 2700 ft-lbs on a half inch area. The Energy Expansion tip E²Cavity™ video below.

 

As the E² Cavity fully expanded on the boar shield hide it set up a 2700 fps supersonic shock wave that created radial blood vessel damage of more than 6 inches in my giant boar with a quarter size entry wound in the image below and completely wrecked the lungs and heart. It collected some tissue with it and punched a 2 inch exit hole in the ribs and blew through the shield on the other side. Wow!! Talk about making a hole!

Yes it’s original design was for lead free zones but I like the fact that it does not come apart, exhibits no lead and keeps on trucking! When I was in the Navy, we used the term, “make a hole” to get through a crowded room. This new term “Make A Hole” is given new meaning with the E-Tip exit hole below.

In conclusion, I did lose some rib meat to the radial damage but the bullet exited fully expanded and intact after breaking the shield and ribs on both sides.

Regular copper jacketed lead bullets in 30 caliber would have mushroomed completely “at that speed” with likely jacket separation and lead fragmentation.

The only other bullet that can take this punishment and not come apart is a bonded bullet where the lead and copper are bonded together like the Nosler AccuBond.

So if you are like me and serving your game to friends and family the E- Tip is a fabulous choice and the best choice for me.

Good Hunting!

© 2017

 

 

 

Skinner Bog Hunt Rating

It is important to give a rating or report card on my Skinner Bog Hunt

Accommodation Grade: A+

Shower Available? Yes

Bathroom part of my room. A+

Food and Beverage: Full Service: A+

Guide Service by Owner: A+

Animals I desired to hunt: A+

Helpful to the Customer: A+

Would I go again? Yes Absolutely

Game quality? A+

Hunt Value? A+

This is a first rate outfit with Jeremy at the helm!

An Honest Hunt! The Russian boar meat is fabulous!!

 

 

Skinner Bog Maine Russian Boar Hunt:TC Pro Hunter with Nosler E-Tips and a Leupold Scope by Ed Hale

It was Monday February 6th, 2017 at near noon when I left for my Maine Russian Boar hunt. It took me a bit over 3 hours to get to Dixmont, Maine, were Skinner Bog Hunt Park is located. I promised my friends at Nosler that I would “take” a Russian boar with Nosler E-Tips and gave me a chance to shoot the TC Pro Hunter Single shot rifle in 30-06 Springfield with my favorite scope, a Leupold VX-6 3-18 x 44mm

Skinner Bog Hunt Park

http://www.skinnerbogdeerfarm.com/russian-boar-hunts/

Skinner Bog Hunt Park is owned and operated by Jeremy Bilodeau who has a passion for hunting Whitetail deer as well as his hunt park operation which has game animals such as the Russian Boar, mixed wild boar breeds, Red deer, Sika deer, Fallow deer and Elk. Give Jeremy a call at the website if you want more info or to book your own hunt.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Jeremy at the main camp and taken to my bunk area where I spread out my gear and relaxed before dinner.

Here is a shot of the living area wall back at camp with all of the family whitetails taken.

All deer on the walls were taken by Jeremy and his 2 sons. Food and drink was provided for by the lodge and was treated to a first night steak dinner and some grilled wild pig along with Asparagus and Scalloped Potato. The wild pig was a cross breed from the park and delicious.

I was to hunt the larger 400 acre park in the morning for a long standing wild group of very wary Russian boar. We got out to the park on his large side by side 4 wheeler. Temperatures were hovering in the 12 to 16 degree range so we bundled up. I was shooting the TC Pro Hunter Single Shot in 30-06 Springfield with Nosler E- Tips, the E is for Expanding. An all gilding copper bullet that Expands on contact and stays together.

I thought I was well prepared until we started “still hunting” on a fluffy 3 inches of new snow on frozen compressed ice snowpack underneath, except I was not very still. My boots were not able to grip the snowpack and it was like I was on an undulating skating rink where I slipped and fell many times. Just a week earlier Jeremy and his client put up a nice Russian boar in the same area we were hunting, hoping to cut fresh tracks. We covered many acres of what should have been prime bedding area and came up with not one new track. But there are at least 25 animals in the half square mile park. Of course we could see where the animals had been just days before, but you can’t eat tracks as my dad used to say.  Jeremy suggested we take a break, concerned for my slipping and sliding and I said directly; “I’m fine…don’t need a break.” I was determined to not let the slipping get the best of me and continued our hunt in hopes seeing new sign. My pride was perhaps bruised more than I was.  We stopped off at the deep woods guest cabin that sleeps 6,  to see inside it and make sure the scope was still on.

Sure enough it got banged enough to shoot 9 inches to the right, at 100 yards. A few adjustments and we were back on target.

Ok, nuf’-o-that,  we decided to have some lunch and shift gears to a different spot in the park. Jeremy rustled up a pair of Trex™ Ice traction slip-on’s (below), and that did the trick.

Trex™ Ice Traction Device (05831)

Renewed and refreshed Jeremy led me to a different area. It wasn’t long as we pushed through the spruce, we could see legs of animals ahead of us. Jeremy said “Red deer” as they melted into the backdrop. I heard them but did not see them.  As we moved along we heard a grunt, then another; a parade of Wild boar, both large and small were moving away at about 50 yards. Jeremy, earlier stated that several Russian  boar are here as well as mixed breeds. I wanted a Russian boar to write about and serve to my friends and family for dinner!

Jeremy and I followed from a safe distance and the boar began to root around oblivious to us. We got into position for a shot in the first available opening but all we could see was the back end of the boar. Then the big Russian swapped ends and headed straight at us. We froze momentarily in hopes it would not see us, then like a dart the boar went left quartering away at 35 yards but the smaller boar were milling around, and the equally large boar was nearby making a shot impossible.

Then, two more small inquisitive boar came up behind us so we gave them plenty of room, knowing we would end up in a better shooting position anyhow.

The smaller boar were bold as all get-out, not sure what they would do, so we move away.

Finally in the thick spruce the Russian boar was alone and we were in  position just 15 yards away and was broadside. Jeremy whispered; “Clear!” I was already aiming and ready. Boom! I could see the tissue tight behind the boars shoulder give a puff and ran away to the left and down an opening where, in just 30 yards, it collapsed. Perfect Shot Ed!, said Jeremy! We high fived a few times as she collapsed just 30 yards down a small hill. It was a mad house of all the boar grunting that stood around it and in a protection circle and the other big Russian was popping his teeth as a warning.

We stayed at a distance to ensure the boar was indeed dead for a few minutes and then went into recovery mode back at camp with a 4 wheel vehicle and a plastic toboggan. We got the big Russian all loaded up and away from the other boar and found a spot for a photo shoot with the boar, my TC Pro Hunter Rifle, Leupold VX-6 Scope and the Nosler 30-06 with 168g Copper E-Tips that brought this Russian boar down in a hurry.

Now the process of skinning and quartering is underway below. Look at all that fat!

Here is where the Nosler E-Tip, (E for expanding) all copper bullet did on entrance. The bullet encountered the thick skin on the shoulder called the “shield” and the E-Tip opened (expanded) on the shield as it punched through the ribs with a quarter size hole on entry. The bullet shredded the lungs and took a chunk from the heart and exited with a golf ball size hole. And not a trace of the copper to be found!!! Wow! Now that is a bullet! I will be feeding some of this to my little grandkids and feel confident that there are no lead fragments as it is all copper and resists fragmentation.

Jeremy suggested we leave the halves to cool in the 16 degree weather.

I used a power reciprocating saw with a new blade they call the Ax. Did a fine job cutting bone! Look at that fat marbling will ya!

It is Thursday, I killed the boar on Tuesday afternoon.  I cut up half of the boar during the Northeaster Blizzard we were having here in New Hampshire. In the blizzard I heated up the grill and barbecued these puppies in Balsamic and Fig Vinegar, salt and pepper till crispy and about 140 or so internal temp. Look at those snow flakes!

So after all those  driven miles, all the falls in the snow and slick ice woods at Skinner Bog in Maine, here is the dinner I created;

Grilled Balsamic Russian boar chops with Broccolini , Crisp Apple and Bread Stuffing and Newfoundland Partridge Berry /Blueberry Jam on the side. Wow! And a Stella Beer to wash it down. Magnificent!!! The fat was blackened and crispy, meat tender and very flavorful and non gamey. Restaurant quality!

Thanks so much Jeremy, It was a blast! I will be back!!!

A big hat tip to my friends at Nosler and the E-Tip, Thompson Center for such a fine rifle and Leupold for its famous VX-6 3-18x44mm scope.

Good Hunting!

Copyright © 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Rifle Cartridges and Historical Perspectives for Hunting North American Game by Ed Hale

Any rifle cartridge that can come close to, or better than the 30-06 Springfield in energy and speed can take all North American Game. Lesser cartridges exist to hunt deer and black bear only.

I was never a fan of the 30-30 because the Marlin I was exposed to as a youth had a bad firing pin and sometimes would not fire. In analysis it could have been a lubricant issue in 6 degree weather. Never the less, I was not a fan but history shows it is magnificent on deer size game.

The .243 Winchester with 100 grain bullets is fabulous on deer in open terrain out to 300 yards and recoils little. It’s limitation, I believe, is that a small branch in the way can damage the path and delivered energy.

Most of the local New England clubs saw the .270 Winchester and 30-06 as a Cartridge that was not only available but it could be used on Yukon Moose and Brown bear, though many would prefer “more gun.” Especially those who wound the bear and he decides to come for you. Then a bazooka would be just fine, right! Truth be told, they are good performers but on a scale of good, better, best they were just “good” on really big game. On my upcoming Russian Boar hunt, the 30-06 is in the “better to best” category.

“Better” for big bears and moose are above the 30-06 cartridge beginning with the .300 Winchester Magnum. The problem was that the 300 Win. Mag. and larger kicked like a mule, and some after being pummeled, just sold their purchases to go back to a lighter rifle. Then along comes the Simms Recoil pads and Pachmayr Decelerator pads that often reduce felt recoil by 50%. Next is the .338 and .358 Norma Magnum. I owned a .338 Winchester Magnum and have no experience with the .358 so I will leave that for others.

I found that I could shoot my Ruger M77 in .338 Winchester Magnum and Nosler 250 grain Partitions with my T-shirt on, as long as I was not Bench Resting. Here is  my Record Book Kudu with the Ruger M77 in .338 Winchester Magnum and hand loaded Nosler 250 grain Partition bullets. One Shot, one Kill.

Magnums could be easily tamed with these recoil pads. Jim Carmichael of Outdoor Life killed Cape Buffalo with the .338 Winchester Magnum. Hand loading gives a lot of versatility.

Years later, I purchased the Ruger M77 African in .375 Ruger which, when loaded down can take small game to deer, then loaded up to bear, moose, bison and cape buffalo. It is perhaps the most versatile cartridge I own for shots out to 300 yards with a Nosler 260 grain AccuBond. Further for elk size game out to 600 yards if you practice with a laser rangefinder. Left is a Nosler AccuBond and right is a monolithic alloy solid for dangerous game. At 100 yards the impact is nearly identical.

Today there are numerous cartridges that are available such as the new 6 mm and 6.5 Creedmoor for deer and elk which are thin skinned. I have written extensively on the 6.5 Creedmoor and believe it to be the most accurate in its CXP class.

From the website below;

“Winchester calls these “CXP” classes, from CXP1 through CXP4, and has registered CXP as a trademark. CXP stands for “Controlled eXpansion Performance.” Federal lists Usage numbers from 1 through 4 for rifle hunting ammunition. With or without the CXP designation, the numbers 1 through 4 represent the same four basic types of game in both ammunition catalogs.”

See CXP classification by Chuck Hawks on bullets and game for a detailed look.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/cxp.htm

 

Bullet construction and material have made great strides like the copper bullets, partitions, and bonded bullets. Bullet engineering has manifested itself in its ability to be manufactured economically in copper, and bonded with lots of followers so really it is not just about the cartridge but the bullet and its construction as well.

Good Shooting!

© 2017

Sight- In with Leupold VX-6, Nosler E-Tips and TC Pro-Hunter for Russian Boar

I moved my best scope, Leupold’s Gold Ring VX-6 3-18x44mm to the TC Pro Hunter using Weaver Grand Slam style bases and a quick detach ring.

Shooting in very cold weather created a situation that I could not control with the levers as they were hard to tighten and became loose at the range at 15ºF, and could be banged loose on branches in the heavy woods.

Accordingly, I went to my NH  Bass Pro shop and found Warne Scope Mounts in Steel (Made in the USA) for a 30mm scope tube. It was almost impossible to find out of regular hunting season… but I did.

It is a split ring in right and left halves.

Product Details

The directions were great as I already had a Wheeler Fat Wrench with a T-15 tip. All I had to do was set the torque to 25 in-lbs for the screws and I was done. Cost $59.00 but I did not shop around as I wanted them now.

What I had not purchased for the VX-6 was scope covers, so I went ahead and fitted the scope in the BassPro store with Butler Creek Flip Open Scope Covers. The front 44mm lens took a 53.3mm cover.

Butler Creek Flip-Open Objective Scope Cover, Size 31 (1.998-Inch, 50.7mm)

and the rear lens took the 42.2 mm lens cover with the red lever.

Product Details

 

I have had great success with all  my other scopes with Butler Creek covers but it is best to bring your scope with you and fit it right there.

I tested the E-Tips, Scope, Mounts and Covers today at the range and was shooting off the shelf Nosler E-Tips at 100 yards. I was  pleased as punch shooting between one and two inch groups. At 50 yards, where most of my shots at Boar should be, I wasn’t gonna burn more powder and bullets to split hairs.

 

If you get snow in your barrel, what then? Use a single piece of elect tape to cover your barrel muzzle or buy latex finger cots at your local grocery store or pharmacy. Like a small condom for your rifle barrel.

Method #2 bring a bore snake in your backpack if you have to clean the bore in the field due to mud or snow.

My TC all Rigged up

Bring on those ornery Russian Boar tuskers…

© 2017

 

 

Countdown to my Russian Boar Hunt in Maine by Ed Hale

Just a week away from the Super Bowl and the next day begins the short journey to the deep woods of Maine with a friend to hunt the prehistoric Russian Boar on a hunt park with long razor sharp tusks to eat or kill whatever it desires for food. It is one mean looking, some say ugly, tusked animal that widely roamed Europe since the Pleistocene Period of over 2 million years ago along with the Wooly Mammoth. The Alpha male of the species can grow to unheard of sizes far in excess of 600 – 800 lbs and grow tusks over 6 inches long. Below is an image (courtesy of Bing.com Images) of a mature Russian Boar. He looks to tip the scales of over 300 pounds.

Image result for pictures of russian boar

Lots of ham and sausage here but may be too big for better eating. I may want a smaller tastier boar but I will wait till my animal is down with my TC Pro Hunter 30-06 Springfield single shot using 168 grain Nosler E-Tips ( see my articles on E-Tips). I am also thinking of taking my Hoyt Compound Bow too for perhaps other game but we shall see.

The key here is a respectable representative of the Russian Boar that is good eating as I will be butchering this animal at home over the remainder of the week if I get one. Look for my series of articles on the hunt and the food prep end like hams and sausage and burger and ribs for the “barbecue”.  If this hunt is as fun as I think then I will be back next year.

© 2017

TC Pro Hunter- Excellent Trigger Job by 1GUNSHOP.COM by Ed Hale

Formerly bellmtcs.com now 1gunshop.com  who deals now in a wide array of technical gunsmithing, firearms, archery and so much more outdoor gear. A veritable Trading Post On-Line.  The lowest prices anywhere says Kurt Bellm the owner.  Now to the Trigger Job.

As I said in an earlier article, I was having difficulty installing the new lighter Trigger Spring so I sent the core frame (without barrel and stock) to Kurt Bellm in Colorado, owner of 1GUNSHOP.com. Note: The frame is serialized and must be sent via FFL.

Not only did he set the new Trigger spring but added a better custom firing pin and drilled the trigger guard, installing a trigger over-travel screw.  I asked that set the trigger spring at between 3 lb  and 3.5 lbs. My tests show it now at a perfect 3lbs. 5 oz.  I went to the range today to see how the trigger, firing pin and trigger over-travel screw worked and was elated at the crisp trigger, The dimple of the firing pin on the primer was perfect. Oh and for a few dollars more he recommended the 1x Over size Hinge Pin which is 0.0005 more than the current stock pin and will increase accuracy.

Honestly, If I could have installed the new spring, there was no assurance to hit my set goal either, it would have been approximate. It may have even been in the 2. 5 lb. category for all I know and too sensitive for hunting. So sending it back was a more a blessing in disguise. I called him on the phone more than a few times and he was very helpful.

Further that he works on so many T/C’s that he has not only more knowledge on T/C frames than anyone outside of the company but customizes indestructible firing pins, and creates a trigger over travel stop screw besides having the best of all the T/C springs and created the Over Size Hinge Pin to tighten the often looser hinge action. Loose side to side movement is eliminated with the new pin and accordingly improves accuracy from shot to shot.

Thanks so much Kurt!  If you need some TLC on your T/C see 1GUNSHOP for the solution and check out the Website and all that they offer.

© 2017

A Good Hunter Can Butcher Too!

In the cycle of Hunting, you get your hunting skills, rifle or bow and kill a game animal… and then turn around and send it to a meat cutter? Ok there are times when sending your game to be butchered by a trusted source is the smart thing to do, but can you do it if there were no butcher around? Secondly, has your meat cutter done the job you expect? There are lesser meat cutters that pool meat, not necessarily of your deer and give you packages. Yes, there are some very good ones but the best meat cutter is you the hunter. Why? Because you handled every piece that you are going to eat and you know where it came from and how it was handled.

I have used “meat cutter” folks and find them on the whole to be acceptable but the hunt, in my book, is best when you do the job from beginning to end “if” possible. The end part is that you butchered it and served it on a platter to your family and friends. In the case of deer, you find them, shoot one, butcher it, grind it etc., then package it for freezing. The best packaging is to vacuum seal your meat. With this method some meats can store for years. I am a believer in FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers. Below is the V2244. Check it out on the internet.

The advent of the Internet allows us to become students of butchering your own game. Once you find a video to your liking, study it. Here is a few examples:

A new trick I learned is to drain off as much blood as possible by icing your meat in a cooler and letting it melt over the meat and it will drain that blood out. It is blood that often carries gamey flavors. You can fast forward as you need to see some steps you already know.

Cooking tip: Never cook game meat well done. Medium or medium rare is what I do for deer steaks and chops.

Pressure cooking can create the most tender meat from cuts that are naturally more tough such as front leg meat. Grinding meat that is off the front legs and neck is a another way to create better eating for chili or sausage. For most deer, the fat should be trimmed away as it is not very flavorful. Below is a video How to Butcher a Wild Boar.

I found a video of Boar Sausage making that you may like as much as I do.

See you soon! I am getting hungry! Aren’t you?