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.



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.

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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


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






Easy Venison, Elk or Wild Boar Sausage – Updated from Santa

There is nothing quite like cutting a slice of sausage that you made yourself and putting it on a cracker along with your beer or wine. Oh, my God, does that put a smile on my face! There are hundreds of recipes out there to try. And there is a huge market for the suppliers of machines and stuffers to sell you. The easiest sausage is one that is made by hand in patties with no outer wrapping. The key to good sausage be it breakfast or otherwise is to add pork to your recipe that has a high fat content so that your sausage remains moist. If you haven’t made it before then follow recipes that others find satisfactory. All wild game including wild boar has so little fat that by itself will resemble neary 100% protein and will be a tough chew. It is the pork fat that carries flavor as well. Discard any fat from your wild game as it often carries a gamy taste. If there is lots of blood in the game meat then immerse/cover in ice and let it melt and carry blood away with it. Rough grind your wild meat then add the ground pork and then fine grind together so it is perfectly blended with pork fat.

The recipe below is so simple a child could do it!


Bulk Venison Breakfast Sausage

Photo from the website above.

If you want to have sausage to slice and freeze, you can roll a tube in wax paper and then slice and freeze it. If you want your slices for long term freezing, then put slices on a tray with wax paper, freeze then proceed to vacuum seal the slices and they won’t deform under the vacuum process. Or you can buy sausage tubing to stuff. There is a large market for gear, curing, smoking but by the time you are done you have spent lots of money so be advised to spend wisely. If you are big into game and have lots of meat then perhaps it is valuable to invest more.

I made the purchase of a larger LEM #8 meat grinder 1/3 hp from BassPro for Christmas $329. Thanks Santa! I also got some food grade silicone spray for the grinder part protection and easy clean-up.

and a few sausage making kits from my local BassPro Shop.


I own an older vacuum sealer and love it. Still works fine!



Dry Aging and Marinades for the Hunter/Chef by Ed Hale

I have cooked in my kitchen for many years along with my wife but there is always more to learn. If I am successful in my early February hunt and I do fully expect to be, I need to bone-up on meat preparation. Pun intended. I am comfortable doing the butchering as long as my meat is refrigerated.  No problem in February! I have made it a habit to vacuum seal and freeze all of my meat for a month before eating any quantity. This does a few things, freezing is a way to reduce gamy flavor and aids in tenderizing. Vacuum sealed meats can last for more than a year or longer in a good freezer. If you want to try dry aging your meat there is a way today to do that in a separate refrigerator with a dry age box at this website. http://thesteakager.com/?gclid=CPmo-KSE-dACFQ1MDQodbN0LQg  I have not tried this but looks very interesting.

On to the Marinades. My research finds that blood is the main carrier of gamy flavor, so if your meat has lots of blood then soak it in Buttermilk for 4 hours or more. Overnight works too to remove the blood and tenderize. Buttermilk has an enzyme and microorganisms that aids in the tenderizing process. Yogurt does this too. This website has a great recipe which begins with the buttermilk marinade. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/buttermilk-marinated-pork-chops/

To add flavor and tenderize, try these. The pineapple and Papaya have enzymes to tenderize and not mask the flavor. Apple Cider vinegar aids in the tenderizing process in many recipes. I use Braggs “Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother”.

Pineapple Marinade


Orange and Onion Marinade


Papaya Soy Marinade


Brine your boar