What’s new in Hunting Knife/Saw – The SwingBlade-Pak

SwingBlaze-Pak & SwingBlade-Pak

It ain’t cheap but a great investment at $99 bucks. The blade that has the rounded end is for gutting as in a gut hook and for caping. The blade and saw is a Japanese AUS-8 steel and the blade is 3.6 inch shaving sharp for gutting and caping. Comes with orange handles too for easy visibility. I saw it at Bass Pro too. Love the quality leather sheath. The video below sells the caping/gut hook tool easily and is field tested.


If you are looking for a new and innovative product for field dressing this may be it.

The other China made product is the Kodi-pak.

Product Details

Check it out!


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.

© 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!


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

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






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?