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Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

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Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

Old 10-05-2008, 03:19 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

I really enjoy hunting wild hogs and I enjoy talking to others about it. But I run into a lot of misunderstanding about what a wild hog really is. Even guys that hunt them often times don't really know the difference between one or the other.

I'm no expert and there is a whole lot I don't know so don't be too harsh on me. But, I thought I'd throw what I know out and hopefully help inform.

There are a bunch of different breeds of hogs but ALL hogs (which does not include javalina because they are not true hogs) originated from Eurasian boars. Eurasian boars/hogs are the original 'wild hogs' and are native to the continents or Europe and Asia, which includes Russia and many other countries. Domestication and selective breeding of the Eurasian hogshas produced the many varieties and crosses we see today.

Feral hogs are the result of the domestic varieties being released or escaping the confines of domestication and reverting to their wild state. Even as far back as before I was born, which some think was about the time dirt formed, hogs did not exist on this continent. The first hogs in Americawere importedduring the 16th & 17thcenturies by foreign explorers. These were domestics. These hogs were generallyallowed to wander freely and feed themselves. When the need for meat arose, they were rounded up with the ones selected for food being slaughtered and the remainders released again. That was pretty common practice until fencing came along. Often times, these hogs were completely abandoned due to disease and hardships eliminating the human influence. Subsequently, the beginnings of feral populations in Americatook hold and flourished.

"Russian boars" is not a specificsubspecies of wild hog. It is actually a slang term which came into use by localsin the 1920's - 30's to identify hogs that were showing up inthe feralpopulations with some characteristic featuresof Eurasian boars. These 'Russians' were the result of truly wild Eurasian boars, which had been imported to North Carolina from the Ural mountains of Russiafor hunting purposes but escaped their impoundment, and crossbred to the free-roaming feral hogs already present. The term 'Russian boar' became the reference to wild hogs and is widely used today.

I hope this helps. It comes from various sources I have researched.



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Old 10-05-2008, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

Very interesting, thanks. Where do the razorbacks come from?
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:38 PM
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Fork Horn
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

ORIGINAL: David Hughes

Very interesting, thanks. Where do the razorbacks come from?
'Razorbacks' are the Spanish feral hogs which come from the hogs imported by Spanish explorers into the southwest and the imported English domestic hogs. These crossbred and became known as 'Razorbacks' or 'pineywoods rooters'.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:52 PM
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

I really enjoy hunting wild hogs and I enjoy talking to others about it. But I run into a lot of misunderstanding about what a wild hog really is. Even guys that hunt them often times don't really know the difference between one or the other.
Thanks for the excellent post.

In this part of OK there are a lot of Eurasian boars that owe their existence to a rich guy who brought 100 pairs from Germany and turned them loosein this county.

When a hog becomesferal at an early age a transformation takes place astime goes by. The tail becomes straight, the hips becomenarrow and thetusks may grow out, especially on the males. A couple years ago i killed a huge sow with big floppy ears:Because of herlength and number of teats i think she was an American Landrace.She was with 9 weaned pigs that weighed about 50 pounds each. That sow had tusks over 2" long, narrow hips and a straight tail. It was evident that she had been feral forsome time.Sheweighed 352 pounds field dressed despite the fact that she was not very fat.She was some good eating.
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:47 AM
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Fork Horn
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

ORIGINAL: falcon


When a hog becomesferal at an early age a transformation takes place astime goes by. The tail becomes straight, the hips becomenarrow and thetusks may grow out, especially on the males. A couple years ago i killed a huge sow.... That sow had tusks over 2" long, narrow hips and a straight tail. It was evident that she had been feral forsome time.Sheweighed 352 pounds field dressed despite the fact that she was not very fat.
You've raise a good point here. How do you tell if a hog is truly feral or just a domestic on the loose for awhile?

I've read that domestic hogs will quickly revert to their wild nature, given time, and that it only takes 2 to 3 generations before theyhave completely returned to the wild. With hogs, 2 to 3 generations may not be more than 2 years considering they will produce young as early as 6 months of age. So you could have a sow running loose for 6 mnths which births a litter. In 6 mnths the litter is producing a litter and those piglets would be completely feral and exhibiting all the physical and behavioral traits of its wild ancestors.

All the characteristics you've mentioned are very good signs a hog is feral. They physically take on a different appearance. A recent study addressed the physical features of feral vs.released domestic. According to that information, the head shape is a very good indicator of wildness.The studysaid that a domestic hog, either confined or released, will have the deep swoop between the forehead and snout while a truly feral hog will exhibit close to a straight line from its forehead to its snout. Imagine a wolf's face on a pig and you'll get an image of what a Eurasian or feral hog's head should be shaped like.

Glad you appreciate my post!
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:22 PM
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Old 10-06-2008, 03:58 PM
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

So, on to the important question....which one tastes the best!
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: Eurasian or Russian? Maybe Feral?

A few more tidbits of useless info about our tasty porkers. The pureblood european hogs have a dense wool undercoat during the winter. That is one of the first characteristics they lose when they are crossbred with domestic stock. With their straight snout, they have no problem swimming and will take to the water readily to avoid dogs. The largest pure euro boars will only go 400 lbs or so. Domesticscan reachover a 1000 lbs. There are also an ancient breed of mule footed hogs [single hoof instead of cloven] that still roam the coastal areas of the Carolinas. They were dropped off by the Spanish or Portugese explorers pre colony period. The last I heard, they were on the endangered species list.
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