Feral hog hunt yields meat for needy
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018
By Ritchie Starnes
Stanly News and Press
The freezer at Stanly Community Christian Ministry just got a tad fuller courtesy of the Yadkin River Big Pig Contest.
The ministry and Rowan Helping Ministries were the beneficiaries of a feral hog hunt hosted by the LandTrust for Central North Carolina. The two nonprofit groups divided more than 500 pounds of pork harvested by area sportsmen from last month’s two-day hunt.
The Big Pig Contest was a hunting competition designed to encourage the removal of invasive feral hogs by any legal method within the region LandTrust covers. The top prize paid was $500.
The contest was designed to raise money for local conservation efforts, manage an invasive species that is expanding into the Central Piedmont and help those in need in the community.
“This a great event that showcases the many facets of local conservation. We are excited about the results and looking forward to making next year bigger and better,” said Travis Morehead, executive director of LandTrust.
Feral swine significantly impacts plant communities and wildlife habitat because they root through the ground’s surface in search of food. The non-native animals destroy agricultural crops and pose a substantial disease risk for both domestic swine and wildlife, officials said.
Feral hogs are considered to be an invasive species in North Carolina. Consequently, LandTrust is committed to working to remove feral hogs from its properties through hunting and trapping.
In all, 18 feral hogs were harvested in Anson, Richmond and Davie counties. Twenty-five hunters registered for the competition.
Hunters took their swine to Stuffy’s Taxidermy and Game Processing in Locust for the official weigh-in totals. All pigs were field-dressed before arriving for the weigh-in.
The largest pig, harvested in Anson County, weighed in at 206.6 pounds. Chad Cranford of Salisbury harvested the winning pig to collect the top prize money.
Rowan Helping Ministries received a donation to help cover the costs of processing the harvested hogs.