Prepping a hog for the butcher

As they say in hunting, once the shooting stops, the fun ends and the work begins. If you’ve ever field-dressed a deer, you’ll have a rough estimation of how to do a hog, but there are a few key differences in quartering a pig for the processor.

“Cleaning a pig kinda sucks,” Owen George admitted. “It generally takes two knives because they’re so tough.”

Follow along as George walks you through it one step at a time.

1. Pierce the hide above he knee joint on both legs and hoist the hog to a comfortable height.

2. If you want to weigh you hog, now is the time. This one went 120 pounds. Take the scale off before cleaning, however.

3. Cut around each leg and down to the pelvis.

4. Now you can begin peeling the hide back.

5. Owen George likes to remove the head at this point. It’s going to be gone anyway. Use your knife to cut all the way around the neck, to the spine.

6. Use loppers or pruning shears to cut through the spine. A reciprocating saw (Sawzall) works well, too.

7. Cut the front legs off above the knee.

8. You’ll want to cut the tail off then around the anus so the hide doesn’t get hung up.

9. Keep working your way around the hide with your knife. Pull down whenever possible, but you’ll likely have to cut most of the way down. It’s not easy going.

10. This shot shows the “armor” that covers the top of the back and down the legs that protect the hog in a fight. It’s the white layer that’s immediately below the hide.

11. Backstrap time! This is done just like a deer; start at the top along the spin and carve it outward.

12. That’s going to be good on the grill.

13. After the backstraps are removed and the hide is all the way off, cut the quarters off the rear and front and out them on ice.