So, October is not only breast cancer month, but wait for it…..drum roll please…. it’s wild hog month! Who knew? Well, um… this girl did. Last weekend, I gave an X-rated tour on the farm to a few wives that attended our couple’s Abiding in Christ study. I drove them through the woods back towards the river and beach. Along the way, I spouted off bits of information I’ve collected about farming from how to produce rich grasses to how to make the meat of a hog juicy. The ladies in the back seat leaned in close to hear.
Through the woods, I pointed out where the wild hog had destroyed the vegetation.
“The vegetation along this trail used to be so dense and beautiful, but we’ve since had wild hogs come onto the property. They start their mucking which makes holes in the land, and then those holes fill with water and can turn a dense forest into a swamp. They can quickly tear up an ecosystem.”
I further explained, “the weekends my son Christian is on the farm, he hunts at night for the hogs. He walks on foot through the darkest part of the woods, finds a hiding place, and waits. Many nights he returns to the house with several dead hogs in the back of his ATV. One weekend, he’d had an unsuccessful hunt, so he prayed that God would send him something. Suddenly, the brush started moving and he heard their snorting. He’d been standing in that same spot for a while, and they were silent, but as soon as he prayed God brought the hogs. He killed them and brought them home.”
“What do you do with the hogs once their killed?” One of the ladies asked.
“We clean them and put them in the freezer for meat,” I said. “Well, we do that with the females and babies, but if it’s a male you have to cut off its testicles within seventeen seconds, or the testosterone will spread throughout the meat and ruin it.”
Their mouths dropped open.
“Well, I don’t know what I’m going to do with all this information I’ve heard today.” Angie, one of the women said. “But it’s been a very interesting ride.”
I thought since they liked that one, when we reached the bull’s pasture I’d bless them with more. “Did you know we had two bulls last month break their penises trying to mate? They jumped on the back of the cow and missed their aim and it just broke!”
They gasped. “That’s possible?” A lady said.
After I dropped them off at the house, and drove off, I realized I just filled their minds with some X-rated hog testicles and bull penises, when they came to the farm to learn how to Abide in Christ. I wondered what they must think about me. I admit, I tend to put my foot in it.
Surprisingly, the next day they circled around and hugged me goodbye. They thanked me for giving them such an interesting farm tour. They couldn’t wait to go home and tell their sons all that I’d shared. One of the husbands even laughed and told me he’d wished he’d been on my tour.
All was well.
I painted a Wild Hog once. I was renovating and decorating the retreat home, where our guests stay the night. My friend Ed wanted the home to be in the theme of a hunting lodge. One of the bedrooms I made the Wild Hog room. I couldn’t find a painting of a wild hog that fit into my decorating budget, so I printed off a tiny picture of a painting from an artist off Etsy, taped it to my easel and went to work. While painting, I realized how peculiar, spectacular, and cute these creatures are. From the rich autumn colors of their fur to that funky twisted snout with the flat end made for rutting. (The wild hogs of North America don’t have the twist, but the European Wild Boar do.) I had to remind myself what these creatures do to the land and wildlife in order to allow my son to go out and hunt them after painting that picture.
Temptations in life are like that. We entertain the thoughts, justify them in our minds, and lose control of them. Suddenly they are a full-scale sin wreaking havoc on the landscape of our lives. It can ruin the ecosystem of our souls. We won’t see the damage at first, it’ll leave a little hole here, a little hole there, but then the rains of lies, pride, fears, justifications- whatever we try to cover up our sins with, come. Before we realize what’s happening there’s a stinky swamp where lush foliage used to be.
I am thankful our forest on the farm has yet to become a stinky swamp and still has plenty of vegetation, but we are vigilant about keeping the Wild Hog controlled.
So, as you celebrate Wild Hog month (side note: we celebrated Christian’s 18th birthday this month as well), keep a grip on those temptations don’t let em loose.
Before I close I thought you’d enjoy some wild hog trivia. You know I got it in me.
-Wild hog rut in search of food. They eat snakes, worms, acorns, berries, roots, eggs from birds and alligators. They have ravenous appetites and rut all day and night eating.
-As I stated before, their rutting uproots small trees, grasses, shrubs, turning a forest into a field of mud holes. Their rutting damages root systems of trees, taking out homes of other animals. It damages an ecosystem, causing other animals to flee an area where wild hogs have taken over.
-They normally travel in packs.
-They produce four times the amount of offspring of a deer in any given year. They mate more than once a year and produce 5 to 6 offspring on average.
-The Wild Hog carries 45 different parasites and diseases that can be a danger to livestock and cost farmers boo-coos (very technical term here) of money.
-The Wild Hog can charge up to 30 miles an hour. Females are aggressive if they are protecting their offspring. Males will become aggressive if they feel threatened, but normally they are not aggressive animals.
-They have weak eyes, but they have keen sense of smell. So, believe me they can smell you when you are hunting them.
The Wild Hog started in North America when hunters released farm hogs into the wild in order to later hunt them. Not realizing how quickly they multiply.
-Currently, in some southern states there is an overabundance of wild hog creating real problems for not only the ecosystem but the economy as well. The wild hog can be hunted year-round as they are considered a nuisance.
Supposed to be cooler this weekend. Hope you get some Outdoorsy time.