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Pig Butchering at Sportsmen’s Expo Friday

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Photo by Holly A. Heyser

A while back I did a lamb butchering demonstration, which went off so well that I got lots of requests to do more — and people were hoping I could to do a pig, too.

Well, I am going to not only do a pig butchering demo this week, but I’ll also be giving away 25 free passes to the event, which will be at the International Sportsmen’s Expo in Sacramento Friday evening.

Bracketing that demo on Thursday evening and on Saturday afternoon, I’ll also be giving a talk about how to get more out of your wild game.

The Sportsmen’s Expo is a show where hunters, anglers and boaters can pick up new tips and tricks, see new equipment, meet guides and outfitters and generally check out what’s going on with the scene.

I was thrilled to be asked to do a butchering demo at the show because it gives me a chance to help show anyone who might be interested in person, which matters a lot with such a hands-on activity. Now you can come to Sacramento, plunk down $15 to get in, and we can all gather ’round the hog as I get to work.

The boar itself is being donated by Native Hunt, which is an outfitter run by my friend Michael Riddle.  I am hoping to show hunters — and those interested in learning how to butcher whole animals — how to break down a pig into cuts that are ready to cook with just a boning knife and a hacksaw.

I will be showing you how I butcher critters, and my method is very close to the way the French do it in their seam butchery. This method works with individual muscles, not against them, and will give you a number of pretty roasts and steaks ready for the oven. This method is not necessarily how professional butchers cut their meat, but it is effective — and more importantly, you can do it at home.

The demo will be in the Adventure Theater starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening.

On Thursday and then again on Saturday, I will be talking about nose to tail cookery and will be sharing some secrets about how best to prepare all cuts of meat, from venison to ducks to pheasants and rabbits. 

My goal with this talk is to offer some tips on how to use more of the animals we hunt (or buy) as well as some cooking tricks on how to prepare a perfect roast duck or venison backstrap, or how to cook pheasant breast perfectly every time.  It’s only an hour talk, so I’ll be going quickly, but I will stick around afterwards if anyone has any questions.

Thursday’s wild game talk will be at 5:30 p.m., and again on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. — both times in the Adventure Theater.

Now, about those free passes. The folks who run the show have generously given me 25 free passes to the event. I get to decide how to give them out, and I will make it easy: I am keeping 5 free passes at the “will call” booth for the Thursday evening wild game talk, then another 15 for the hog butchering demo on Friday evening, and the remaining 5 for the Saturday wild game talk.

All you need to do to claim a free pass is say you’re here for Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. First come, first served.

But even if you miss out, the cost to enter is still just $15 (plus $10 for parking per car) – and considering that people are charging upwards of $100 to attend hog butchering demonstrations in the Bay Area, this is a pretty damn good deal. I hope to see you all this weekend!

International Sportsmen’s Expo
Cal Expo Center
1600 Exposition Blvd.
Sacramento, CA
Show runs from Thursday to Sunday. Full schedule here.

14 responses to “Pig Butchering at Sportsmen’s Expo Friday”

  1. Joshua

    Funny, I’d just asked if/when you’d be at ISE on Friday.

    The timing is off just a bit; we are going up to Tahoe Friday afternoon, and won’t be back until Monday, most likely. It sounds like a great time! Will Riddle be there, too?

  2. Rachel @ Dog Island Farm

    Awwww man! I’m going to be seeing Joel Salatin that night in Berkeley. This would have been perfect for us because come this Spring we’re going to be raising our own hogs.

  3. Cork @ Cork's Outdoors

    This looks like it’s going to be great, Hank!

    Whoever gets to eat that pig from Native Hunt is going to really enjoy it: those pigs are so fat and tasty! Will post this blog post link to my audience at Twitter now.

  4. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    On behalf of those of us who live too far away to attend, can I put in a request for video documentation?

  5. Marshall from Rangeland

    Trying to talk the 6 month pregnant wife into attending with me. I appear to be close. We are now in the bartering phase of negotiatons…

  6. Tino

    Looking forward to this presentation and will the sole purpose of attending the expo. Hope we can be two of the first 15 but making the 2-hour drive will put us at the mercy of traffic.
    Either way can’t wait to learn more about butchering/cooking hogs now that bow hunting for them has become another life passion.

  7. Eric S

    My buddy and I will be there on Friday. Making the trip just to see your presentation.
    Looking forward to it.

  8. Todd

    Nice! Now is the Hog Break down ticket separate from the Expo ticket, or are they one and the same? Looks very tempting…

    Thanks for posting this!

  9. Anthony

    Hank, how did you know I just told my wife that one of my goals for the upcoming year was to take a class on butchering? Thanks for offering the demo. Looking forward to it.
    Anthony in Citrus Heights

  10. Andy G

    I butcher the same way. I used the same technique on all sorts of critters when I was a skeletal preparator and anatomy instructor and I never went back. The best part is having cuts that are made up of recognizable muscle groups rather than cross-sections of different groups with different cooking properties. The hardest part about this (or any other) style of butchering is finding a good place to set your beer while you work.

  11. Brian

    Saw the hog butchering demo last night and got a lot out of it. Thank you. Wish I had checked out this site before I went to ask for the pass!

  12. Marshall from Rangeland

    Enjoyed the demonstration Hank. Much appreciated. Going hog hunting Friday through Sunday. Here’s to hope!

  13. Kevin

    VERY cool. What a great opportunity for folks to learn such a critical value-add and quality control piece of our food. Good for you.

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