"In addition to the enjoyment of the sport of hunting and being in the woods, I love to eat the hogs that fall into the right size category," he said. "Big boar hogs are generally not good for eating, but a sow in the 125- to 150-pound class or less will be as good as any domestic pig when properly prepared."
Matthews said the process is a bit of work but well worth it.
"First, I scald the hair off using hot water and then scrape the animal to get everything off the skin," Matthews said. "Next, we'll hang and clean the hog thoroughly. My favorite way to cook them is to bar-becue them. While they also make great sausage and other table fare, I put my hogs on the big cooker. I will take out all the big bones such as the shoulder blade (and) the leg bones; I'll make deep cuts into the shoulders, hams, and I make incisions between each rib so the sauce can get in deep into the meat."
Matthews said he's learned it's best to let the hog cool down overnight in a cooler, then he'll salt the pig down well and place it face down on his big gas cooker.
"My basic formula is to cook the pig one hour for every 10 pounds of dressed weight," he said. "Once that's accomplished, I flip him over and cook two more hours adding sauce every 15 to 20 minutes. I also dip off the grease before putting on more sauce."
Matthews said his sauce recipe is simple but incredibly good.
"I use one gallon of white vinegar per 100 pounds of hog. Then I mix that with the same ratio for the other ingredients, which (are) one-third cup - or two ounces - of black pepper, one-third cup of red pepper and one-third cup of crushed red pepper. I also add a small bottle of Tabasco sauce and one third cup of salt to the mixture. I mix it all up and baste the hog well after I turn him over. Repeat that process for two hours, and you'll be pulling and eating ribs while the hog is still on the cooker "
Matthews said that this recipe will turn any wild hog into a gourmet meal that's as good as any domestically prepared hog.