Field Dressing a Wild Boar
Once you have taken down a wild boar it's when the real work begins! Until now everything was about scouting, identifying, stalk, aim and shot. At the beginning it seems a pretty hard job, but compared with carrying a big, male, wild pig back to the camp or truck, that's really the most physical and exhausting job.
That's especially truth when you are too far from your truck, weather is turning bad or there are predators on the area who will enjoy stealing your catch; then time is vital and you need to move fast in order to get back home safe and with all that meat with you.
Some hunters decide to drag their wild boar as it, without doing nothing to the body until reaching a safe place. From a logical point of view it might seem correct, but dealing with a 400 pounds (or more) boar on difficult terrain, most of time very far from your camp it's not the smartest way to deal with this situation; furthermore, the risk of meat contamination increases minute after minute once the animal is dead, so hunters who take the whole body without processing it, are in danger of losing all edible meat.
With the above in mind it seems reasonable to field dress the wild board as soon as you kill it. This way you might expend a little more time on the bushes, but once the corpse has been processed, there's less contamination risk and even better, you will have to deal with less weight!
Once field dressed is completed it will be easier to carry edible meat with less contamination risks.
But, how to field dress such a big animal?... Well, you have two options
1. Just remove internal organs
That's the best way to preserve meat. Harmful bacteria live inside gut and other internal organs. Once an animal dies, its own bacteria begin decomposition process from inside to outside; in addition environment bacteria begin their job from the skin, leading to corpse decomposition.
To slow this process there are two critical steps, wash thoroughly the entire body to remove external, environment bacteria and remove internal organs.
By doing it you will be able to proceed with the second step: cool down the meat.
When meat temperature drops, bacteria begin to grow slower and decomposition process starts later, then a great way to buy a long time window to get back home without wasted meat is removing internal organs and cool down meat as soon as you can.
Some hunters remove only abdominal viscera leaving chest content intact, on the other hand there's a group of hunters who remove both, abdominal and thoracic viscera. It might be a little more time consuming but it assures better preservation, however if you are in rush, removing guts and all abdominal content remains paramount, while thoracic viscera may wait a little bit.
If possible, remove also skin, that way you will eliminate surface bacteria, keeping meat fresher and with better conditions.
2. Leave carcass on the field
Yes, it may sound weird but it's also a popular field dressing technique. Some hunters say it's faster while some other consider it's more time consuming and abandons a lot of good, edible meat on the field.
Leaving the carcass on the field avoids the fact to deal with internal organs and for sure you'll carry a lighter meat pack because the only parts of the animal you are keeping are hams and shoulders.
Some people invest a little more effort and takes back straps and tenderloins too, but even doing it there's a lot of edible meat like ribs left away.
The good news with this technique aside from lighter way is that you won't need to deal with carcass disposal after processing your wild pig.
At the end of the day, no matter which technique you choose, the most important is to field dress your wild boar as soon you are sure it's death (remember that wild pigs are tricky and sometimes they are just playing dead). That's the best way to preserve as much as possible edible meat and protect you and your loved ones from food borne diseases.