Hunting in Napa

This is a post from our archives — but it’s relevant as it looks like we’ve got another shoot in Napa coming up! Don’t worry, you’ll be the first to know when!

 

I like to know where my food comes from — especially when it’s from the Napa Valley in California. So the idea of hunting (for anything!) in Napa sure worked for me…

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, Hunting, Boar, California

 

So yes, I joined an all-star crew for a hunt. Well…for all the refinement of Napa, it would be a stretch to call this hunt elegant. (Aesthetic, yes! with a backdrop like this…) And I supposed I could step it up by saying we were hunting wild boar, but that would be inaccurate. We were hunting for wild pig — and there are plenty of them there. A destructive bunch who are thriving: the food sources are plentiful and water is readily available so the Napa piggies can get to be as big as 300+ pounds. (As my wonderful guide, Ken kept saying, they are, after all, PIGS.)

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, hunting, pigs, boar

 

The crew consisted of the amazingly talented chef, John McGannon (wait till you read the post in cooking and grilling!), guide Ken Wiegman, and Wilderness Unlimited Founder and CEO, Rick Copeland (who’s going to hate this photo — but Ken (tall with mustache) looked good, so I’m using it.) Rick’s Wilderness Unlimited provides access to over 250,00 acres of private lands in California and Oregon for use by people like you and me for hunting, fishing, camping, and more.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, hunting, pigs, boar

 

Did I mention we were joined by a camera crew too?

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, hunting, pigs, boar

 

Yea. Makes for a subtle group, huh? OK, so there’s Rick, Ken, Chef John, cameraman Marko, soundman Ted, and yours truly. Stealth. That’s us.

 

Stealth schmelth:  see the little dark spots in upper right quadrant of the above photo? Some of those are pigs!  See the line to the right that looks like a road? It is a road — on someone else’s property — in other words, those are safe pigs. We could only admire them.

Welcome to the world of outdoor television.

 

 

IMG_1346

 

We kinda didn’t have a show if our amazing game chef didn’t have any game to prepare…

so we walked on.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, wild boar, pigs, hunting

 

And talked about where the pigs might be…

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, wild boar, pigs, hunting

 

And walked more…

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, hunting, pigs, boar

 

 

And talked more about where the pigs might be…

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, wild boar, pigs, hunting

 

 

It was beginning to look, well, like a classic outdoor television moment: an amazing backdrop, an amazing guide, an amazing chef, an amazing camera crew…and where’s the beef — ok, pork?…

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, wild boar, pigs, hunting

 

Every indicator was there that the pigs were all around — just not where we needed them to be.  Did I mention it was also getting dark? It was time to pull out some jokes. Only it seems I’m the only one who laughs at my jokes. It’s OK, I’m used to that. I have kids.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, wild boar, pigs, hunting

 

 

You’ll have to see the show to know how we accomplish what happens next. Suffice to say it happened early the next AM…

 

You also need to know I don’t do the photos kneeling and smiling over a shot. I don’t have any issue with people who do that, it’s just not my thing.

 

But I am willing to show you what happens next, because I think it’s important.  No meat starts in cellophane — and I’d FAR rather get my pork from pigs that are the definition of free range…and I sure prefer this meat packing plant to ANY other.

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, boar hunt, hunting, pigs

 

Even though I don’t like getting my hands so dirty…

 

 

Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, boar hunt, hunting, pigs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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