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Beauís Boar

It was a typical cold morning when we parked the four-wheel drive beside the gully in the New England tablelands of NSW.  The gully was a beauty, wide, flat and full of long grass with blackberry bushes intermittently spaced along it.  Hunting that morning was Ian, myself, my two sons and a friend from Bundarra, all looking forward to getting amongst the mob that had been sighted earlier in the week.

As we spread out across the gully the dogs fanned out, eager to be the first to pick up that elusive scent.  My position was on the extreme right hand side of the gully, a position I found a little disappointing, as the dogs seemed far more interested in the left hand side.  After a short time with the dogs still on the other side and becoming quite excited I came to a small blackberry, about three metres round with a large tunnel bored into the side of it.  As I opened my mouth to ask Ian to bring Beau across to check it out (Beau was doing his usual, strolling along behind Ian, letting the others do the finding), a mob of seven pigs ranging from about 40kg to 100kg (live weight) broke out of the long grass and headed across the open paddock for the timber on the hill.  Some two kilometres later all seven had been caught with clothing being discarded at each pig as the day was starting warm up, particularly with the exercise we were getting.  As I had worn light weight overalls with clothing above them, I was the only one of the adults not stripped down to shorts by the time Ian  and I and Beardy started to drag the largest of the pigs (a sow that, when dressed for the chiller, weighed 66kg ) back to the truck.  We reckoned that as we had to walk back there anyway to retrieve the truck and we had a fair drag to to get her out of the scrub, she might as well come for a walk with us.

As luck would have it, we (Ian, myself, the sow and of course, Ian's ever present shadow, Beau) crossed the gully right beside the bush I'd been at when the pigs broke. I said that I'd keep dragging the sow across to the truck (she'd given up trying to argue by this) if he would put Beau into the bush to check it out.  Neither of us believed that anything would stay there after the commotion we'd made earlier, but what the hell, we were there anyway.  Grabbing Ian's leg tie as well I set off for the truck, thinking I was a bloody idiot for volunteering to take the extra weight.  "I think there's something in here" came the cry and as I turned around I was greeted by the sight of Beau doing an aerial act above the bush.  As soon as he fell back in, a pig chasers version of World War III broke out.  I rapidly rolled the sow and cross tied her legs, eager to get to the scene of the action.  As I got there, Ian gave me a grin, saying "you're the one with the overalls on".

As I crawled into the bush, wondering what I was going to find, I came to the rear end (someone's on my side, I thought) of, unmistakably, a large boar.  Kneeling upright I grabbed his tail, usually my first contact with a pig, in front of my nose.  "He's a pretty fair pig, Ian".  Grabbing one back leg I pushed, Beau pulled and we made our way straight out the other side of the bush to where Ian was waiting.  After rolling and cross tying the boar (with difficulty, the ties weren't made with that size in mind) we loaded both pigs, then drove a circuitous route across the paddock picking up discarded clothing, pigs, dogs and very envious hunting mates.  That boar, dressed for the chiller, took a set of 100kg scales right around and then on to the 40kg mark.  We were paid for 140kg but he was obviously quite a bit heavier than that, considering the gap between the 100kg and zero marks.  I've caught some big hogs, particularly during the years I hunted with Ian, but he was easily the biggest.


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