GOOD TIMES WITH GOOD DOGS.
pigs, what can I say, after hunting them on the average of 3 times per week
for over 30 years the adrenalin still pumps at the sight of a big old boar
making a break for it. There is nothing better than hearing a big boar blow,
after being disturbed from a comfortable bed by a dog.
hunting with a rifle, I enjoyed moderate success, scoring quite a few good
size boars over the years. The nature of the country around my home town,
situated in the New England area of NSW, was on the pigs side though. Many a
time I returned home empty handed, but going by the sign encountered I was
very close to success. The pigs were just to clever to be caught out by a
afternoon I ran into an old school mate who was a keen pig hunter, but
instead of shooting them he used a couple of pig dogs. An invitation was
extended for me to accompany him on a hunt, but I declined, not interested
in hunting with dogs at that stage. Over the next 6 months, every time I ran
into this fellow he would pester me to come hunting with him. In the end, to
stop him from annoying me, I agreed to go on one hunt with him. What an
experience, my wife still blames him for what he created.
picked me up about mid afternoon and we travelled out to a property about 30
minutes from town. He had three dogs, Boss and Sandy, both Bull Terrier X
Boxers and Snoopy, a Bull Terrier X Whippet. Snoopy and Sandy were the
finders and old Boss a holder, and what a holder. One of the hardest dogs I
ever saw. The country consisted of old cultivation paddocks, scattered
timber and miles and miles of waist high grass. I had hunted similar country
with a rifle for very mediocre results. The amount of cover definitely
favoured the pigs, and having not hunted with dogs before didn’t think
success would be on our side. How wrong was I. The dogs were very
experienced and had no trouble at all with the thick cover.
4 hours of hunting the dogs had caught 12 pigs, the biggest about 60 Kgs.
Both the dogs and hunters were all well and truly stuffed, but what an
afternoon. I was totally hooked. The excitement of hearing the dogs get
stuck into a good sized boar was unbelievable.
had to get myself a pig dog. I bought a pup from my mate and tried to find a
working dog, but to no avail. However, fortune prevailed, my mate was
starting a new job in Goondiwindi and wouldn’t have time to hunt pigs for
quite a while and offered to sell me Sandy. I couldn’t pick her up fast
enough. Was she in for some hard yakka.
was the start. I have been hunting and breeding pig dogs for over 26 years,
worn out quite a few dogs and four wheel drives. I wouldn’t have a clue on
the numbers of pigs I have caught over the years, but would number in the
have hunted most of what was considered the pig hot spots in Australia over
the years. Through the 70’s early 80’s as well as hunting locally we
hunted the Watercourse country at Moree, the Macquarie Marshes, quite a few
properties at Walgett, Goodooga, Mungindi, Brewarrina, Bourke, Goondiwindi
and more recently the Channel country in Queensland, as well as the Gulf and
I wouldn’t give to go back to the 70’s, the days before chillers.
Property access was readily available if you did the right thing. It wasn’t
uncommon for property owners to contact their neighbours and so on. We used
to hunt about 300 hundred thousand acres at Walgett for many years. The
property owners couldn’t do enough for us. All they were concerned about
was reducing the pig numbers, then in plague proportions. 70 or 80 pigs a
day was not uncommon, my best for 1 day with 4 dogs was 115. We took in
excess of 4,000 pigs off one 50,000 acre block in 2 and a half years. A fair
percentage of these were good boars, and you needed quite a few dogs to get
you through a few days. I used to take 11 dogs on a 3 day hunt, and believe
me, we needed every one of them.
the years I have had a few real good dogs, quite a few good dogs, heaps of
average dogs and even more useless dogs ( I have found, these are the
easiest to get). Initially I used to try and buy working dogs, occasionally
I struck a good one, but more often than not they were either average or
useless. Either way I found I didn’t hang on to them for very long. I
found the best thing to do was buy a young pup from a known line. (Someone
who has been breeding the same dogs for a number of years that have been
proven). Most of the more reputable breeders will guarantee their pups.
eventually caught up with a Victorian breeder by the name of Doug Mummery
(now deceased) who had been breeding a good line of dogs for quite a few
years and knew what he was on about.
had an old line of running dogs, Deerhound crossed with Bull Terrier, a bit
of Greyhound and Doberman. He Crossed a pure bred English Mastiff to a pure
Bull Terrier bitch and used this cross as stud dogs over his running line to
give them a bit more “heart”. He also had other crosses including Dane,
Foxhound, Rottweiler and Bull Mastiff, but his running dog crosses were the
best, and till this day I firmly believe the best dogs you could ask for
would have some running blood in them, for example Staghound, Greyhound,
Deerhound or Wolfhound.
running dog crosses are good finders, finding well both on the ground or
scenting from the back of a vehicle. They all have a good temperament and
most are easily trained and not aggressive towards other dogs.( A shortfall
with some of the Bull breeds). What I have found though, the Wolfhound
crosses can’t handle the heat as well as the other running breeds. This is
not a problem but you need to be aware, and keep the water up to these dogs.
dogs formed the foundation of probably the best line of dogs I have ever had
and continue to breed and use till this day. These dogs find well off the
truck or on the ground and they run on easily, catching quite a few pigs out
of a mob, if you can keep up, that is. Some of my dogs, I breed specifically
to find and bail and usually run a holder either chained on the back of the
FWD or on a lead if we are walking. Most of the really good dogs I have had,
used to go again if there were more pigs around once the holder arrived.
This can be annoying if the pigs are only small, but if they are good sized
pigs, dogs like these are worth their weight in gold.
Six Months Boar.
night, late, about 3am and one of those nights that is as black as. The
blackness pierced by the steady arc of a spotlight, only the sounds of a
slow moving Toyota four wheel drive and the heavy panting of four dogs
on the tray. Deacon and Chloe, unchained, eagerly sniffing the air for
that telltale scent of pigs. From past experience the whiff didn’t
have to be that strong for these two to spring into action. Beau and
Judy tethered on short chains, were to be used as backups on a bad boar or
dropped on other pigs if a mob was found.
far success was on our side. Testimony of this were the six pigs already
hanging on the back, cleaned and ready for delivery to the wild game
chiller the following morning. These pigs, two boars about 65kgs, the
other four somewhere between 25kgs and 50kgs were caught on a
combination of an old Lucerne crop and a young oat crop.
already hunted two properties we saved what we thought was the best to
last. This property was 12,000 acres, a mixed cropping and grazing
enterprise. My hunting partner Warren worked on this particular property
and had noticed the tracks of a good boar at a couple of the watering
points. Not far from the water were three paddocks of sorghum (maize)
each around 500 acres and we were sure this is where we would find this
in on the first paddock, expectations were high that we would finish the
night with a good hog. As we got closer we were both watching the dogs
expecting them to jump at any minute. Through the gate and half a
kilometre into the paddock not a sign. Ah well, still a lot of crop to
go. About three quarters of the way through crop number one we came across
a pig pad. We both went over to where the pigs were coming under the
fence and there in the soft soil were the tracks of a boar that would
weigh at least 90kgs. Still no reaction at all from the dogs, while we
were looking at the tracks they inspected the crop but showed no
interest. We continued on, at the bottom of the paddock, another pad,
this time with the big boars track leaving the crop.
there was no scent we agreed that the boar must have been coming in
before dark or very early on in the night. OK, two can play this game,
or so we thought. Over the next 6 months we tried everything possible to
outsmart this boar. Many times he may have been in the vicinity but we
caught other pigs and probably scared him off. We hunted two or three
nights in a row at different hours, returned up to 4 times some nights
but still no luck. Gave it a rest for a week or so, still success eluded
us. He was still there; we
could see his tracks in the soft soil. We even followed the pad at least
5 kilometres back into the scrub, but he must have been travelling a
were now out to prove a point, we can catch this bloody pig, and he’s
not that smart. Another Friday night about 8pm, not a full moon but
getting close. We decided to park the vehicle about five k’s from the
paddock, walk through the scrub and pick his pad up approximately three
k’s out from the crop and then follow it back towards the crop. The
theory being that if he was leaving via the pad he would run into us. Or
if he were going into the crop the dogs would pick his scent up. We had
all fingers and toes crossed that any other pigs in the area were having
a night off crop raiding. The walk to the pad was uneventful, the dogs
hunting off for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Warren had Judy on a
lead; she tended to hunt out too far. Once we reached the pad we had a
break for about ten minutes and continued on. The dogs showed a little
bit of interest on the pad, looked like old scent. Couldn’t see any
tracks due to the hard nature of the soil in the scrub.
two k’s along the pad the three hunting dogs had been gone for about
10 minutes. Beau was with them, this usually meant he could smell boar;
he rarely showed any interest in sows when walking, unless they were
right under his nose. Judy was getting very agitated and it was all
Warren could do to keep her under control. Excitement was an
understatement, would it be THE BOAR.
continued on at a faster pace but were restricted by the thick scrub.
Another ten minutes dragged by, still nothing, had they missed him? And
then it happened, about 500 yards ahead the battle erupted. It sounded
as though the three dogs hit him at once so he probably didn’t run. He
was probably just standing in some thick stuff waiting for the dogs to
go past, but they didn't. I have seen old boars do this quite often.
let Judy go and we took of, by the sound of things he knew how to dish
it out. We ran as fast as we could through the scrub but it seemed to
take ages to get there. Nothing like running through thick scrub in the
middle of the night, a good way to lose an eye. When we arrived the dogs
had things under control. After six months of hunting this old warrior we finally had
him, a funny feeling, basically all over with the blink of an eye.
It seemed disappointing that the highlight of pursuing this cagey old
hog would end in a matter of minutes.
It wasn’t the same for the next couple of months when hunting this
particular property knowing that the big boar was gone. But we both new
there would be more.
of trivia, he weighed 101kgs at the chiller. He wasn’t a long pig but
extremely solid. Both warren and myself estimated him to weigh about
85kgs when we caught him. We were pleasantly surprised.
A phone call late one
night from Browny opened the door to the prospect of hunting some new
country. Over the last few months I had been concentrating on working
two properties, and even though we were pulling good numbers of pigs on
each trip, you start to get a bit stale on hunting the same gullies etc
over and over again.
The property we were to hunt was one Browny had worked on a few years
ago, and only recently become home to a large
mob of pigs. The amount of rooting and fence damage was something the
cockie would rather do without, and had tried unsuccessfully to trap the
pigs, managing to reduce the numbers slightly. The ones that remained
were proving difficult to trap, hence the cry for help from Browny.
It had been a few years since Browny and I had hunted together and he no
longer had any dogs. After a long catch up discussion we planned a
daylight hunt the following Saturday. Not knowing where the pigs were
coming from, which paddocks they were working etc the plan was to check
the place out in daylight and maybe strike a few still out feeding in
the early hours.
The property was only a short drive from town, and after unlocking the
gate and giving the dogs a chance to empty out, we were ready to go. The
dogs in tow were Turbo, Deacon and Gus, along with Browny and my son
Stephen. Our idea was to drive up onto a large hill in the middle of the
property and via the scope on my rifle (carried in case the opportunity
of a goat for dog food presented itself), try and
spot the pigs while they were heading back to cover from a night
At this stage it was still dark and about -4 degrees Celsius so we were
keen to keep moving. We had travelled approx 600
meters; when, in a mad rush all three dogs jumped and took off into the
dark at a rate of knots. Judging by the speed they disappeared it
wouldn’t be long before we had our first pig. We followed in the Toyota
but had trouble keeping up due to large rocks every 2 or 3 meters,
eventually forcing us to stop the vehicle,
and continue on foot.
We had travelled about a kilometre at this stage in the vehicle and
about 300 meters on foot and still no action. It was another couple of
minutes before we heard the sound of a pig squealing about 500 meters in
front. A quick run and we had our first pig, a red and black sow just
over 35 kilos. Deacon by this stage had run on and we could hear him
barking about a K further on. The other dogs took off to help out as we
followed at a much slower pace. On arrival and severely out of breath we
finished off a boar just over 50kgs.
It was a bloody long drag back to the truck, but we got stuck into it
and arrived back at the vehicle with both pigs about 30 minutes later,
still leaving plenty of time to check out the view from the hill. On
arrival at the hill, I grabbed the rifle and started to scan the area.
Apart from a mob of goats all was quiet. But perseverance paid off in
this case, and Browny spotted a boar doing his
part to keep the hog supply alive and well. They were about 500 meters
away and just of the end of a scrubby gully, and only looked like the
two of them.
Back in the vehicle we decided to go around the back of the hill and
come in from behind them, and try and block them off from reaching the
scrubby country. We had travelled about 300 meters when out of the gully
near the other two pigs a mob of about 25 pigs appeared with a big boar
in the lead, and by the look of them pretty keen to reach the scrub. It
was now all systems go as we raced the pigs to the scrub. We had two
gates to get through which would hamper our progress substantially.
However, on our side was the need for the pigs to travel up a fairly
steep hill and we were confident we would win the race. By the time we
reached the mob they had just reached some scattered timber and were
very close to cover. We dropped the dogs and followed on foot. Turbo
went up one side of the mob and Deacon and Gus (only 8 months old) went
up the other. Turbo nailed a 71kg boar that cut from the mob on his
side, and Deacon true to his nature headed for the large boar in front
with Gus in tow.
I headed for Turbo to finish off the boar he had, and Browny and Stephen
headed after the other two dogs, which by now had disappeared over a
rise, well up the rear end of the big boar. Before I reached Turbo the
sound of Deacon and Gus bailing could be heard. I wasted no time killing
the boar and getting Turbo off to help the other dogs. A short sprint up
hill and I could see the other boar bailed near a large gum tree. Browny
tried to sneak around behind him but the boar had other ideas and tried
to run as he spotted Browny. Just at that time, Turbo arrived and went
straight in. Normally he would hit and hang no worries, but this hog was
throwing dogs left, right and centre.
was spinning constantly and the dogs just couldn’t get hold. Finally,
after what seemed like a lifetime they had him under control. Browny and
I were right on the spot and grabbed the boar and threw him straight
away. Stephen checked the dogs; Gus was the worst for wear and had some
major hits. He now knew boars bite back, a lesson well learned. Turbo
also had some minor battle wounds but nothing major, Deacon as in most
cases was unmarked.
Next step was to check out the boar, and as always after the heat of the
battle, discuss the last few minutes of the chase, how the dogs went,
estimate the weight etc. Normally we each estimate the weight, and have
a beer bet on who is the closest. Closer inspection of the boar revealed
he had no ears, hence the problem the dogs had getting control of him.
Obviously he had struck dogs before and new what he was on about.
Been there done that!
I can’t remember the guessed weights or who won the beer, but we were
all within 5kgs of the actual chiller weight, he went 90kgs dead on. We
managed another two smaller pigs on the way out of the property, but as
always when good numbers or plenty of sign is evident the next trip is
planned on the way home.
Fat ’n’ Shiny
Sudax, a type of ‘cow
chow’ or ‘speed feed’, is commonly grown for cattle feed around my area
of North Western New South Wales. A much needed supplement on many mixed
farming enterprises and used as both standing feed or baled for reserves
in times of need. In the eyes of the cattlemen, if you wanted two words
to describe Sudax “bloody good” would come close to the mark. However if
on the other hand, you happened to be an avid pig hunter “bloody hell”
would be two words that spring instantly to mind.
For those unfamiliar with Sudax I would describe is as being similar to
hunting sugar cane but not as tough, growing well over head height in
most areas. But never having experienced sugar cane myself I can only
picture in my mind the similarity between the two. For results in
either, your dogs need to be experienced and a cut above average to get
My dogs had broken their teeth pursuing and catching large New England
boars in blackberry invested gullies, and knew all there was to know
about how to find pigs in the most impenetrable vegetation. Certain
times of the year when the grain crops were ripening, a welcome change
to the ever present thorns on the blackberry must have seemed like
heaven to the dogs as much as to me and my hunting partners. Hunting the
grain crops varied from chest high oats to the more sparsely planted
sorghum crops, with hunting commencing when the crops started to come
into head. The end of the grain hunting seasons culminated with the
adrenalin rush of stubble hunting. This consists mostly of pursuing the
pigs in a 4X4 and dropping the dogs off on selected targets. There’s
nothing like seeing the action unfold in front of your eyes.
What this type of hunting creates, is, what many would refer to as an
“all-rounder”, a dog that could do the job and get results in almost any
type of country or situation? No easy task I can tell you. For example,
if you bring a dog that is used to sight hunting on the plains to
hunting 100 acres of thick blackberry, and expecting him to deliver
results, from my experience, most of the time the dog will fail. Having
these types of “all-rounders” gives you a quiet confidence that it
normally takes a smart pig to give them the slip.
So, what’s with all this Sudax this, and grain crop that? We had been
hunting with good results, approx 5,000 acres of wheat and barley and on
most trips were pulling around ten to a dozen pigs (sellers) for an
overnight run. Leaving home just after lunch and arriving at the
property in time to get in a few hours hunting before dark, working the
surrounding grass and timbered country till dark,
then through to about 2am around the crops
with the light. Grab a few hours shut
eye, then belt a few
on the way out in the morning, finally arriving at the chiller around
7am, mostly with a few “gooduns” on the back. A few months of this,
finishing with an absolute hammering of the remaining pigs on the
stubble we decided it was time to move to greener pastures. Numbers had
dwindled and we really needed to put in the hard yards to get results.
Having said that, we still managed to catch four or five good pigs each
run, but other areas were reaching that time of the year when they
became the “hotspots” and the pigs much easier to find.
Discussions with the property owner over a BBQ brekky advised him of our
plans to move further a field. We would however; keep in touch on a
regular basis to make sure the pigs didn’t overrun his particular part
of the world. This bloke had grown up in the district and seeing feral
pigs was a common sight and a few didn’t bother him unduly unless he was
witnessing large scale crop damage. This would get him motivated no end
and we would be called in to wreak havoc on the local swine once again.
Regular phone calls about once a month confirmed all was quiet on the
western front. Other than a few sightings here and there a trip down
wasn’t worthwhile. Most of the phone discussions took place with Dave,
the farm hand. He was keen to attempt a bit of “pigchasin” when the
opportunity presented itself. About two months
went by, still not looking promising, but we kept trying anyway, knowing
sooner or later the pigs would be back. Another phone call and at last a
glimmer of hope, a few sows and suckers were spotted in close proximity
to 600 acres of Sudax (see, there was a link).
Advice from Dave put a dampener on things though. He told us the pigs
were only sows, there were no boars and he and the boss didn’t think the
dogs would catch the pigs in the Sudax because it was too thick. They
both reckoned we should wait until after they put the cattle in and they
knocked it down a bit. We assured him the dogs would still catch the
pigs, no worries, but he was the boss. Two and a half months went by
before we convinced them that we should give it a go. They were seeing a
few more sows and suckers, and the sorghum two paddocks away, was
starting to come into head.
Leaving home at 3.30am for a morning run would get me down there in time
to pick up Dave and my mate Don and be at the Sudax by first light,
ready to do battle with these sows and suckers. All went to plan, as we
sat on the back of the Toyota in the middle of a large recently worked
cultivation paddock letting the dogs do what they normally do after
being cooped up in dog box for 2 hours on the road. The dogs we had on
this trip was Liddie (English Mastiff/Bully X Deerhound), Deacon (Out of
Liddie by a Wolfhound/bully X), Beau (3/4 Bully x Bull Mastiff), Boof (Staffy
X Boxer) and my mate Don had Donna (Dane/Boxer X Bull Mastiff). Deacon
and Donna were just on 12 months old and still learning the ropes.
The Sudax was sown around both sides of a hill. A track going right
around the entire crop, and down the centre, would allow vehicle hunting
if necessary. In the middle and at both ends was a timbered ridge with
grass about waist high covering most of the areas between the trees with
contour banks about 100 meters apart breaking the crop at regular
intervals. Off to the west was a large area of recently farmed country,
a grassy waterway and then into 300 acres of sorghum. Also scattered
intermittently throughout the crop were dams, allowing the pigs to water
at their leisure. I’m not sure if there is pig paradise out there but if
this place wasn’t it, it was certainly runner up.
Now to the plan. Scout the whole crop using the vehicle, letting Liddie
and Deacon Ute find. If this fails we would walk the crop of Sudax and
then wander over to the sorghum. We waited until the first tinge of
light in the east gave an indication of the new day, and we were off. We
headed for the track in the middle with the idea of driving right
through to the far end and then swinging to the south around the edge
and finally working the portion to the east before we hit shanks pony.
Anticipation was high as we finally entered the crop, 100 meters in a
big black and white boar with two smaller black offsiders walked across
the track in front. Weird looking sows I thought as Lid and Deacon hit
the crop seconds behind them, but we will just have to live with it I
suppose. No more than 5 meters in, she was on, the initial rumble and
then both dogs bailing. Boof and Beau were released, both renowned
holders. They both hit the boar together, a short rumble and we had
number one. We threw the pig, told the dogs to get off, tied the pig,
and dragged him out to the track. Liddie and Deacon were long gone by
this stage, and in no time at all they were both bailing again about 100
meters away. Boof and Beau made short work of this boar also. Repeat the
same scenario tie him up and drag him out to the contour. We were
keeping them alive prior to leaving for the chillers.
Both the boars were black and later weighed in at 84 and 87kgs
respectively. The black and white
one would have been a lot heavier we thought,
but maybe he was just taller. What a start, we picked them up and moved
on. About 400 meters further on the dogs jumped. Sure enough another
bail, we slipped the holders again and it was on this time. We thought
we may have the black and white boar as we struggled through the Sudax
to the pig. This stuff is virtually impossible to force your way through
once it starts to fall over, matting itself together forming a nearly
impenetrable barrier. We finally made it to the boar, this hog was
71kgs, with a well developed dental department and if you asked Boof,
the pig knew how to use them.
By now we thought all of the pigs living in the sudax were all large
boars, a dilemma we had no trouble coming to terms with at all. From
what we had already caught, the prospect of having so much unhunted crop
in front of us was exciting by any standards. The pigs obviously felt
safe and unthreatened in the thick crop and didn’t see the need to get
the hell out of there.
But, as is the case a lot of times, things went really quiet, and we
were nearly right around the crop before the dogs jumped again. This
time, a medium sized sow, “bloody hell” what a let down. You can’t win
them all, but having said that we were still on a high from the boars
Completing the rest of the crop was uneventful, so plans were made to
make our way over to the sorghum crop. We were just getting ready to
move off when Don spotted three large pigs moving out of
the grassy waterway
and into the crop. Hasty estimates on pig sizes etc again fuelled our
excitement. Early assessments, even though they were over ½ a K away put
them in the vicinity of 65 to 75Kgs chiller weight.
drove over at a leisurely pace trying not to make to much noise and
scare the pigs off. They were last seen entering the bottom of the crop.
All the heavy cover was over the fence at the top of the crop, so…….,
lets get on top of them and work back into the crop and hopefully run
into them on the way to the heavy cover.
And; it worked to a tee, after spreading out
about 50 meters apart we moved into the crop and ran smack bang into
them in about 100 meters. The dogs grabbed two straight up, which we
killed post haste and Liddy and Deacon were off after number three. They
had him in no time at all catching him just on the scrub side
of the fence.
The pigs turned out to be a boar and a sow just below 55kgs each and a
larger boar of 66kgs. At this point in time we decided to kill and dress
the other pigs we had caught earlier and call it a day. And what a day
Next weekend we would be back for another bash at ‘em. The trip back to
the station houses saw Dave on the end of some severe ribbing on the
difference between sows and boars. One thing for sure, the next time he
sees large numbers of sows the breastplates are coming out and we’re
there with bells on.
The photo attached is not the pigs we caught on the
trip, unfortunately I went through a stage of not taking photos. These
pigs however were taken off the same property a few months prior the
trip in the story.
A Stump and a Boar
meandered through the paddock offering a constant supply of water to the
stock, native animals and the ever present feral pigs.
It passed through scattered clumps of lignum,
big old gums with drooping branches touching the ground, large amounts
of fallen timber and small clumps of younger gums. A sand ridge off to
the right followed the drain about two hundred meters out. All this
added up to fantastic hog cover, the added bonus being the sand ridge, a
favourite place for large boars, liking nothing better than to dig large
holes in the sand, deep enough to find the cool sand that would offer
some relief from the intense heat.
hunting from a soft top Daihatsu 4X4 with the top removed allowing
someone (me) to stand in the back, offering a higher vantage point to
spot the pigs more readily. It also had the added bonus of allowing the
dogs an easy exit when pigs were spotted.
It was now mid afternoon and being the middle of January the temperature
was well over the 40 degree Celsius mark. Being so hot kept the pigs
close to the drain, some were wallowing in it, others laying in the
heavy shade not far from the water or as stated before lying at the
bottom of a recently excavated hole in the cool sand.
We had been following the drain for over ten Kilometers and to say pigs
were plentiful would have been an understatement. We were striking mobs
or single boars about every 15 minutes. Gobby, my brother Jon and I were
nearly run to a standstill, but as always the lure of a bigger boar just
up ahead kept us focused and keen.
The hounds were also reasonably keen, but three hours of constant
hunting, as well as a few hours first thing that day had taken the shine
off a little. There is nothing like bouncing through rough Black Country
in a short wheel base. If it wasn’t loose before you started it wasn’t
long before it was.
A small clump of gums ahead looked promising, being right on the edge of
the drain and a few lignum bushes growing on the outer edge; it would
nearly be a dead certainty. With a hundred yards still to go,
discussions revolved around it being a sure thing and even going as far
as trying to estimate the weight and tusk size of the boar that resided
We were nearly there when the beast materialised, size wise was
disappointing (expecting a monster) but on the positive side he had six
mates with him. No where near as large as in the previous discussions
but numbers made up for any disappointment, a bachelor party, rudely
interrupted by some ill mannered pig hunters. The boars’ weights ranged
from around 50 to 65kgs and more than enough to get us excited.
The boars bolted, mostly in the one direction but on the other side of
the drain. I jumped with the dogs, who immediately grabbed two boars. I
killed one as quick as I could, and got the
dogs off after the mob. By this time they were running parallel with the
drain. Gobby and Jon had disappeared along the drain in the vehicle,
obviously after the pigs but with no dogs. It wasn’t long before the
dogs had nailed another boar. I killed the second pig
from the initial catch and took off to help
the first dogs with number three. After killing him, the heat by
now was unbearable and the dogs were really feeling the effects.
I decided to head back to the drain around hundred and fifty meters away
and give the dogs a cool down and a drink. I planned to sit in the shade
and wait until the vehicle returned. After about 15 minutes and still no
sign of the others I started walking along the drain. I walked for
around fifteen minutes and still not a clue to
where they went. Time for another rest, knowing sooner or later they
would turn up.
suitable log in the shade I settled in. Shortly after, the sound of
someone chopping wood could be heard about five hundred meters away. It
could only be Gobby and Jon I thought and started heading over to the
sound. On arrival I found them chopping a stump out from under the
vehicle. Jammed directly below the drivers seat was a boar around the
55kgs mark and by this stage very dead.
Getting into the
situation they were now in, started with Jon
jumping in the back after I took off
after the mob. They planned to drive up the drain,
level with the dogs and help me. This particular boar however, crossed
the drain to their side, so they decided to follow it and try and turn
it back into the dogs. They chased it for nearly a kilometer before he
slowed and charged the vehicle. When he hit the vehicle initially, they
drove straight over the top of him. Jon, standing in the back was giving
Gobby updates on what the pig was doing.
The pig charged again and the vehicle went over the top, again. Jon
yelled to Gobby that the boar
was back on his feet. Slamming the vehicle into reverse Gobby hit the
boar with the tow bar. On impact the vehicle was launched into the air
coming to rest on top of a stump, the rear wheels just touching the
ground, and a very irate boar still alive under the driver’s door.
The boar was killed, and then the difficult task of getting the vehicle
off the stump with a very blunt tomahawk (used for cutting jaws out of
boars and not sharpened for ages). Needless to say it took forever and
we had certainly had enough by the time we finished. If the jack had
been higher we could have managed it a bit quicker, but hindsight is a
Even over the years this still remains as an all time favourite yarn
when talking hogs and dogs.