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A Tribute to Kiwi ( Mitch Jankuloski)

Sometimes fate has a way of taking over, and you do things you had no intention of doing, because suddenly it just seems right. I hadn’t planned to breed “Kiwi” that day. My bitch “Tigger” was in season, and I was thinking of putting my second in charge male “Bones” (a Border Collie cross Mastiff) over her, but for some reason I let my main dog Kiwi, who could find, bail and hold, out of his pen to breed. Needless to say, he was very impressed. Kiwi was just six years old but had some hard times of late: six months previously, he’d been blinded in his left eye while hunting, and with his Great Dane/Bull Mastiff/Bloodhound/Bully breeding, he keeps going just as hard, causing injuries to his blind side. But as in all pig hunting dogs, as soon as you put the cages on the truck or jingle those keys, any soreness or pain seems to disappear at the thought of a chance to catch pigs again.

After Kiwi’s hot date, I thought I’d take the males for a hunt Monday night to an area I hunt regularly. The pigs seemed to moving with the cooler weather, so I thought I’d make the most of it.

I put the dogs up. Kiwi stood on carpet that I’d tied to the bonnet: it would give him full advantage to pick up the slightest scent, while Bones and “Moose” (Mastiff/Kelpie) would stand on the back.

Not to far up the track, they jumped out and got a couple of smaller pigs, but they were still keen so I thought I would try for some more. No more than half an hour later, Kiwi sniffed, jumped off, and disappeared into the night with Bones in tow. Then about 10 minutes later I received his message. I know when my dog has a good boar, because his bark seems to be that much stronger. I listened to pinpoint the bail, and then with a sudden surge of energy I get when I hear dogs, I took off, I heard the fight and then only silence. “Good”, I thought, “He’s grabbed hold”.

When I arrived Bones and Moose were bailing but no Kiwi. It was dark and I couldn’t make out the pig, apart from the white tusks chomping at his opponents. Then, there he was, 80kgs of cranky boar. Bones and Moose were trying valiantly, but with their lighter build were having trouble controlling this boar. Meanwhile, no Kiwi, I switched on the tracking system and knew he was down in the overgrown gully behind the action. He wasn’t moving anywhere and neither was the pig.

For over an hour, Bones, Moose and I tried to out-manoeuvre and outsmart this boar, but to no avail. By this time the dogs had gone in time and time again only to be bashed up against a tree or ripped by the boar’s protruding tusks. Finally realizing that they were not going to be able to do this alone I called them off and went back to the truck for reinforcements.

If I was to get to Kiwi I had to get through this pig first. Reinforcements came with my mate Ralph and his three dogs. It had been about two hours, and Ralph had his doubts about this pig still being there. But I figured this pig wasn’t scared, and sure enough, there he was, waiting for round number two. Now, with five dogs and two of them holders, we finished it in about twenty minutes. All five dogs had to be stitched, and two of them cost us a couple of hundred dollars at the vet. Where was my dog?

Putting on the tracking system, I started at the top of the gully and Ralph at the bottom. My Heart sank when I heard a quiet “Mitch, you better get down here”. The time between Kiwi’s first bark and my arrival would have been no longer than five minutes.

As I write this, “Tigger” is giving birth to (so far) seven pups; five of them are black brindle like their dad. If they have the looks, that’s great, but they’ll have to prove the heart.

Some more photos from Mitch (click on image for larger picture)

Mitch and Ralph caught this one. The dogs broke a mob and managed to catch two. This was the better of the two.

Tusky pine boar. This boar doesn't look much but he sure had his running shoes on. A Ray Arcidiacono Bull Arab ( Tully) in the background.

Tony and a boar that put Mitch's two dogs Bones and Tully out of action.

Where did they go? Mitch caught up with one of them (a good sow) on the hill in the background. Both Bones and Tully hunted hard near here. Tully still learning the ropes (foreground) checking on Bones.

A good cranky boar, dogs did well to get him.

Kevin and his son Robert own the property where this boar was caught. They had a great time hunting down this hog (Robert's first good boar) with Mitch.

Paul (Pictured) and Mitch got this good boar.

More Photos from Mitch

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