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Vandals Hunt

(A Poms view)

After finally arriving in Australia and getting my business out of the way, my thoughts could now turn to hunting pigs, which truth be known, was the real reason I was in this country. Not, as some were led to believe, to attend the Gay Mardi Gras! There are certain people who were fully aware that this ďeventĒ was taking place, and somehow managed to forget to tell me! They know who they are!

After a few phone calls were made when I should have been working, a date was set for me to meet up with Dazza at his place, and from there, we were to drive up to the area where we would be hunting. I packed a small Bergen, left my other gear with a mate in Sydney and jumped on the train heading north, dreaming of 100kg boars and just what the hell I was going to do when face to face with one. The journey passed uneventfully, with me just staring out of the window at the beautiful countryside that we passed through. It was a real eye opener for me to see the actual scale of the place compared to England. Australia holds some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, and I was only half an hour out of Sydney! 

After being picked up by Dazzaís lovely wife, it was a short ride back to his place to finally meet him. I should explain that I had only ever spoken to Dazza and the rest of the guys that hunted that day on the Boardogs Forum and Chat room, so it was fantastic to meet these blokes in the flesh. After meeting the family and being introduced to the Pit bulls and the red backs (!) it was into the Ute and up the freeway we went. Dazzaís Ute was full to the brim with gear as well as ZoŽ the Corvino/Sorrells Pit and her puppy that was on itís way to Queensland. It left me feeling that I had not brought enough stuff with me, but I quickly put that to the back of my mind as we ate up the miles.

Arriving at our destination, Dazza and I headed for the nearest burger joint to wait for Pigchaser and CR. This gave me an opportunity to chain smoke after being in the Ute for six hours! Longest Iíd been without a cigarette for ages! When the guys arrived, it was handshakes all round, as none of these blokes had ever met each other either. We had all spoken before, but never actually met, so this was the big get together. What struck me, was how friendly these boys were towards each other and towards a Pom who knew nothing about pig hunting at all. Top lads.

We all headed to Pigchaserís house were we ate, got the dogs and gear together, smoked (Me) and participated in the national pastime of taking the piss out of Poms! CR had brought his dog Ben with him and we were also taking Bruno, Duke (Borrowed from Pigchaser's mate Boora), Bonnie and ZoŽ. Now apart from ZoŽ, I am not entirely sure of the breeding behind these dogs, so if anyone would like to know, I am sure that they have the details somewhere on the site. Pigchaser, Dazza and I went ahead in the Ute, followed by CR plus Stephen and his friend Greg, in the Land Cruiser.

We hit the hunting area after about half an hour and it didnít come too soon, as I was sitting in the middle of Dazza and Pigchaser and felt like a hunchbacked jockey! It had gotten dark by this point and the amount of stars in the sky amazed me. The boys told me though that it was nothing and I should wait until later. And they were right.

After sorting the gear out, we left the Ute behind and jumped onto the Land cruiser. Stephen and his friend were in the cab, whilst the rest of us jumped on the back. As we started off, Dazza fired up his video camera with night vision, which CR and I agreed, was better than some night vision scopes we had used in the forces. Pigchaser worked the spotlight and I sat in the middle with the dogs. It was decided to keep ZoŽ in the cage at the rear of the vehicle to avoid any unnecessary violence towards the other dogs. ZoŽ is a lovely dog, but a true Pit Bull and the last thing you need when hunting, is squabbling between dogs.

Now I am not sure what time we left the Ute and started hunting, as I was so excited by the prospect of pigging. It wasnít long before we saw a mob of six or seven pigs on the other side of some marshy land. They were heading off over a ridge and it was decided that they would keep until morning. Making steady progress over the terrain, the Land Cruiser rolled on as we kept an eye out down the beam of the lamp, all the time taking the piss out of each other! It wasnít long before the dogs jumped off the vehicle and headed off up a steep ridge. Bruno was first to jump, swiftly followed by Duke. We kept them in the spotlight all the way up the ridge until they disappeared over the other side. Ben had also decided to join them at this point too. Bonnie was chained to the flat bed as she was out of condition, but screamed to be allowed off. The old adrenalin was starting to work now as we headed up to the ridge. There was no sign of the dogs and no sounds from any contact with pigs. Continuing on for a while, we decided to cut the engine in the hope of hearing some indication of where the dogs had got to. As soon as this had been done, we heard the unmistakable squealing of a caught pig. The vehicle picked up speed and we came within sight of the dogs. They were in long grass on the other side of a barbed wire fence and were onto a sow. The guys were off the back of that Land Cruiser so quickly that I didnít know what was going on. I must have looked hesitant or sluggish, as I seemed to be the last on the scene. The three loose dogs were on the sow, CR was sitting on its hind legs and Stephen dispatched it with his knife. All of the while, I was standing there, frozen to the spot, mouth open and just amazed at what I had seen. I had travelled from the other side of the world to do just this, and these guys were so nonchalant about hunting these beasts. To say I was impressed would have been a huge understatement! The sow was taken back to rear cage of the vehicle and hung up by itís hind leg. Pigchaser then proceeded to gut it faster than I have ever gutted a rabbit! The dogs were hanging around the carcass and never once went to eat any of the innards. If only my own dogs were as disciplined as these guys. It showed up my inefficiencies when it comes to training dogs!

As the night drew on, there were many times the dogs jumped the vehicle, and I seem to remember two occasions when we heard contact, but after searching, found no pigs. One time, CR and I ran up to the top of a small hill to try and find Bruno and Duke (who was missing again). I took this opportunity to light a ciggie and CR decided it was an opportune moment to answer the call of nature! Just as he had got his trousers round his ankles, the cry went up and contact had been made. Now I started running in the general direction, but I didnít get very far as I was laughing so much at CR! To be fair, he caught me up and we met up with the Land Cruiser to find the dogs on a small pig. Pigchaser estimated this to have been about four months old. It was to be hooked and hung up with the first pig, but when we went round the back, the first pig had gone. We tried retracing our steps but never found it. Some fox would get his free meal that night.

Around 02.30 we decided that we had done enough for that night and headed back to camp. After a quick snack of left over KFC, which CR had brought, it was time to get my head down. I had borrowed a swag bag from Pigchaser and after advice on how to use the bloody thing, settled down fully clothed with the cockroaches and ants, which kept me company! Needless to say, in spite of this unwanted company, I slept like a baby. The stars were like nothing I had ever seen before, something that no-one would ever see in England and the night was as still as the grave. The only thing that worried me was the endless list of snakes, spiders etc which the lads had been winding me up with all day!

The morning saw us head out around 06.30 as we went out to where we had seen the mob of pigs the night before. Now all of this landscape looked identical to me, and it amazed me how these guys knew where they were going. I couldnít tell you where we caught the next pig, but I know it was on the slopes of a gully, just outside some blackberries thankfully. CR told me that it was my turn to hold itís back legs while the dogs lugged. I was a bit nervous but decided that it was best to just go for it! The vehicle pulled up pretty close to the pig and Ben, Bonnie and Duke were holding onto it. Bruno was there too but only biting now and again. I jumped off the back and ran to pick up the hind legs of the squealing pig. Now even though this thing wasnít that big, it surprised me with the power of itís hind quarters. I eventually tipped it over and knelt into itís hips.  Dazza brought ZoŽ out and she screamed to be let go. She worked the throat, shaking her head like only a pit dog can. The other dogs we used are good holders and will not let go, but the intensity of this dog was incredible. After dispatching the animal, it was left to Pigchaser and I to hook it up and he gutted it. The other guys moved off after Bruno who had disappeared into the brambles after another pig. Quickly after that, another pig was caught in the gully itself and we arrived just after it had been stuck. This was hooked up, gutted and off we went again.

It was decided that we were going to continue on foot for a while, as there were some huge Blackberry bushes ahead and these looked like they might hold some pigs. The dogs went into the bushes and you could hear them moving around trying to find these pigs. After about two minutes, the first squeals were heard and I could see that Ben had made contact just below me. A line of around six pigs filed out of the bushes and away up the ridge in front of us, closely followed by Duke. He made up the ground very quickly and caught up with these pigs with no problem. The problem was that once he got there, he literally stopped and stared at them, while they made their escape( This dog does not like catching sows)! Dazza and I were screaming at this dog to follow, but he wasnít interested at all. I think the bloke had covered a lot of ground and the temperature was getting higher, so he decided to let the pigs escape for another day! 

CR ran ahead with Stephen down a steep slope and up the other side through thick blackberry in search of one of the fugitives, but found nothing. Dazza and I made our way slowly through the blackberries to join the others who had managed to get to the top of the ridge we had started on. Barking was heard from Ben (I think) who was about 20 metres away from us in very thick blackberry, but the other dogs didnít show too much interest. To our surprise, a pig bolted into Ben and knocked him clean over! It managed to get into yet more blackberries and hole up there. The dogs followed quickly behind and finally caught this one, much to our relief. Pigchaser was into the thick of things with CR, pulling this pig clear of the bushes so that we could stick it and get the dogs off. Pigchaser handed me his knife and let me do the honours (after pointing out exactly where I should stab it of course!). It was the biggest one of the day, about 50kg.

That was the last pig we caught that trip and after a short drive, we collected the Ute and headed back to Pigchaserís house.

I cannot express my gratitude enough to these blokes for taking me out hunting with them. As I have said, we had only talked on the net, and I knew nothing of pig hunting. For them to take me out with them hunting, was a great honour for me and I will always be grateful. I hope to get back over to Australia soon to repeat this trip as I had the time of my life. One of the best days hunting I have ever had and I can only imagine what it must feel like when you use your own dogs. I would love to return the favour for these blokes one day and invite them to England to hunt with me. Iím afraid the way things are going over here though; theyíll have to be quick about it! Unless they donít mind poaching of course!

My message to anyone in Britain, is if you ever get the opportunity to hunt pigs with dogs, be it in Australia, America or wherever, take it as you will rarely experience anything as exciting and exhilarating as this.

Thanks again fellas!!

V

Clynt (Standing) Vandal and Dazza.

Wal's Yarn (27/2/2005)

As usual the anxiety had built up over the last week as we all knew what was on. The final moments came, dogs loaded ,swags tied on ,water and fuel all good. 11 hours later we're at the Warrego hotel ready to start. We headed off and wasn't long before we were catching grunters left right and centre with in the first 2 hours we had landed about 5 pigs but nothing of any size although we confident of a good catch that night to no avail we swagged up for the evening hoping the dawn would be kind to us, 5 am rise and we are into it, straight up a mob of 6 pigs feeding on a carcass ending up with 3 pigs (sows), we pushed on hoping for another mob, nothing else that morning so tucker was on instead. That arvo we tried our luck a bit further north and ended up with 3 small boars and another sow but still no big winner. Heading back to the swags we talked about going home in the morning happy with our tally but a little disappointed that no trophy tuskers were caught.

The next morning we packed up dogs and swags and emptied the last jerry, taking one last look at god's country we jumped in the truck and headed home. 35 minutes later still riding on the red dirt and looking at clumps of lignum we were blessed, the big fella came out of lignum on the side of the road and bolted on a 45 to the other side, couldn't believe it, all the shit was tied up, dogs in cages, it couldn't happen quick enough. Taking off after the dogs we thought this was going to be a hit and miss but cutting through lignum we found our selves on a clay pan looking at the dogs on the other side with a nice pig in hold.

Finishing it off and checking over the dogs we found out 3 of them had had a good time on this one and was well worth waiting for.

Wal
 

American Bulldog Cross Verses Wet Tropics Monster Boar

Hot and humid in the wet tropics of far north Queensland, walking along a World War 2 logging track, in thick, dense rainforest, with two dogs of stag/bulldog origins. Suddenly the two dogs take off into the rainforest, and hit a small boar of around 40 kgís. As I came onto the scene, I saw a large sow looking to defend the smaller boar, the dogs had hold of. When the sow saw me home into view, she quickly departed. After knifing the boar, I took both dogs to the creek to cool down.

Then I continued up the track for a further 500 meters, when my lead dog Jake took off down a hill into the rainforest. After a few seconds of silence, I could hear the hit go down, and knew it was a good boar. By this time the stag-cross bitch was gone and on the scene, bailing hard. As I got closer, I could hear the big boar roaring and scrub getting flattened all around. I started to stalk in, as I could hear it was a big fella. So the only way to get in is to stalk. The air was thick with boar stench. As I got closer, I
could see why, this was no ordinary boar!

The scene was getting played out in front of me, with the bulldog-cross, Jake, hanging firm off one ear and the stag-cross bitch hanging off the boarís nuts.  This boar would have been at least 120-150 kg clean weight. It was fighting the dogs with such fury, I have never seen anything like it! Keeping in mind that the bulldog-cross can, and has, held big boars by himself, from 18  months of age, and after seeing the situation, I tried to get myself into a position to grab the boar.

The undergrowth was extremely thick and getting in close proved to be impossible, as the boar had seen me. He came at me as if there wasn't a dog on him! I just had time to grab a sapling and pull myself up, as the boar came crashing into the tree. As he turned with both dogs still on him, I slid down the sapling to try and get hold of a back leg. But he moved so fast it was
impossible. It was at this time I noticed blood streaming out of my bulldog-cross. The battle was going the boarís way, and there was nothing I could do.

All of a sudden the bulldog-cross was knocked off by the boar. For a second or two they stood face to face, glaring at each other, while the stag bitch still chewed on the boarsí nuts, to no effect.

The bulldog-cross and boar lined each other up for round 2. They both launched at each other at the same time. The dog was caught underneath the armpit by the boarsí tusk. The boar made a break across one creek and then another a short distance away. By this time I could see the fight was over, and started to call the dogs back, as they gave chase. I was straight on the trail in full stride through the thick under growth.

I heard the bitch bail the boar once more, across the second creek, in the scrub, but soon she came back. This is where I found the bulldog cross, lying, in the creek. On inspection of the dog, I discovered the extent of his injuries, the major one being a cut artery, and things looked bad! I immediately took off my shirt and dripped water over the dog, in an attempt to get his heart rate
down, as I did this I applied pressure to the cut artery, to try and stop the blood flow. At the same time cleaning the blood and slobber out of his mouth, dripping water down his throat slowly. The dog became more stable after 15 minutes at this time I ran back to the track to grab my cane knife and started to cut a track through the dense vines.

With this done, I picked up the dog, put him on my shoulders and carried him out of the scrub to the logging track. Luckily, I had the quad not far away, and was able to put the dog on the back and head for home.

This breed of dog is so tough that with all his injuries, he stood up on the back of the bike, after regaining his strength, for the twenty minute ride home. After a trip to the vet, with three surgeons operating on him for two hours, he was on the mend.

Two days later, I picked him up from the vet and he immediately jumped into the back of the ute, ready to tangle with another mountain rainforest boar!

These types of pigs are extremely hard to catch, they have been known to smash whole packs of experienced dogs, and vanish into the jungle to live and fight another day!



This is a story experienced and written by Alex Findlay, of Mena Creek, North Queensland.

Vic's Bull Arab

I have had great pleasure in browsing your web site, you have done a wonderful job for those who love dogs and hunting. I am getting a bit long in the tooth for it now, but still enjoy the stories of other hunters.

For many years I lived in Queensland where I hunted from the NSW border to Cape York, though most of my time was spent in South Western Queensland. During my time hunting, I relied on others to supply the dogs, as I owned dogs trained for other purposes and their loss hunting pigs would have been a catastrophe. However, I had experience with many and varied breeds, both good and bad.

As a consequence of my interest in hunting, one of my sons also took up the sport and has hunted from South West Queensland to Cape York, in particular in the cane growing area from Tully to Innisfail.

In my retirement, I moved to Tasmania (No pig hunting down here) and shortly after my son followed and brought with him a Bull Arab bread by a cousin at Tully. This was my introduction to the breed, believe it or not, and I wasnít all that impressed with them at first, having studied their breeding. My son, however, impressed upon me the benefits he had himself established hunting with them in North Queensland, including the transition of the breed to hunting animals other than pigs, so I gave some heed to what he was saying.

My wife and I used to baby-sit our sonís dog whenever he was away. Sadly, on one such occasion she caught her leg jumping a fence, breaking it rather badly. At first it looked like we would have to put her down. An approach to an exceptional Vet Surgeon revealed that the leg could be repaired, however only about 60% of the strength would be retained. Her hunting career was over. My wife and I had the surgery done and inherited the dog.

Having bread and trained dogs for a good part of my life, I have since had to eat humble pie in respect of this breed. I set about training this dog ďMissyĒ for a different type of hunting, namely stalking, and was amazed at how quickly she caught on. Within a short time she had learned to outflank game relying only on hand signals to move the game back towards me. She also became a close companion to my wife and myself and great protection for our house and property.

My wife who works part time in a Nursing Home/Hospital took her to the workplace on a number of occasions to interact with the aged residents. I can now drive her to the Hospital, let her out of the car and she will go and visit the residents on her own. She is great with children and has never bitten, though she is very intolerant of any form of aggression and would certainly bite anyone attempting to manhandle my wife or myself.

In short, I am a convert and feel that there are very few limitations to what the breed could be used for if suitably trained. Missy is now nine years old and somewhat spoiled, but still loves to hunt, though her capacity to catch anything is fast fading.

Thought I would send you this little story to add to your collection. Included is a photograph of Missy and myself, which my wife kindly sent to a friend with the caption, ĎMissy on the left Pig Dog on the right.í

PS. Yes, another trait is that she loves posing for photoís.

My first pig. No Knife, No shoes.- Johnny H.

I first heard of pig hunting when I was about 13, living with my mum dad and 2 brothers. My older brother Colin was into pigging with his mates and went hunting a fair bit. My first experience was with him and his mate Juppy, and his brother my mate Zac. We headed out to a local cane block just near Bundy, and Colin let me stick a 50kg boar. Three years later after a couple of hunts here and there with my other brother Mick and his mate wade (a local butcher.) I now live on 42 acres on the Isis River with my mum and dad. It was a Sunday morning when 2 friends were over and we were sitting on the veranda thinking of something to do.

My biggest and oldest dog Lincoln (my 12 month old Wolfhound x Harlequin Dane) took off down the hill and hit the river, following close behind was my cattle dog Roy and My brotherís girlfriendís bitza Roxy. I first thought kangaroo. When the dogs got to the other side I heard a few barks and rustling in the mangroves. I ran down the stairs and grabbed the kayak and flew off down the bank with Jake and Travis, which both had never been pigging before. Once we got across the other side of the river the dogs were puffing and there was blood on the ground, so we walked up the hill and found some more blood. No knife no shoes we found a dirt track and followed the dogs as they were getting very keen.

After about 1km of walking Lincoln flew off nose down into the bush and out of sight, I was flat out running through thick scrub, after about 15 minutes of waiting and listening I came across the dogs absolutely buggered, I thought the dogs must have been getting dusted by a big boar, so I took them back to a little waterhole I passed on the way for a swim and a drink. I sat down on the edge of the waterhole and seen very fresh pig tracks about 3 different sizes. I was talking to Travis when Lincoln flew out of the water and ran around into the bush closely followed by Roy and Roxy. I waited and listened and I heard Roy yap, and a pig snort .Pumped with adrenaline I sprinted as fast as I could towards the noise to hear a squeal and smell the strong stench of a big boar. I came across Roy swinging hard off a big ginger boar, I ran into get the boar, when it flicked Roy off and took off. I thought we had lost the prize boar when I looked and seen Lincoln holding a nice size sow in the creek and Roxy trying to assist.

I flew in and flipped the sow, not having a knife I had to drown it, I yelled at Jake to hold the sow so I could chase after Roy and the boar, knowing Roy would be copping a hiding. My friends didnít really assist in the catch and Roy came back limping and whining. I quickly checked Roy and he had deep punctures on top of his right shoulder and above his ribs, he had 4 wounds all up. I then ran into the creek again to drown the sow. After 10 minutes of trying to drown the sow it finally died. We then dragged/ carried the pig for at least 2 kms through bush and along road. When we got home I was stocked to show mum and dad and there friends. Roy ended up being $250 and a night at the local vet. Lincoln had one cut on his chest but it wasnít deep enough for stitches. Over all I was very proud of Lincoln because he is starting to use his nose and starting to lug hard. I will be purchasing some collars and a knife soon and I get my learners next week so I will talk dad into some hunts. If I had my way I would go everyday.

Show day

It was 5í0clock on Emeraldís show day holiday when Hayden and I ventured out to scout the area for and pigs. There was not much luck for a couple of hours until Hayden and I decided to walk into the creek. We had got only hundred metres away from the road and we had found fresh tracks of a mob of pigs that had been through in the early hours of the morning. Hayden and I tracked the mob of pigs until we reached our boundary fence but I already knew where the mob was camped up.

It was about 11 0íclock by now and we had already checked the pig traps but not much luck there but we did find some impressive boar tracks, this was laying out perfectly for what was about to happen that afternoon. We got back to the house and I said to Hayden I know just the man to call. I rang Rosco who takes us hunting, and he said that he would out o pick us up at 2:00pm and we would plan our attack from there. 2 oíclock came and sure enough Rosco was out to pick us up. We drove back through the creek and looked for tracks further up from the fresh track we had found this morning but no sign.

We drove out onto our next door neighbours cultivation and as we got closer and closer to the tree line we could make out to black objects just standing on the outskirts of the cane grass that grows all through the creeks. We had just got close enough for them to see us and the dogs to smell and see them. We were on, the dogs legged it into the creek and Rosco quickly jumped out and let the young dogs out. And then it silent for about 5 seconds and dogs bailed up just in front of us but all of a sudden another pig started squealing. The second pig was closer so we ran to it first to find out that one the young dogs had caught a 50kg sow by himself but was in the water, we didnít want to get wet for this sour so we just shot it and pulled it out of the water.

We divided a plan there and then in about 7 seconds, Hayden and Kavan were to drag the sour out the creek and out to the clearing and myself and Rosco were to go deal with the pig. Rosco and I had a little trouble getting across the creek without getting wet but we made it across with no water in shoes and ran to the other pig this pig was also a 40-50kg sow and was not worth dragging back to the Ute so Rosco stepped in and stuck it. We divided another plan between myself and Rosco. Rosco had found huge fresh boar tracks and followed the tracks with the dogs. And went back to put the sow that Hayden and Kavan had dragged out in to the clearing on the back of the ute and head down the creek a few hundred metres to meet up with Rosco.

We had regrouped back at the Ute except 1 dog, Bing was still missing in action but a few seconds after we had realised he was missing Bing started bailing on what sounded like a boar that had a fair bit of size about him. The other dogs soon rushed to the scene but it was too late it was broken the boar had got away. But Bing had visual on the boar and wasnít going to let him out of his sight. The boar was bailed again this time help was there from the other dogs. We were still back of the Ute and had just started running into the creek; it was a long run to the boar and was difficult one too. We knew by the time we had got to him we knew we wouldnít be dragging him out; the scrub was just too thick. So Rosco again stepped in and stuck the pig. By the time we had reached the Ute the sun about Ĺ hour off setting when the dogs legged it again back into the scrub. We waited by the side of the ute ready to run off again, when sure enough all the dogs hit up on another 50-60kg boar heading back up the creek. This boar was a little bit harder to handle but we managed to stick him and drag him back to the Ute.

The day was done we had caught 4 good sized pigs but we could only drag 2 of them but everyone on the team was glad to bring back what we had caught.

Story by Jack Dunbar


Brendonís first Pig

My brother Brendon had planned a trip to the Top End to come and visit myself and whilst here catch a few fish and try for a few pigs. He had only been here two days when it was decided to take the dogs for a run and see if Brendon could get his first pig by himself. When we arrived at the desired spot we put the breastplates on the dogs and took a quick run up the creek that was still holding good water. It wasnít long before the dogs Bubsy (Staghound / Boxer X Staghound / Wolfhound / Dane) and Keith (Bull Mastiff X Wolfhound) got onto some good scent.

We were walking up the right hand side of the creek that had opened up by this stage to a wide and wet grassy area with the water about 2ft deep. The dogs by this stage were really starting to pull dragging both of us out across the water and I knew that by how hard they were pulling pigs had only just crossed. We had only made it about a third of the way when I noticed on the other side four reasonable pigs. Keith by this stage had spotted the pigs and I told Brendon to let the dog off the lead and by the time they had gotten half way across the pigs were on to us. Keith was first across but slow to get there because of the depth of the water but when he hit dry ground he opened up the throttle with Bubsy about five metres behind him. The pigs by this stage had split up and Keith zeroed in on the bigger Boar of the four. The Boar turned to fight when Keith hit him followed by Bubsy who had only seen a couple of pigs before. As she went in the Boar spun and caught her on the inside of the left back leg. Brendon was yelling at me that he wanted to do it all himself. So as Bubsy lugged onto the side of the pigs head with Keith hanging of its ear. Brendon grabbed hold of the pigís tail. Whilst Brendon was dispatching the pig I just stood back photographed and watched. He was fairly confident for someone who has never grabbed a pig before.

With the pig dispatched, Brendon as happy as ever and Bubsy nursing an injury we decided to head back home with the intention of returning the next day. The Boar was estimated at about 70kg. The next afternoon saw us out again this time with another dog and Keith.

We walked the exact same way coming across the pig from the day before deciding to head up a little higher as there was good grass for the pigs to hide in. After walking for about 20 minutes I decided to let Keith off the lead and he took off in a flash with the other dog following closely behind. They zig zagged back and forth and at times we thought we were on. Then all of a sudden Keith took off along the creek with the other dog behind him yipping as he went. I know that he only does this when he is onto a pig. We all took off in the direction the noise was coming from when it went silent. We paused to catch our breath and listen for any sort of a sound then about 300 metres away we could hear a boar fighting with the dogs. I was the first to arrive and assist the dogs when Brendon ran in and drove the knife home.

The pig again weighed around the 70kg. Not the biggest Boars that I have caught but to Brendon it did not matter they were just what he needed to catch the pig hunting bug. He has once again planned his next trip to coincide with the next dry season and is looking forward to giving his new F Dick a work out before returning the bright light of Sydney.

Daniel NT

Lincolns first ute find.

Nearly a whole year has gone by since my first hunting dog Lincoln (wolfhound x Harlequin Dane) caught his first pig. About 4 months after his first pig, i got given a dog, Marlin (Bull Arab) which had been retired due to a broken leg. To be honest I'm not sure how old marlin is but i know that it is very experienced seeing as it was one of my mates older brothers dog. This dog has been on a large number of pigs and still looked in good shape after his leg had healed. I took the dog thinking it will be good just to show Lincoln what to scent for. well wasn't I correct!

I couldn't go out much seeing as I don't have my license yet, I usually just walk creeks near by to my house. Well another 3 months later I moved to Gladstone to start my boiler making apprenticeship. Knowing I had to leave my dogs behind and try and run them as much as possible when I returned home, I was a bit disappointed. Living in the Isis district and not having the time, or just sheer number of pigs to train my dogs, it was a bit hard to get onto a pig. Luckily for me I live around one of the best spots in the district. A few months on and about 4 or 5 pigs later from coming home on weekends I decided to ring a mate and orginise a hunt on a Friday night.

It was Friday arv when me and a mate Scoob (Mark, who had never before seen a pig dogged before) headed off to Childers keen as mustard to smash a boar. we got home and Lincoln was gone, he often runs off with the other house dogs and runs a muck around the area, most likely on pigs because he always has cuts and punctures on his chest and arms. A little p#$%d off We loaded my oldest brothers cruiser up, cage on, dogs in, collars on, and headed off to pick up my mate Korey and his two dogs sandy and gravel.

Well Friday night was a big one until 3am Saturday morning, we wasted fuel, and we got nothing, but that's hunting sometimes I suppose. All night we had 3 good bails and about an hour and a half of waiting for marlin to return. by the end of the night our eyes were heavy! the three of us were buggered so we called it a night. The next day awaking at 7 or 8am, Lincoln was home. With confidence amongst us we decided to go out to a local cane block backing on to forestry which was being harvested at the time. My mate works on the cane farm, and a good friend of dads owns it so I was right to go on (but I didn't) randomly changing my mind and deciding to take a quick loop round a forestry block (where Mick my oldest brother said to go).

We seen our selves idling along waiting for that first bail. It wouldn't of been ten minutes when Korey noticed all four dogs getting keen, The dogs started swapping sides vigorously so I slowed down and they were off faster than i could look in the mirror. I knew this was a real good bail as Lincoln pulled past all the dogs lookin like he could see the pig. we started running, with Korey videoing and scoob hitting trees goin arse over tit, we heard the hit up. hoping for the one thing that gets your heart going the most, big deep grunts. But Next came the sound that makes u want to walk to the pig, non stop squealing, not grunting or chomping, squealing.... I knew it was a little sow or sucker.  As I was walkin down to the action Korey was chasin suckers around with a blown out t boot. I got down to the pig which Lincoln and gravel had very well secured and it was thought to be about a 45kg sow. I grabbed the leg, and tried to contemplate where marlin and sandy had gone. A couple minutes later and a bit of footage for the camera, marlin returned and started lugging, I decided to stick it to slow it down and flipped it so scoob could stick his first pig. I was shocked to see it was a little barra boar (castrated) with little hooks, for a young pig it has a little set I was amazed.

I was so impressed with Lincoln off the ute, how hard he followed scent and how he burnt all the other dogs off. after a few laughs at Korey's boot and scoobs tree incident, the pig was gutted. we washed the dogs down and kept goin to finish the loop, no more pigs were caught unfortunately, but it just goes to show what a bit of instinct does, and holy S#IT was scoob stoked with the whole piggin scene. I would of rather caught a little pig off the ute than catch a couple big ones on ground Friday night.  Goes to show what a bit of time does for ya dogs .

Jonny Hillhouse, Mark Benson, Korey Russel.

James Sutherland - A trip North

Living in Townsville is harsh at the best of times, but when it comes to doggin' boars the weather and the limited hunting grounds play a massive part in mainly unsuccessful hunts. When we do strike a bit of luck, the pigs are either small, have no fight in them or don't produce any sets of good ivory. Myself and the blokes i hunt with are all in the military and rarely get decent amounts of time to plan a good hunting trip so when the September/October leave period came around, we all jumped at the chance to get a good solid week of hunting up in the cape. Ex Weipa local, Jason Billet, or "Bill" as we call him, let us in on a few secret spots of his and before we knew it, myself, Bill, Dave (David Vella) and Riggy (Brent Rigoli) had both utes loaded with dogs, swags and food.

The drive was about 13hrs, and after an hour or so north of Mareeba, the road turns to dirt and the slow pace of 60-80km/h begins. Having left at around 11am on a Thursday, there was no way we were going to make it to our first camp site by the time the sun had set so we decided to pull over at around 1am on Friday morning and sleep for around 4hrs. With red eyes Dave woke the rest of us and by 5:30 we were back on the road. After driving most of the night and seeing nothing, Dave, Riggy and I were beginning to doubt the country would produce much along the way. Bill on the other hand was quietly confident and assured us that the road ahead had produced for him every time. Wasn't he right! About an hour or so before Bramwell Junction, I spotted a mob of around 10 small pigs grazing about 100 metres off the road. I slammed on the brakes and grabbed the UHF to shout at Riggy and Bill who were in the ute behind us that we were on. No quicker had I done that, Dave was out of the passenger seat and releasing "Molly" (Bull Arab), "oi" (Wolfhound X Mastiff), "Maggie" (Bull Arab X Bandog) and "Toya" (Woolfie X) off the back of the ute. I quickly followed Dave to discover Molly and Maggie hitting up a little boar together. As Dave had this pig sorted, I turned my attention to Oi, who had hit up on his own. By that time the other boys had turned up with their dogs "Feeder" (Bandog X) , "Mate" and "Sheila" (Kelpie) and we quickly dispatched the two hogs. After a qick drink for the dogs and a feeling of relief, we were back on the road and after another 2 hours of driving, we had finally reached our camp.

Not long after we'd arrived, we were all loaded in a ute and on our first actual hunt. 15 minutes later we pulled up at a dry creek bed and proceeded on foot with dogs in hand. We hadn't even walked a kilometre before Maggie stumbled on a monster. A single grunt was heard and with a jerk of it's head, sent Maggie flying in mid air, which in turn sent Bill up a tree, due to the fact he was practically on top of the boar. Molly's attempt to hold the beast had also failed and both dogs chased after the hog with Oi closely behind. 20 minutes had passed which saw us looking for both the dogs and the boar but coming up empty. With Oi and Maggie returning, we headed back to the ute in hope Molly was there waiting. She was and the poof girl needed staples in her backside after clearly being gored by the 100 plus bugger.

The next day proved a whole lot better. An early morning start seen Molly and Maggie pull up a 71kg boar in a creek bed with a good set of hooks. Driving a little further down the track, a mob of around 15 darted out in front of us, the dogs jumped off and caught up to them pretty quickly. This seen Oi pull the dominant boar out and Maggie hitting up on a fat sow. A hundred metres later Dave let off a shot with his .30 30 and ended another sow's life. Again pulling over to walk a creek bed produced, with Maggie catching a boar from a mob of 15, and Dave and Riggy putting rounds into a fat sow. Having smashed a few, we decided to head back to camp. This worked in our favour. Not 1km away from our destination, another mob darted out in front of the cruiser and once again we released a few dogs. Molly caught a little boar about 50m from the car and decided that this was a good size pig to let the 2 kelpie bailers have a go at, as well as Feeder and Toya who were still in training. While this was taking place, I was in hot pursuit of Maggie's infamous trail bark which lead me to her in a wrestle with another nice little boar in a creek bed. Quickly sticking the two hogs, we returned to the ute to discover Dave had shot yet another pig which lead our tally of the hunt so far to 11.

Sunday morning came around and we packed the utes and began the slow push to our next camp. By the time we got there it was the hot and Bill reckoned it was the best time to hunt because the boars would b either sleeping by their water hole, or in it. Once again the bloke was right, we'd only been walking a few hundred metres when Oi woke a grumpy boar from his bed and sent him running into the scrub. After a shot chase we caught up n quickly stuck him as to not disturb too much game that could possibly lie ahead. Not far up the creek line, Molly and Maggie stumbled on another pig. After a few photo's, we set on for another kilometre and Molly soon came across a 83kg monster. With 7 month old feeder as backup, the pair managed to swing the big boy until i was able to reach him and flip the sucker. He ended up being our biggest catch of the trip and had a great set of hooks on him as well. Heading back to camp Maggie found a sneaky boar at the first water hole we crossed and myself and Bill had 2 drop everything and swim out after it. By the time i'd swam it back to land, I was too buggered to flip it so resorted to drowning the ferral.

The following day saw us walking the same creek again and coming up with another 5 hogs, most having a good set of hooks. The catch of the day was young feeder who caught a good sized sow one out and took Bill through a few water holes. The following day we decided to head back to our original camp spot for the last couple of days before heading home. Dave spotted a nice boar on his own as we headed for the road so we quickly grabbed him and kept on driving. Finding a decent creek bed, I took Oi and Maggie right, Dave went left with Molly and Toya. An agreement of no longer than two hours was sorted and both of us headed off down the creek. After catching 2 pigs, I decided to turn around and head back 2 the ute and wait for Dave. He returned soon after with the success of also catching 2 boars. Calling it a day, we headed back to camp for a swim in the river. We woke the next day a bit earlier and decided to head out to another creek in search of some more ivory. As we approached to what we thought would b a good spot, the bush was alight and this cut our trip short.

We took one more night on the river and packed up camp early on Thursday morning. Heading home down the road we were lucky to once again come across one last mob of pigs where both Oi and and the two Arabs came out victors, bagging two hogs for the road...

Although the trip was long and rough, it is definitely something every dogger should experience. A total of 28 pigs were caught along with a nice scub bull and a load of fish. Nothing like a trip away with the boys.

 

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