First class hunt: taking a break for pigs

I’d been working my ring out doing plenty of overtime on the train as well as getting together the material needed for the latest issue of Bacon Busters. It is was all systems go and I had three days off during the week, so I decided to throw the swag and dogs on the truck and head off out west for some down time. I was on my own, which doesn’t bother me, but I really wanted to take my young fella with me. You just have to make the time to spend with your kids and I had been so busy.

I grabbed some clothes for him and off I trudged toward his school.

Bowen’s teacher gave me a warm reception after telling her where I was taking him, but it was all smiles as we walked off with school bag in hand and a bit of homework.

It has always a long slog out west and the 8-10 hour journeys do take their toll. I always break up the trip and say g’day to mates and family as well as picking up a few more of my team of hounds.

The farmers’ reports were good and the pigs were getting about in big numbers, so with three mature dogs and three pups, we were in for some action.

On arrival, I plated the dogs up and strapped GPS collars on. We moved around the cropping fringes at 20km/h and let the dogs do their work. It didn’t take long before the whinging started and off went the three hounds.

Charging into the rugged scrub, I killed the motor and listened. A few grunts sounded out, so Bowen raced ahead toward the chaos. The 70kg boar was out feeding in the wrong place tonight and we were one up on the feral tally.

The next find saw us follow the scenting dogs through thick timber for 1.7km. The boar they pulled up was a fiery bugger. With an anxious Bowen and two bailing dogs, I didn’t know what to do with this fired up 80kg razorback. He was backed into a log and both Stix and Billy were puffing and barking. I put Bow up a tree and told him to keep the torch on the pig, while I circled around the back and came in behind the brute.

Being ultra-wary of him turning to knife me with his tusks, I tried grabbing his tail, but he only had an inch there. It was just too dangerous to grab his hind legs for fear of him turning and taking me on. The dogs were buggered from holding and running after the boar, but they kept up the intensity.

All of a sudden, the boar turned to have a go at me and then charged off again. Meanwhile Bowen had lit us up us with the torch as well as continually telling me to be careful.

We raced off again for another 600m and the dogs had him bailed again. I suled the dogs in and Stix went in for a hold on the ear and nailed it. I raced in, watching the dangerous end of the boar, grabbed both rear legs and tipped him. The nine-inch blade finished the chaos and we were relieved.

It didn’t end there. Walking the 2km back to the truck using the GPS, the dogs raced off on pig scent twice and we had a double repeat of the first chase. Two more solid boars bit the dust and we called it a night.

Over the next day, we encountered mobs of pigs numbering close to 70 and it was a sight to see. The winter season was kicking in and the feed was limited, so the pigs were making an effort to move to wherever the food sources were.

It was a great few days bonding with my son and he loved the hunt, as he usually does.

We caught 20-odd pigs, which were all boars except one sow and she topped the scales at 100kg.

Ahhhhh! There’s nothing better than leaving the hustle and bustle of suburban life for a few easy days in the bush with your kids. Can’t wait for the next bunch of RDOs!




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