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HUNTING It was a lot of work and a little scary for a moment when the wounded boar came at him, but this was a well-earned harvest for Hovey. (TIM E. HOVEY)

I PULLED MYSELF UP onto the steep bank a few feet from where I had taken the shot and steadied myself on a small dirt shelf. At this point I was convinced that the pig was dead and that gravity would take care of much of the heavy packing. The large boar tumbled in the crease and would pass by my position. But when the pig reached the exact spot I had been standing only seconds before, he caught himself, stopped rolling and began charging up the steep bank towards me using only his front legs. I stumbled back and fell to a seated position completely shocked. The boar was digging in with its front legs and trying to climb up the bank only 2 feet from me. He was gnashing his teeth and squealing loudly. Aiming between my legs, I leveled

the lever gun at the pig’s head and was just about to squeeze off another round when gravity took over. The pig stumbled once, fell back into the gap and continued to roll down the canyon. Twenty feet below me, the pig came to rest and stopped moving. It took me a few moments to gather my senses as I replayed the close encounter in my head. I leaned back in the dry grass to catch my breath. I felt my heart pounding in my throat as I lay there. I had been charged before by large boars on other hunts, but none of them had ever gotten so close. I pushed myself up and slid the short distance into the narrow canyon. As I looked around for all my gear, I noticed I had frothy blood on my left boot. I stood there questioning the wisdom of chasing big angry pigs solo. I took a deep breath and

126 California Sportsman APRIL 2018 | calsportsmanmag.com

smiled. I knew nothing would keep me from hunting wild pigs, not even doing it by myself. The pig had expired during the last tumble and lay still in the dry grass. I walked down to check him out. The boar was massive. The shot had been perfect, but despite the close distance, the bullet had hit the heavy shield on the far side of the pig and stopped. He had the heavy shoulders and old scars of a warrior. He had some impressive lower teeth, including one broken off near its base. I grabbed some rope from my pack and tied it around the snout of the pig for the drag down to the truck. I was able to easily slide the dead boar down the canyon on the dry grass. At the bottom, I found a clear area and started ďŹ eld butchering the animal. It was a short hike to my

Cs 4 18 web  
Cs 4 18 web