WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA Editor/Publisher:Vic Attard Art Room:Jacque Attard Contributing Writers: Ian Colley, Matt Walker, Trace Cronin, John Teitzel, Murray Thomas, Ted Mitchell. Advertising Enquiries: Contact Vic Attard Mobile: 0401 014 592 Email: email@example.com Mailing Address: PO Box 10126, Mt Pleasant, Mackay, QLD 4740. ACN:091403851 ABN:15091403851 No picture or any part of the contents of this publication may be scanned or reproduced in any way without prior written consent from the publisher. Pig hunting is a dangerous sport, Wild Boar Australia accepts no responsibility for any damage and/or injury suffered by readers. Further, the editor/publisher accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of statements or opinions expressed by freelance writers. Printed by Graphic Impressions.
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Editorial Hunters Trophies Quality Over Quantity Rossi Firearms Competition Up The Cape The Chase Lens Cap On . . . Bugger! Ultimate Pig Hunters Pack Accessories Heaps Of Hogs F@#kinâ€™ Bogged Radio Equipment Blast from the Past In The Wild Thompson Taxidermy Photo Competition Winner Bloodlines Kendal River Warriors PigDogs Muscle of the Pack Dog Care - Overheating Happy Easter 2004 Hog Tracks Thumpers Archers Corner Boars & Barra Swamp Swine
editorial Well, hasn't this year flown? The November Issue is here already, and the silly season is just around the corner. I think you'll agree that this issue has some great stories and some quality boars to go with them. Check out the short story written by Lisa Payne, as the photo will show, it's about a 'brute of a boar' caught in the NSW mountain area. If you know pigs, then you will understand how big this animal is, with massive shoulders and a head bigger than most men's chests. One very impressive boar. But that is just one of the many quality pigs being taken, as the stories and photos in this issue will show. There are some top stories and photos being sent in, and without them, we don't have a magazine. So keep on sending in your materialâ€Ś.it is very much appreciated. With all the competitions coming to an end and the winners being announced, there are some very lucky, and happy, hunters out there. With the Thompson Taxidermy Headmount Photo Competition, Rossi Firearms Story Competition and the 'Ultimate Pig Hunters Pack', we have been swamped with entries. The enthusiasm shown from our readers has been awesome and we would sincerely like to thank everyone who took the time to send in their entries and material, and especially thank all our sponsors for these great prizes and for their support. On a more serious note, earlier this year a friend showed me an article on Pig Hunting in the Picture magazine, which gave me cause for concern. It worries me that the wrong material is being circulated to certain magazines, magazines that are operated by people who publish images and stories without any thought to the ill effects and repercussions it has on this industry and the people whose livelihood it relies on. Please be careful to whom you send your material to, whether you are a bow hunter, shooter or dogger, it concerns all of us when this industry is portrayed incorrectly and therefore, threatens its future. As I mentioned, the silly season is upon us and a time when many of us are on the road travelling, so whether you're going on a hunt or going on holidays be careful and have a safe and Very Merry Christmas. See you in the new year,
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Tusky Mountian Boar taken by Ken(pictured), Jordo and dog ‘Roxy’. Tamworth, NSW.
John Dickerson - NSW.
Athol Schmidt - NT.
Ross Clark - Charters Towers.
6 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Jason with ‘Who-doo’ - Warrawong,NSW.
WIN CHESTPLATE Gulf Country Breastplates
Darren Douglas - VIC.
Brendan Walters - West Kimberley, WA.
Shane Stewart - Townsville, QLD.
Colin & Derek - Yeoval, NSW. 7
Trevor Robb - ACT. Athol Schmidt - NT.
Cain - Townsville, QLD. Darren Douglas - VIC.
Darren Douglas - VIC. 8 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
A.Schmidtâ€™s dogs with a good boar - NT.
S.Grentell Stormy - Moura.
‘Jake’, Craig & ‘Ridge’ - Rockhampton, QLD. Mark Smith - NSW.
Lachlan Waterhouse - QLD.
John Dickerson - NSW. 9
Ken Carige - Rockhampton.
Jason - NSW.
Jamie Nieling & Scott Solomon - QLD.
Micheal & Shayne - VIC.
John Yelash & Mark - Byrock, NSW. 10 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Robert Galvin - Wodonga, VIC.
Dean Coghill with 21 pigs, all over 50kg, caught using six dogs on a grain property near Clermont.
Allan Pitt - Mackay, QLD.
John Bunn - ACT.
Jesse Gowans - Weipa,QLD.
S.Healy - Mildura,VIC.
Niesha Sanford - Collie,WA. 71
Left: Guy Morton, of Townsville, caught this deep chested boar with the help of his dogs.
Below Right: Caught at Captains Flat in NSW, was this big black pig. Check out the length of his tail.
Above: Hunting one night with his dogs, Shane Stewart came up trumps when they ‘messed it’ with this big fella. 72 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
If you have any pictures of ‘Thumper’ pigs that you have caught, send them into us. We return all photos after publication.
Above: Rick Radburn from Hillston, NSW, sent in this pic of a massive boar. Hanging up in the chillerbox, the boar’s head and shoulders are lying on the chiller floor. Left: Micheal Loy nailed this solid black and white boar in Qld.
WIN SHIRT 73
A CORNER rchers
74 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Allan Pitt - Mackay,QLD.
Jordy and a nice black and white boar with a good set of hooks, ‘Good work Jordy’. - NSW
Guy Mortan - Townsville, QLD.
WIN DVD James Rambo - NSW.
Allan Pitt - Mackay,QLD. 75
Mastiff, Bully, Boxer
Deerhound 62 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
‘Alf’ Dane/Bull Mastiff
11 month old, Stag/Dane/ Bull Mastiff
Above: â€˜Olayâ€™ Stag/Bull Mastiff
Bull Mastiff X 63
Billy - Mastiff Staghound x Bull Arab
Bully Mastiff x Wolfhound Stag Mastiff 28kg. 64 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
TenYears Old Bullarab x BREED: Greyhound AGE:
to the HEIGHT: 28â€? Shoulder WEIGHT: 43kg
Billy - Mastiff, Staghound x Bullarab.
Bull Arab X ,45kg. 65
By Matt Walker BVSc. Following on from the last edition, the next biggest destroyer of hunting dogs is probably heat stroke! Heat stroke can sometimes be fatal, and can often permanently disable dogs through brain, kidney and muscle damage. I've seen dogs that have been "cooked", they survive but are often never the same again i.e. they exhaust quickly, "blow up" or seem "brain dead" in the heat in the future. Unlike us, dogs can't sweat. For heat loss they rely solely on evaporative cooling from panting. Whilst they are actually running heat loss from air flow across the tongue is reasonably efficient. But once they're lugged up the ability to lose heat from the tongue is greatly diminished. There are two main causes of heat stroke in hunting dogs. The first is obvious - hunting hard in hot conditions. Most often it is induced by "running on" i.e. a good dog has just run hard in the heat, caught a good pig, you've got to him, dispatched the pig then sent him on again. Now most pan-lickers might just run around in a few aimless circles and not go on. A good dog will go again. Under cool conditions this is fine, but when it's too hot you could be sending a good dog into trouble. Take a deep breath count slowly to ten and think to yourself should you send him or should you go to get water. It might not be worth risking a good dog on a hot day for just another pig. The second cause of heat stroke is trickier. Picture this - it's a cool winter's morning, just on daybreak. It seems a good day for hunting. The trouble is its dead still, the ground is covered in dew, or it rained the night before, and the air is so humid it feels like you could cut it with a knife. These are the conditions that catch a lot of hunters out. One good run on a good boar in conditions like this could see dogs blowing up. A dogs tongue requires evaporation to lose heat, and when the air is 90-100% water on a humid day then evaporation ceases. What happens then is that the dog starts to pant harder, and the harder he pants the more muscle exertion he uses and the more he heats up. He can pant so hard that he actually makes himself hotter. The only way to cool a heat struck dog down under humid condi66 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
tions is to take him to cool water and try to "bathe" away the heat from his body and tongue. Also putting him on the Ute and soaking him with water while driving along to create a breeze can help. If you have ice available you can keep putting ice up his backside until he cools down. If you have access to a vet then running a bag of fridge temperature intravenous fluids through a large bore catheter until the rectal temperature returns to normal provides a quick treatment. Still, prevention is better than cure. Common sense generally tells us when the weather conditions are high risk for heat stroke. So it's up to you to try to prevent heat stroke. One good way to judge the conditions is to rely on how your feeling yourself. It's safe to assume if you're doing it tough chasing on foot then so are the dogs. Don't just sit in the Ute and drive after them. Get out on foot and run. If you're feeling the pinch then so too are the dogs. Now there are a few other things you can do to decrease the risk. First is hydration. If you know you will be hunting in hot or humid conditions, then providing your dogs with access to electrolyte loaded water for the week leading up is a good idea. Also keep their weight down and their fitness up. If you're from southern Australia and you plan to hunt up north, strip all the excess weight out of your dogs by either exercising them more or feeding less. Rotate your dogs. Don't keep on hunting your best dog without a rest. Don't be the hero and try to top the tally of pigs caught with one dog. Go to water as often as you can. A good dog is a lifetime investment. It's not worth risking that investment if the weather conditions are too risky. See ya when your tongues hanging out, Matthew Walker BVSc.
FNQ Protective Breastplates
We were meant to go for a hunt the night before, but I worked late and the kids were asleep by the time I got home, so we decided to go early the next morning. The alarm went off at 4am and I was up and dressed, ready and keener than the dogs. We got in the Ute and headed out for one of our usual family hunts. After arriving at the property, we drove up the back as far as we could and braved the cold, as in these parts the weather turns nasty early in the year. Off we all go down a gully, and the first sign we see, only two minutes down the paddock, are some fresh snout holes. So Lee asked me "Which way first?" I chose left, so we headed down that way. The dogs were pretty keen and hunting on fresh sign. We got about 500 metres and then our finder kept on wanting to turn back so we made the decision to turn back and follow the gully up on the right. Good idea! We followed back up and there were heaps of new and old sign. Then we walked through two to three clearings where the pigs had just had a field day ripping it up. As our little girl is only four, she started to get tired, so I piggy backed her for awhile. We got up further and our finder took off, the other dogs followed so I took this chance to sit and listen with the kids. Lee said you wait here and I'll see what they're doing. He only walked about five metres, when we could hear that great sound we all love to hear. The dogs had bailed a pig and were barking, but there was no squeal! So we headed off into the thickest patch of tea tree, well over six foot. You could hear chomp, chompâ€Śyep, he's a beauty. I put the kids up a tree and yelled out to Lee,
"Where are you?" "I'm in here, he's a beauty darlin'." All I could hear was a big commotion, so I headed towards the noise. Pushing my way through, I found Lee, the dogs and the boar. It was a great sight. The boar had backed down a wombat hole and he had given it to the dogs. Then Lee asked "Are you video tapping this?" Yep, I thought I was, but I wasn't recording properly, so none of it worked outâ€Śbummer! Anyway, the boar broke loose and headed straight at Lee and went straight past him into a thick patch of tea tree. All I could hear was swearing and cursing. The dogs were barking and bailing hard, the kids were yelling "What's going on?" What a morning! I yelled to Lee, "Where are you now?" "I'm through here". So I headed towards him not wanting to come face to face with the boar which I've done before. Fighting my way through the thick stuff, I finally got to Lee and he was having trouble trying to stick the pig because it was so thick. Finally he stuck him and we checked the dogs. Some good rips, but they didn't need stitching. After all that, we had a look at our big brute. He was a good hog. We estimated him to be well over 100kg. It was hard to even roll him over for a photo. We called to the kids and they made their way through. We took a heap of photos and Lee video taped him a little. We then cut its head off for the jaws. Our daughter was tired at this stage, so Lee carried her back to the car and I carried the pigs head. We headed home after that with another successful pig hunt and another good boar to add to our tally this year. I can't think of a better way to spend an Easter Monday, can you? LISA PAYNE, COOMA, NSW.
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One Friday afternoon my mate Keith called me up to tell me about some large hog tracks he saw that day, while fencing on the property he was managing. The property was only about 15 minutes out of town, so I loaded the dogs and headed out. I got there early so we sat down and had a couple of rums and formed a plan. Keith was telling me that there were three big sets of tracks all running together and as we had already taken some good boars off the place, we were keen to get going and snare another couple. We set off around 10:30pm, which was about the time that he had success on past trips. I had my two dogs, Oscar, and his mother Massey (Mastiff/Boxer/Arab) and Keith had his two dogs, Tojo and Errol. Errol was one of the best nose dogs I have ever worked with, whether it was off the Ute or on the ground in cane, vine or grass. We started out as usual and walked from the road bridge down to the creek. The dogs were working well and there was some fresh sign around but we got no results. We had been walking for quite a while when we decided to call it a night, so we set off for the Toyota and started making plans for the next night. There was one spot in the creek where it formed a horseshoe which was full of Chiney Apple, Rubber vine and Guinea Grass, a prime spot for a boar. We had walked past this spot already, but the wind must have swung around because the dogs lifted and headed straight into it. After five minutes we heard a bark and we were off. I got there first and saw that they had the boar right in the middle of a prickle bush, with seven foot guinea grass growing up through it. All I could see was the tree shaking and the dogs getting flicked out. I ran around one side and could see a big black and white freckle hanging out. I grabbed his tail, causing him to head straight into the middle of the bush, resulting in me going A-over-T on the log that he had been backed onto. I looked up and all I could see was the grass splitting as he came straight at me (some choice words were being said then). The dogs hit him and turned him, I stood up just in time to see Oscar get flicked straight out over the grass (Oscar weighs about 40kgs). Then the boar took off, out of the other side where Keith was, which was the boars worst mistake, as it was a bit clearer and the dogs could get a hold of him. Keith grabbed him and then I went in, front legged him and stuck him. After a quick check of the dogs, it didn't look very good. Oscar copped a hit under his front leg which led up to his shoulder blade and Massey had one of her eye teeth damaged and Tojo had a hit to his ribs. We got back, stitched up the dogs and gutted the boar. I dropped the pig off at the chiller on my way home where he went 96kg. We never did see his mates, but we've planned another trip. ADAM BURRELL Normanton, Qld. 69
Justin Forrester -Nth QLD.
Bill Hyden Greg Walters - Springsure, QLD.
Niesha Sandford - WA.
John Yelash & mate, ‘Phi’l- Nyngan,NSW. 70 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Ron - NT.
Shannon & Matt - NT.
Jesse Gowans - Weipa, QLD. After 10 years of hunting in the mountains, Brono & Bernie from Team Mange, finally caught a mountain boar over 100kg, they say this will keep them going for another ten years. - Hampton,NSW.
Stormy - Moura, QLD.
Renee with two boars at the Adelaide River Floodplains -NT. 51
Trent, Justin & Graham - SA. Glenn
S. Healy - Mildura,VIC.
Jason Stafford - Charleville, QLD. 52 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Jesse Gowans - Weipa, QLD.
Above: Harmon Simmons (USA) with boar shot when it jumped from its bed on the swamps edge. Guide Peter Mayall. Rifle Custom 416/375 Wildcat.
Above:John Mikkelsen from Denmark, joined guide Peter Mayall for a shoot around water at dusk and bagged this boar. Below: Dean Tonkin with boar taken at long range after the boar ran out of a dead buffalo carcass. 300 Win Mag.
Right:Karl Fredrickson & John Mikkelson & boar shot with Blaser 300 Win Mag.
John Mikkelson shot this massive boar while on a guided hunt with Davidson Safaris. His guide, Peter Mayall led John into a dry paper bark swamp, where the boar jumped out of its bed. John used a Blaser 300 Win Mag. The boar had nine inch tusks with a girth of three inches.
PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY DAVIDSONâ€™S SAFARIS ph: (08) 8927 5240 53
Kym - SA.
Nathon Fenton with Staff - Inverell, NSW.
Lachlan Waterhouse - QLD.
Owen Bayley & dog ‘Zuis’, Bullarab /Mastiff Foxhound, caught this boar in the early morning. 54 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Mace Williams NT.
Story by Ted Mitchell
One often wonders what it was like for our early pioneers. Leaving a land that they had grown up in, to explore some remote vast wilderness, not knowing even if they would return to civilisation as they knew it, or perish in the wild. Truly, they must have been tough and gutsy. We had often talked around the campfire about those adventurous young men of yesteryear and how we must still have a bit of that old spirit within us. How many times have we walked to the top of a hill, only to walk to the next, then the next. Always wanting to go that little bit farther. Four good mates, Greg Harrold, Mick Self, Clifford 56 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Nuhn (Mickhaela), Mick Gwynne and myself, thought that we might recapture a bit of the old spirit ourselves. Naturally we wouldn't do it so tough, but at least we would travel and explore a remote vast wilderness, not knowing even if we would succeed in our venture. Using topographical maps and a GPS we would endeavour to drive from the Holroyd to the Kendal River. The map showed numerous gullies and swamps, but had no mention of the ten flat tyres we would get along the way. That first day was spent crashing through paperbark swamps and smashing through sand ridges. After negotiat-
ing a rather nasty creek crossing, we were going along quite well until Greg hit a small sapling which transferred its zillions of green ants into the open bull catcher with us. Just as well they don't sting for long and you can get back at them by biting their bums off. Very tasty, a nice citrus flavour. That night we made camp within 11 kilometres of the Kendal, that is in a straight line and straight lines are hard to come by in this country, what with swamps and creek crossings and a myriad of small gullies now we were nearing the river. After tea and fixing the flats we got that day, a check of the map indicated that there was a small swamp nearby which might be worth a look. Next morning, nearing the swamp, a fair sized boar could be seen wallowing at the far end. Pulling up in a cloud of dust, Mick and Clifford let their dogs out and took off in the direction of the boar, who by this time had stood up to see what all the commotion was about. Seeing the two dogs and what must have looked like two Jabiru's with big hats coming straight for him (Clifford is about six foot seven in his socks and Mick ain't no midget). This big old arrogant boar just stood and waited for them. The first dog hit, only to be tossed casually to one side with a flick of the boars massive head. Then both dogs hit him together and the fight was on. Mick rolled him and administered the fatal thrust. Hearing a bark from the other side of the swamp, we could see Clifford's other dog had a large boar bailed up by a huge ant mound. The other dogs were over there and lugged onto him in quick time. This boar was a real fighter and gave the dogs a fair
hurry up, putting several small rips in them before the boys could roll and stick him. Both boars were crusty old buggers with good ivory. Moving on after taking another bearing on the GPS, we soon made it to the Kendal. We were all disappointed, as it was not what we expected. Shallow and fast running, with no decent camp sites. That seems to happen a lot, as we all fantasise about places we are about to go to and conger up scenes of what we want it to be like. Perusing the map, it showed a large lagoon not far down river, so we set off hoping to make it before dark. Pppssshhheee! oh no! Another flat ,quickly changing the wheel we were soon on our way again. "Pig", someone yelled and the boys were out and off again. Making quick work of him, they took his jaw and we set off again. The going was rough, but we made it with an hour to spare before dark. This time it was what we had imagined. A beautiful deep lagoon with great spots to camp. After unloading the punts, it wasn't long before we were trying our hand at catching a nice fat barra for tea. Michaela and myself were in one punt and Clifford and Mick in the other. Greg reckoned he would start to set up camp. Wham, the fish hit my lure
Main Pic (Opp Page):Mick Gwynne with his first bowshot boar. Right:The â€˜Bull Catcherâ€™ 57
Above: Mick Self with boar. Right & Opposite page: Author with tusky boar, and the toothless bull.
like an express train. It was fighting hard and deep. You guessed it, a bloody big catfish. The dirty bugger slimed my lure and about two feet of line, Yuk! Next thing we heard Mick 'ki-yippieeying' as he landed his first ever barramundi. Michaela and I went ashore to help set up camp. It was dark by the time the others came in, but you could see the grin on Mick's face. You wouldn't have been able to wipe it off with an axe handle. You caught em, you clean em, someone remarked. It sounded a bit like me. Fresh barra and bread and butter washed down with a few coldies. A bit different from the poor explorers who had to cook and eat their boots for sustenance. It would be hard to imagine eating Michaela's joggers or Greg's sandals. Morning came upon us quickly, with a cool ground fog filtering through the trees. After a big breakfast we explored the lagoon, catching heaps of barra and Saratoga which we released unharmed. After an early lunch we packed up and headed for the river a little farther down. On one particularly nasty crossing we got the bullcatcher stuck pretty well in one spot and Mick's Toyota stuck further along. Michaela had the chainsaw out and made a nice little ramp and we got the bullcatcher out, then dug a bit of the bank away and towed the Toyota out. One spot was rooted up by pigs for about two kilometres square and right in the middle was a 58 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
tangelwood swamp. It was a nightmare to drive through and much time was lost. Passing a good swamp, we decided to have a hunt with the crossbow. Spotting a good boar I snuck slowly from downwind towards him, while Greg got the video camera going. Soon the boar was within range, then the wind abruptly started to swirl. The boar started sniffing the wind, moving slowly away from me, he stopped again and I loosed a shaft which hit a little high behind the shoulder and came out middle of the shoulder on the opposite side. He spun around and ponderously made his way deeper into the swamp, leaving a copious blood trail to follow. Alas, when the water came up to spanner depth, (That's when it tightens your nuts) the chance of running into a big crocodile was very real and the search was called off. This time the crocs got a feed on me. Now it was Michaela's turn with the crossbow. Sneaking quietly up onto a good looking boar, Michaela slowly squeezed the trigger on my Excalibur Exomag crossbow, sending a Wasp tipped shaft deep into his
chest. The boar only ran 20 meters and expired. A great one arrow kill and this was the first time Michaela had used a bow. An hour later, Clifford arrowed a nice boar while it was swimming the river. This one had to be left where it was, too many big crocodiles here. Mick had next go and arrowed a large black and white sow. It didn't go down right away so Michaela jumped on it and gave it the coup-degrace, but not before being chased around an ant-hill. Unfortunately Greg didn't get a shot, but I left my bow with him and he has arrowed plenty since that trip. The next day chasing hogs with the dogs was on the agenda. It wasn't long before Michaela had his dogs onto a good boar, which, when fighting and slashing with his razor sharp tusks, made it hard for Michaela to get in and roll him, then he was off again as another boar took off from where it had been laying quietly hoping not to be seen. Another 100 meters and we heard Michaela's war cry as he sunk his blade deep into the old boar's vitals. Another one of the Kendal river warriors bit the dust, his demise due to a totally new sort of Kendal river warrior traversing this uninhabited wilderness. Coming across an old bull it was decided to try to shoot him, we needed dog tucker badly, as somehow it had been left behind. He was standing in the open and too risky to try for him on foot with only a crossbow, so we cheated. Driving the 'bull catcher' as close as he could, Greg tried to manoeuvre the bull for a clean shot. Just as I squeezed the trigger we hit a bump and I hit him in the shoulder. The bull turned in full gallop and tried to horn the vehicle. Soon he stopped and just as he took off again an arrow took him in the chest. Quickly reloading, another shot put him down for keeps. We did him a favour of sorts, as he had virtually no teeth left and would not have lived too long, dieing of starvation. Copious amounts of meat was taken and laid in strips across the bonnet to dry. The dogs would eat well for the rest of the trip. That evening we were roaring across an open plain into the golden orb of the dropping sun. A mob of pigs were running in front with great plumes of dust billowing behind, it reminded me of a scene from the movie `Hatari', climaxing in a tyre screeching dust
churning stop. The boys were out and running, trying to keep up with the dogs that were fast closing on the departing pigs. There was a snorting, snarling tangle of dogs and pigs, as the boars tried for a telling thrust with their vicious tusks. Soon it was over and all you could hear was the panting of the dogs and puffing of the men. Cruising along the next afternoon, Mick said over the radio that he would like to give his dog a run by himself. Spotting a large mob of sows, Mick and his dog set off in hot pursuit. Well funny wasn't the word as Mick came out of the scrub with about 40 sows right up his arse. He was yelling "Let the dogs out, let the dogs out" We were laughing too much to let them out and the sows had called off the chase anyhow. Mick cautiously went back and stuck the pig his dog had caught, and then we were off again. The dogs put up some more pigs. With black backs bristling and ivory flashing the two biggest disappeared over a sand hill,
One of the camps, equipped with mozzie proof domes and right, Clifford & Mick with a good boar, check out the size of the ant hill.
with dogs and hunters close behind. Driving over closer they came into sight. One old warrior lay on his side, his life force draining into the sand and the other was fighting for his life, with wicked tusks flashing in the afternoon sun. Soon it was over; two more Kendal river warriors had bit the dust. About 27 boars were caught or bowshot and one bull. Around 71 barramundi were caught along with 120 Saratoga. We made it to the Kendal and back and spent eight days doing it, with many hair raising moments and ten flat tyres. The adventure of a lifetime.
Above: Clifford and Mick with a good boar, check out the size of the ant-hill behind them.
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This video shows approximately 70 minutes of the rough and tumble world of the old pig dog, in their pursuit of feral pig. The video starts in NSW and quickly moves up to the Gulf and Cape York regions of Far North
renowned for its trophy class boars. Filmed around croc infested swamps
majority of footage consists of dogs fighting it out with mature boars, as well as some bailing where boars are dispatched with a rifle. Watch as boars are being chased by Bull/ Greyhound crosses over open flats in slow motion. Angry boars and scrub bulls
Available in DVD or Video at a price of $45 each, including handling.
PHONE: (07) 4045 1124 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cheques and Money Orders made to Rob Van der Veen. Po Box 840, Earlville QLD 4870.
take their revenge on cameramen
Barramundi and Saratoga are landed in-between pig hunts. Undisturbed pigs come in to drink at dusk on a lagoon in the Gulf.
Winner of the Tusk Proof Open Order
WIN NECK COLLAR
Pig Dog Supplies
Send pics to Po Box 10126 Mount Pleasant Mackay Qld 4740.
Above:This good looking black & white boar was bailed up after a good long chase. But it wasnâ€™t over then, when all the dogs rolled up this boar turned it on again.Giving the dogs what for.Finally after a good tussle,John got the boar, but minus his main dog. Left: The dogs pulled this pig up in light tree line in the Gulf.
Above & Right: Above, the stare down, and then left, doing a bit of circle work, these two bailed up this boar in a dry creek bed.
Right: While on a trip up in the Gulf, John Bunnâ€™s dog bailed up this good solid boar on an open grass flat at night.
44 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
46 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
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If you like big dogs with huge heads or you're looking for a smash and grab machine with built in power you normally wouldn't go too far wrong with an English Mastiff cross. In their pure form they are big mothers, and can weigh around the 80 to 100 kilo mark (about 180-220 lbs.), a huge dog in anybodies' book. Most Aussie pig hunters have probably never laid eyes on a pure English Mastiff, but if you are fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to see one, and especially a well bred one they are a sight to behold. Compared to other breeds that are often considered big, the Mastiff is incomparable. Even if the taller but less heavy breeds like the Great Dane and Irish wolfhound are impressive, the English Mastiff has a combination of power, size and massiveness that no other breed can challenge. I could probably outline the origins of the dog, originally valued for their abilities as a fierce guard and fighting dog, but as with most pure breed dogs these days they have been decimated by the show brigade and any of the original characteristics treasured by the original breeders have been sacrificed mostly for appearance. Throw the puppy peddlers into the equation and the characteristics of Above: â€˜Caesarâ€™, pure English Mastiff. the dogs of old would bear little resemBelow: English Mastiff Cross/ Bull Mastiff blance to the modern dog. Pure English Dane. Mastiffs are not that prevalent in hunting circles but they do exist here and there, the main reason being that access to the pure dogs is reasonably limited, and few pig hunters are prepared to outlay the dollars necessary to have one cruising around in the back yard. If you are looking for a cheaper option and are prepared to do the hard yards and bide your time it is possible to pick up a straight crossed dog for around half the price or less and still get a dog that will have the appearance of a mastiff. Straight crossed dogs are still reasonably scarce, but finding a dog that has some English Mastiff blood is a reasonably easy matter. A lot of the modern day dogs can be traced back to the 80's and early 90's
48 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
when cross bred English Mastiffs started to appear on the market, and because they were a new breed, and slotted straight into the image of a big tough pig dog, they were snapped up at a rate of knots thus creating a very attractive market for breeders. If you are going to own a dog, the appearance of the dog is probably the primary driver when purchasing a pup for most people, and a cross bred English Mastiff can be very appealing to a lot of people. Crossed with a breed that will give their progeny some muscle tone, for example, a Great Dane or Bull Terrier you can certainly end up with an impressive looking dog. The cross breeding options for this breed are endless, but the Mastiff in its pure form is limited fairly substantially as far as pig hunting goes, they are just too big and slow in most cases. Cross bred Mastiffs excel as holding dogs, just the brute force and weight of the dog is enough to subdue any boar, regardless of how stroppy he may be, 60 plus kilos of dog holding an ear will soon have things under control. I have owned two pure bred Mastiffs over the years and when I was breeding them I always offered a money back guarantee on the pups regardless of why they were being returned. I crossed one of my pure males over a Bull Mastiff/Dane cross English Mastiff bitch, a mate who hunted by himself most of the time, bought one of these pups. He would keep the pigs alive, only killing them when he was returning to town from hunting thus keeping them fresh for the chiller. Imagine my surprise when he returned the pup at 7 months of age, the reason being he couldn't get the dog off the live pig, and when he did he was totally exhausted. Trying the dog myself I totally understood his predicament, the power of this dog was unbelievable. Before you take the plunge and buy yourself an English Mastiff cross, give some thought to the type of country you hunt. If you hunt in the thick stuff the taller type dogs can be hampered fairly substantially trying to force themselves through a mass of tangled vegetation, and quite often the pigs will make good there escape or it will take the dog ages to catch the pig. If you are lucky enough to hunt stubble etc where you can drop the dogs off a vehicle these dogs usually have no trouble holding a pig until you return.
Above: Mastiff Cross Pups, at three months old. Right: Rod and â€˜Blueâ€™, English Mastiff Cross Dane/ Ridgeback.
Most of the Mastiff crosses I have owned or hunted with had the ability to find, their noses are not as defined as a purpose bred hound or pointer cross but they will get the job done. Most have a much laid back style, and if socialised correctly will be non dog aggressive, make good watchdogs purely by their impressive size, fit in with the family if needed and they don't bark very often thus keeping the peace in the neighbourhood. However some are a one man/family dog, regardless of their size they may be wary or aloof of strangers, even to the extent of appearing timid, and this can sometimes be an issue if you purchase a grown dog. If I could offer any advice to anyone buying a dog over six months of age, ask the owner to leave the yard and see how the dog reacts to you being in their space, any signs of being timid should now become evident. Being large dogs they do have a few negatives, the cost to feed, worm and house them will keep the moths out of your wallet, and the amount of room they take up on the back of the truck can be an issue on long trips, but if you like big dogs you live with it. Hip Dysplasia is another concern, so make sure you check out the parents thoroughly or get the pup checked by a vet prior to purchase if you think it necessary, if you buy from a reputable breeder most will offer a money back guarantee. This is of little comfort
though if you have spent copious amounts of time and effort training your new dog, only to have it develop hip problems. They are also prone to bloat, so try and feed two or three small meals a day, instead of one large one. If your current team is copping a regular flogging from large irate boars and you are thinking that a dog with a bit more power may be the answer, or you just want a big boof head that looks impressive and will hold a boar for you when you venture out on your yearly hog hunting trek check out an English Mastiff cross.
Nathan Porter - NSW.
Aaron Fenton with dog ‘Staff’ - Inverell, NSW.
Trent - SA
BJ & Ritchie with pigs caught back of Goondiwindi.
Owen Bayley with a ‘Barra’ taken in the Braidwood area - NSW. 50 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Matt Pebbles with Stag X pup and a healthy ‘Barra’ caught at Cobar, before the drought - NSW.
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Darren Douglas - VIC. Brett Thompson - QLD
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Jamie Nieling - QLD.
John Yelash Jnr - Rylstone,NSW.
Lachlan Waterhouse - QLD. 31
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Jason - Bundaberg,Qld.
Colin Richardson - NSW. Rick Radburn Coonamble, NSW.
Mark Smith & Beau - NSW.
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Mark Smith with dogs,Rob & Trev .
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John Bunn - ACT. 33
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Kane Duff - Injune, QLD. 34 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
MichealFerrier - Dululu, QLD.
Craig & Allan - Herberton, QLD.
With my two teenage sons, Matt and Steve, two dogs and a heap of camping gear, it was almost claustrophobic in the little long wheelbase Suzuki 4WD as we buzzed along the highway to a favoured pig haunt. The little Suzy finds the highway going a bit tough, so do we, but once in the dirt it's unstoppable. (Well let's hope so). Steve spotted the first hog for the day not far from the edge of a large well-used billabong. Keeping in the shadows the cagey old boar sauntered through the light scrub without a care in the world, head down bum up as it pushed its long snout through the fallen dry leaves in search of food. No sooner had we moved to within a stones throw of the boar and the .308 Browning Lever Action did the rest. How easy was that! Fifteen minutes later and easy went straight out the window. When a large black boar sleeping in the shadows of a dense clump of over-hanging pandanus palms must have copped a round a bit far back and came out of the darkness swinging. In an instant 36 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
the solid boar was on its feet and ready for retribution, its hackles, temper and blood were up. In the one movement I levered and shouldered the .308, but as I sighted the red dot scope on 'Babe' on steroids, Nip our fearless (or stupid) male Jack Russell leapt into the action literally, latching onto an ear and refused to budge. The prospect of fighting in a different weight division obviously hadn't crossed the tenacious little dog's mind; and I must admit for a split second he was definitely ahead on points. However, midway through the first round the hog scored points with an aggressive flick of its solid, muscular neck which lifted the little canine challenger off the ground, into orbit and cart wheeled him over the dirty swine's shoulders. No sooner had Nip's skinny back legs touched the ground and he was viciously yanked back over. Nip must of thought; stuff this! As on the next flick he unclenched and was ejected into midair. Luckily, landing at a safe distance from the uncompromising boar with only a
dented ego. With Nip out of the firing line a quick instinctive shot momentarily stung the angry hog, giving Matt the opportunity to dart between the pandanus palms, grab its back legs and hold on. As Matt struggled to hold the blunt end, the dog showed no sign of caution and was quickly back in the boar's face. That's about the time when the big brute totally lost it and went ballistic. Matt looked like he was holding onto a wheelbarrow in a tornado as the boar spun, crashed and attempted to flattened everything in sight. "I think he's tiring" I smirked to Matt as I jumped into the scuffle. Even with two involved it took all our energy to roll him. By the time the hog lay still its pandanus retreat had been almost totally demolished and looked like a job for Backyard Blitz. Not that we looked much better. After a rest and a bite to eat the boy's winched and weighed the fallen boar, 90kgs of black tornado. Later that day, and yet another boar, except this time there was about 150 yards of swamp which stood between our quarry and us. Still, Matt felt confident he could make the shot. As the boar pushed through the mud and short reeds Matt found a comfortable firing position, levered a round in the reli-
able .308 turned on the red dot and Boom! The hog folded into the slush. "Are we going to hear about this for a while" I whispered to Steve. Another good sized Territory boar fell victim to the lever action before it was time to pack up stumps. It must have been a big day for the boys and dogs as even the high revving Suzuki and Dwight Yoakam thumping out a few tunes; with me providing vocal support couldn't wake them from the land of the nod on the drive home. - GARY HALL, NT.
Right: Steve McDonald was hunting at Nyngan, NSW, when he fell into a little drama.
WIN SHIRT Left: Mick Lavel got his four wheeler bogged to a point where it wasgoinâ€™ nowhere...but down!
Right: David Jeffreys sent in this pic he took while on a hunting trip. It may not be a Pig Truck, but it is definitely bogged!
38 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
While travelling overnight, the heavens opened up and poured down...check the bull bar on this rig, looks like it was meant for a Mack truck.
Above & Right: At Cape Palmerston, the old To-Jo went a â€˜gutsaâ€™ while going down this crossing. 39
Radio signals are affected by terrain, seasons and weather. Hills, rocks, timber, swamps, summer's dense foliage, even a cropfield can cut down the signal that comes from your dog's transmitter collar. Signals may bounce off mountains, trees and power lines. Rain, snow or fog also creates a veil that shortens the signal range your radio unit will get. Those who use tracking systems often ask how far will a receiver pick up a signal? The receiver, transmitter collar and antenna work together as a unit. Receivers can bring in a radio signal from a great distance; however, your choice of collar and antenna contributes equally to the signal range you will get. When choosing a collar, consider your dog's weight, way of hunting, type of terrain you usually hunt in, and availability of access roads. Situations affecting signals vary from line-of-sight, where you are in clear, open area without obstructions to the worst case rugged terrain which can cut your collars signal range by half or more. Signal bounce is a normal feature of radio equipment in rugged terrain. The transmitter collar's signal can bounce/deflect in mountainous or thickly wooded areas. If you are in a valley and the dog collar's signal comes over a mountain top toward you, the signal may hit a mountain wall, rock outcropping, or a tree behind you before coming back
to your receiver. This can be confusing and frustrating, since the dog is located in the opposite direction from which the signal comes. To combat signal bounce, the hunter should go to a high altitude such as a ridge, where the best reception will occur. Take several readings from different positions. Your dog is located at the place where two or more signals cross. This radio tracking method is called triangulation. For best reception, elements (not main boom) of your handheld antenna should match the position of your dog's collar antenna. You cannot see your dog and don't know the collar antenna's position, so use your wrist action to rotate antenna back and forth. By playing this way, you'll move your antenna elements from vertical to horizontal and back. Observe the clearest signal reception. Your dog may be lying down because of injury or entrapment, and its collar antenna may be horizontal. Swamping occurs when the dog's transmitter signal surrounds the hunter, coming in equally from all directions so one location cannot be pinpointed. Turn the receivers gain control knob down; if swamping continues, you are very close to the dog. Detach the antenna from your receiver, turn the gain control knob up, and go to the loudest signal. Or use the attenuator which is built into some receivers.
Top Left: Scott trying to outsmile his quarry. Top Middle: Stalking the swamps paid off for Scott. Top Right: Ben with his trophy tusker.
the subject porker in his slumber. To add insult to injury I retrieved one of the biggest sets of ivory for the trip. Luck of the Irish, I say. The tally at the end of the trip was some 30 boars weighing from 40 to 80 kilograms with ivory ranging from 25 to 30 points Douglas score. Living up to its reputation, the Cape never ceases to amaze me as the ultimate haven for trophy tusker razorbacks. B. STOCKER, QLD.
Above: The Pandanas pig.
the pig had just run under it. I've pulled up in a hurry, jumped out, Tikka in hand. He was making ground real fast "I'm not going to get him," I thought to myself, the grass was too long. All I could see was his backside bobbing up and down, but I had a go anyway. Well, it was a disappointing weekend to say the least. CRACK! And he went down. Bren was still on the Up early both on Saturday and Sunday morning with back of the Cruiser and smiling, as he had a better no result. A lot of K's and we didn't even see a pig! view than I did. I checked my pig out, and he was We have had a good wet, with a lot of water around, dead. Then drove back to Bren's pig, where we saw billabongs and swamps topped up. I feel sure it will be that he had nailed him just below his right ear. a good pig season. Brendan came over for a coffee late Another bullet hole showed that he did hit him the on the Sunday afternoon, looking a bit down. So I first shot, but too far back. "Have a look at this," I suggested we go for a quick run before work the next said to Bren. I put my hands out and they were shakmorning. This brightened him up; he enjoys his hunt- ing like a leaf. I've had some good hunts and a lot of ing as much as I do. At 4:30am, there's a knock on my memorable ones, but I reckon it doesn't get much betwindow, he couldn't sleep so why should I? I looked ter than this. We were home at 6:40 am, coffee and DAVE WILKIE outside and it was as black as the inside of a bull. ready to start work at 7 am. West Kimberley Coffees, and then we loaded up the rifles with a few WA spares in the top pocket. I wasn't feeling very confident, when, out about 4k's, Bren spots a pig off to the left, but he had heard us. Ears pricked and on full alert, he was only five metres from a small patch of spear grass, but by the time we had got out of the Cruiser, he'd disappeared. "Be patient," I said to Bren, "He's got to come out sooner or later." Minutes went by and then 200 metres further along I see this cunning old bugger just trotting along. How he got those 200 metres without being spotted has got me beat. Back in the drivers seat, "You hang on Bren," I said as we drove down the track running parallel with him. Next minute Bren's yelling out "Pull up, pull up, pig!" I thought about it, but decided better the pig you can see than the one you have just passed. We got Above: Dave with a Tikka .270 and Brendan below with a Winchester Featherweight .270 Background: The Author after the chase...all smiles. level with old slippery and pulled up in a hurry. "Nail him Bren," I said. CRACK! Goes the .270 and old slippery just puts the pedal down. Bren's missed, so I thought. I've jumped out; he's not going to escape, not if I had anything to do about it. Flat gallop and I've missed too. Next second, Bren's cart wheeled him! It was pretty spectacular. Back in the drivers seat, a 180 degree turn, and back in the direction we came, to have a go at the other pig. My feelings were that he would be long gone. Bren spots him flat out to the left, so through the long grass we head. Bren's yelling out "Watch out for the fence!" I had seen it, 22 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Lens Cap on... Bugger!!!
I had some mates, Paul and Adam, up from Canberra, on an intensive four day hunting and fishing holiday. They had done lots of shooting already on their trip so we thought we would take the dogs out for a run. It started out like any other hunt. We collared up the dogs, Rebel (Bull Arab), Rosie (Mastiff cross) and Clifford (Wolfhound), just before dusk. Then grabbed a few drinks and set off on the 40 minute drive out of town to a mango farm. We pulled up at the gate to the farm, parked the car up and let the dogs out. The farm had always supplied few but quality pigs in the past so we expected this night to be the same. We set out on the twenty minute circuit walk that would bring us back to the car with the dogs working out both sides of us. Straight up we got a 60kg sow that I stuck so the dogs would continue to hunt. A bit further on we got a boar about 80kg. We continued back to the car for a drink and rest. An hour later we set off on the same track with the dogs still keen to hunt. Nothing much happening until we were nearly at the same spot that we had caught the boar. The dogs hit up on a large pig feeding on the banks of a creek. My dogs lugged hard on the 120kg pig trying to pull him out of the water. My mate Paul, who was videoing the action, gave the camera to Adam with strict instructions to keep videoing. He saw how large it was and came over to give me a hand to throw the pig, once we got it up the steep bank. After a bit of swimming we got the pig out and stuck it. This was when the 'it' hit the fan. The words were, "Paulie, you left the lens cap on!" We would have had some good footage but instead we have a great sound track and a couple of lucky camera shots. The rest of the night was spent commiserating what we didn't get and celebrating what we didâ€ŚCheers! P. BATTYE N.T.
Below: Fortunately, a couple of shots of the boar were caught on camera. Above: One of the few, but quality pigs previously caught on the mango farm.
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Dennis Paton from Gulf Country Breastplates, in Mareeba, makes a light weight neck collar for the smaller/ bailer dog or pup. The light weight neck collar is made from firehose and is for those little 20kg dogs that don't need a breastplate. The collars are tough, light and the ideal collar that won't weigh down your smaller dogs. To get your neck collar from Gulf Country Breastplates contact Dennis on (07) 4093 3080
The latest line of embroided clothing from Tuskproof Protective Accessories, still featuring the dog lugging the pig and the 'Simply Tusk Proof' logo.The Polo Shirt and caps comes in an assortment of colours and sizes, with the beanies only available in navy blue. Prices are as follows, Polo Shirts $30, Caps $20 and Beanies $20. To purchase any of these items, contact Bruce and Sharon Carroll of Tuskproof on (07) 5533 1424 or 0412 355 774.
Pig Dog Supplies manufactures a light weight chestplate with all the trimmings; d rings, reflective tape, burr free edging and three layers of fire hose in the neck and extra over the chest. The neck has two buckles and velcro with the shoulder having one buckle and an adjustable barrel strap. This chestplate comes with a choice of two bibs; long square or solid round. With all strapping having a 700kg breaking strain and brass eyelets melted in, adjustments are easier and longer lasting. Available for big and small dogs, prices start at $104.50 (gst inc.) for small. For a measuring guide, call Les at Pig Dog Supplies on (02) 6365 8432 or 0428 658 432. 6 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
FNQ Protective Breastplates makes and supplies plates to every state in Australia, including NZ and overseas. With protection and comfort being a priority in the design, these plates give you strength for protection, while a unique neck design allows flexibility and freedom for the dog to perform at its peek. The wrap around design also allows plenty of ventilation and with the additional features of four, stitched and compressed layers at the front, and three layers at the sides, these plates could be described as bullet-proof. All stitching is UV protected, extremely tough and will not rot. With an emphasis on 'custom made' and service, the plates come with a guarantee, if your not happy then FNQ Protective Breastplates are more than happy to replace or fix, professionally and promptly as possible. For a quality plate and service to match, call Adam O'Brien at FNQ Protective Breastplates on (07) 4067 5153 or 0421 989 272.
For the ulitmate set of budget Butchering Knives, you canâ€™t go past this Butchering Set from Campbelltown Disposals & Firearms. Including a meat saw, caper, large knife with gut hook and small skinner with gut hook, at $30, it really is value for money. Also available, Bayonets, great value for a sticker, ex cech army for cech mauser 98, only $55. Or ex swiss army for Sig rifle, $65. For the dog, Neck Collars ($60) and Heavy Holding Collars ($20). Campbelltown Disposals sell everything for the hunter and their dogs.
Want to give someone a Pig Hunting Video/ DVD for Christmas? Try 'Hogs of OZ', with seventy- five minutes of action packed, pig hunting using bow. It will be one of the best hunting footage you will ever see,,,
Contact Campbelltown Disposals & Firearms on (02) 4628 3522 or visit the store at Shop 405 Spotlight Plaza, 141/ 157 Queen Street, Campbelltown.
If your looking for a high quality swag at a low price these swags are the go! The range of panorama swags from Js enterprises is extensive; they have swags to suit everyone. The Maquarie for the junior pig hunter, King Single for the single pig hunter, through to the Turon Double for the hubby and wife team. The best part about these swags is the quality, size and cost, they are lot bigger in the top of swag than the base allowing plenty of room to roll about, nothing worse than a swag you cant roll over in or lay on your side. All swags are double stitched, have extra heavy duty rip stop water proof canvas base 18oz, heavy duty rip stop water proof canvas top 15oz with heavy duty YKK zips. All swag mattresses are a covered high density 50mm foam, except
"Lovers of pig hunting everywhere are in for a real treat. With 'Hogs of Oz' you get a full 75 minutes of wall to wall pig hunting action." Matt Graham, Magazine Columnist, guide and safari operator. For further information email: email@example.com
Jordan Creek & Macquarie Single at 40mm. Straps are double stitched and are made from 50mm webbing with heavy duty 50mm plastic side release buckles. Most swags have a handle made from 50mm webbing double stitched. Swags are also available in different colours ranging from you standard swag green to purple. Prices of swags range from $149 for a junior swag, $330 for a King single up to $500 for the top of the line Turon Double. The swags are 100% Australian made and fully guaranteed on workmanship. Contact JS Enterprises on (02) 4822 4591 or 0402 240 463. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick Radburn - Bourke, NSW.
Guy Morton - Townsville, QLD.
Michael Loy - QLD.
Tim Warren - Morven. Boar shot while out roo shooting with his father.
Jordo - NSW Ranges. 30 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Main Picture: A big black & white boar hangs from the winch. Inset: Trace & his 18 month old Harliquin Dane cross dog, with the first boar of the trip, the one they had to swim the river for.
Over the past several weeks, I had been visiting an area that had been a regular hunting ground for many years now. This particular spot is where a mountain range meets a river, with approximately two hundred acres of irrigated barley along side it. Whilst the mountain borders the crop on the left hand side, the river flows to the North, surrounded by cabbage tree palms and tall river grass. Pigs use this heavy cover to their advantage 12 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
when being pursued by dogs. Although the area presents itself to be the perfect hog haven, it doesn't contain a great number of pigs. However, it does seem to produce a steady flow of good boars, with each visit to this spot usually resulting in only one or two. One night a mate and I were heading out to this spot, and on the way he said to me, "If there is one thing I don't want to do tonight, it's to end up in the river." As it was common for
â€˜As fate would have it, they had the pig on the other side of the river. So, quickly stripping down to my jocks, strapping my knife back on and grabbing my torch, into the freezing cold water I went.â€™
the pigs to use the river as an escape route. The pigs which go this way, I believe come out of the mountains on the other side. Therefore, you often end up swimming which is not all that inviting, especially during winter at all hours of the night. Anyhow, I said to my mate we would walk the mountainside to try to keep away from the river, as this was the side I had seen a good set
of boar tracks during my previous visit. On arrival we parked a small distance from the area and started our walk along the mountainside of the crop. However, by the time we had gotten to the other end, the dogs had shown no sign of picking up any fresh scent at all. So rather than going home empty handed, I said we should walk back along the river side, and sure enough, as soon as we got round to that side the dogs hit scent straight away. Down into the river grass and palms they went and after a good ten minutes of silence we thought we should check the direction in which they had gone with the tracker. Just as we got the tracker out, we heard what we had been waiting for, the sound of dog and boar doing battle, but it was a long way up the river. Away we went, as fast as we could, stopping every now and then to have a listen, to make sure we were heading in the right direction. As we got closer to where the mountain met the river, the bank became very steep which made the going even harder. As fate would have it they had the pig on the other side of the river. So quickly stripping down to my jocks, strapping my knife back on and grabbing my torch, into the freezing cold water I went. When half way across, I found myself in complete darkness as my torch was filled with water due to one of the many accidental dunkings it got on its way across. Luckily, the dogs had L.E.D's (Light Emitting Diodes) attached to their collars to make them easier to find in these sorts of situations. Anyhow, after a few close shaves, mud from head to toe, and the dogs and I both pretty well exhausted, we had scored ourselves a well deserved 98kg boar. Didn't we have a job for ourselves now, getting this big fella back to the Hilux. After hearing of 13
my previous success in this area, my brother-inlaw Jason, who was converted into a keen pig hunter five or six years ago when he married my sister, was only too happy to accompany me several days later to this spot again. When, it was almost a case of history repeating itself, delivering us with a 106 kg boar. The only difference being a couple of injured dogs. A few days later when the opportunity arose, we found ourselves driving in the vicinity again. The dogs flew off the Hilux and headed along a fence line straight towards the mountain. We grabbed the GPS and tried to keep their lights in sight. We had only gone about half a kilometre when we heard a few yips, the dogs letting us know they were in hot pursuit. We stopped and looked towards the mountain seeing the red and green lights going round in a circle. They had another good ginger and black boar weighing in at the chiller at 99kg. We were able to drive straight up the fence line to pick him up, which was a real 14 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
bonus. We drove along a little further, the dogs kept jumping off the Hilux, going up the side of the hill into the heavy soft wood scrub. They worked hard but came up with nothing. Thinking the scent must have been a little old I called them back, however I could tell they didn't seem too keen to give up. A little further along the track the dogs jumped off again when the pig walked straight into our headlights a few hundred yards in front of us. You could see the bottom half of him was still wet from where he had just come up out of the river. The dogs nailed him right on the track, he put up a ripper of a â€˜blueâ€™. After I delivered the fatal blow, I noticed he had no ears, no wonder the dogs were thrown around a bit, another good boar of 98 kg. Another visit back there with my son a week later delivered two smaller boars weighing in at 78kg and 80kg, one of which was caught up a hollow log
Opposite Page- Top: Jason & his dog, Jess, Deerhound/Bullarab, right, & Jackson on the left, with a big hard boar. Bottom Right: Trace & Jason returned to the same hunting ground two nights later to catch another boar weighing 106kg at the chiller. This Page- Top Right:Codie & Jackson with a quality pig. Middle Right: Codie with the boar that was up the hollow log, and right, the big hollow log which the dogs were in to get the boar. Above: Trace stands beside two good boars ready to be dressed out. 15
half submerged in the river. Two dogs, an 80 kg boar, up a hollow log in the river at 2am with only my twelve year old son to help, believe me, can become quite a situation and a risky one at that. My on-going success saw me back there a week or two later swimming the river for another good 91kg boar. Yet again, a hunt with my wife and kids on the school holidays saw us come up with several good pigs. One night in particular, seen us nailing three good boars weighing in at 93kg, 94kg and 80kg. Other hunts there recently have seen me always coming away with at least one good boar. Personally, I enjoy hunting quality pigs rather than quantity. In saying that, every pig hunter knows there is nothing better for young dogs than to get out in channel country and tally up a few.
Left: Trace with the ginger & black spotted boar, which the dogs picked up while it was heading back to the mountain.
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18 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
The Porker Pilgrimage Below: Author and a representative Cape York Porker
That time of the year had come around once again, when I farewelled the missus, and with two boar busting mates, set off up the Cape. For the next two weeks we hunted 13 500 square kilometres of prime Cape country, encompassing thousands of swamps and soaks with one of the highest sus scrofa concentrations in the continent. Equipped with workhorse carbines, red dot sights, GPS and 1000 yard stares (not to mention goatees) we hammered the hogs something fierce. Talk about the ultimate pig hunting. Our modus operandi was soon refined and entailed stalking the swamps where without fail we consistently nailed monster resident boars. Success prevailed at all times of the day with a pattern emerging - that being one of fallen rogue boars 20 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
with huge hooks. Surprisingly this country had not been hunted in donkey's years and the unaccustomed hogs curiosity of man often cost them their snouts. One particular incident of this trip, still to this day, draws disbelief from my mates Scott and Ben. The scenario- we were barrelling along a track in the pig rig at about 70 clicks when my mates became privy to the fact of what I had just witnessed. In a split second through a small opening in the scrub I had observed what appeared to be the silhouette of a sus scrofa snoozing in the shadows of a Pandanus palm some 200 yards away on the edge of a small swamp. Initially bagging me with scepticism and branding me as a shonk it was my two mates who were eating humble pie when I pole-axed
I wiped the beads of sweat off my brow as the canoe glided quietly across the shaded water; I could see a trickle of smoke from the distant camp which was perched on an island in the middle of the river. The light was fading fast as I relived the events of the last four hours huntingâ€Ś It was day eight of a twelve day canoe trip, on a river in the Gulf of Carpentaria, because of the big wet the pigs were spread far and wide, so the hunting was sparse to say the least. After a feed of smoked Barra, camp oven bread and a pannikin of Billy tea, I threw my bow and hunting gear into the canoe and paddled one kilometre back upstream to a thick covered gully which I noticed on my 'topo' map. I dragged the canoe up the sand bar at the mouth and started to negotiate what, at first, was an open sandy, lightly-treed creek. As time went on, it got thicker and the pig sign more prevalent, I slowly stalked forward with a fickle breeze in my face. I could hear a crunching, grinding sound up ahead, as I rounded the buttress of a large fig tree I saw a boar perched on top of a fallen gulf palm, he was digging a hole into the trunk to get to the moist centre which the pigs delighted on eating. The pig was 76 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
totally engrossed in what he was doing so I set up my video camera on the attachment on my hunting knife and set it going. I nocked an arrow tipped with a razor sharp Tusker Broadhead and crept into ten metres, slowly drew back my recurve, and sunk the arrow deep into the boar's chest. He squealed and took off down the pad I was following, a cloud of dust told me his escape had come to a halt. I set the boar up and took some video and still photo's and his bottom jaw before quietly resuming my hunt along the shaded gully. I had only travelled about 200 metres when a rangy boar got out of his wallow and walked up the bank right in front of me. He put his bristles up and walked toward me, at about seven metres he halted and started grinding his tusks trying to work out if I was a threat, by now I had lowered the camera to the ground and knocked an arrow, he must have thought I was no danger and turned to walk off, as he did I drove the arrow in behind his last rib, up into the boiler room. In two strides he was at flat gallop and into a patch of tall grass. As he did, I got around the other side to cut him off but he didn't emerge on the other side, this can be a good sign that
Main Pic: The author with the confrontational rangy boar, which measured 29 4/8pts.
A nice Barra caught and released during the canoe trip. The first boar taken after being found digging a hole in a palm. Another sizable boar taken by the author and went 28 1/2 pts.
he has expired, but it can sometimes be an ambush. So I proceeded with caution, parting the long grass and tightening the cheeks of my ass as I went. Sure enough, he knew where I was before I knew where he was and the action quickly heated up. I found myself shredding bark off a small sapling to my left as the boar raced past, only to collapse four metres further on succumbing to his injuries. I set him up for the camera work and secured his tusks in my belt. They later measured 29 4/8 Douglas points. I made my way back to the gully, had a muesli bar and a drink while re-organising my hardware and touching up my remaining broad heads. Proceeding up the pad, I soon spotted another boar sleeping in the sand on the opposite side of the gully; again I set my video up and stalked across the leaf strewn creek bed. Twelve metres out the stalking was getting hard with all the leaves, the boar's ears raised up, testing for sounds. I knew if I continued I would spook him, so I shot from my position. He erupted out of his bed and up the bank only to expire soon after. He was an old pig with a torn ear and one broken tusk. I had travelled up the gully four kilometres from the canoe
so I started heading back, on the way I heard a familiar sound. I snuck in for a closer look, this time the pig had his melon stuck up the palm log with only the back end sticking out. Again, it was camera time, and a quick stalk in for a two metre shot. He was a huge boar with long tusks that later measured 28 4/8 pts. Time was getting away, so I made a beeline for the canoe and by the time I paddled into camp the sun was setting. That evening all six of us on the trip re-enacted our day's events of hunting and fishing. On our return home, I got the footage from two cameras edited and made the video called 'Boars & Barramundi in Outback Australia'.
78 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
After weeks of late nights getting our vehicles ready and preparing camping gear, I couldn't believe we were finally on our way to the Cape. We had originally planned to take four vehicles but due to work commitments etc we were back to two vehicles consisting of Clint and Rayna Picking, their two tin lids and myself. After a few days of driving on some of Australia's crappiest roads we had finally reached our destination. We were given a quick run down on the property and then headed off to the usual camping spot which was situated down near a partially filled lagoon amongst some good shade trees. Although we had plenty of shade it was still damn hot. We had only spotted a few pigs on the trip up which didn't exactly fill us with hope but after spending only fifteen minutes on the property we came across three hogs feeding on an almost dry swamp. It was getting late so we left the porkers alone and set up camp. The next morning we were as keen as mustard and headed out to a nearby swamp covered in fresh water mangroves. At a distance it looked promising but a closer inspection revealed an empty swamp. No water, no pigs! We hoofed it back to the patrol and drove to the next swamp which Clint assured me would contain water and hopefully a few pigs. We weren't disappointed. We had only walked about two hundred metres when we saw honkers everywhere, with some solid boars chomping their way through the lilies out in the middle of the swamp. It was the sight I'd been waiting for but as we started hunting our excitement soon turned to frustration as the wind constantly swung around allowing the pigs to bust us every time. After a whole day of frustration, Clint finally had a change of luck. We spotted an older boar at the other side of the swamp and had no choice but to wade waist deep through the swamp due to the wind direction. Probably not a good idea in croc country but there were no casualties luckily. After a twenty minute stalk Clint had placed himself within thirty metres of the beast as it fed on fresh water mussels out of the mud. Each time the boar put his head under the water to search for more tasty molluscs, Clint would take a few more muddy steps toward him. At less than fifteen metres the big fella presented an opportunity by turning side on so Clint let the bow do the talking and sent an arrow on its way, taking out both lungs. The pig leapt up out of the water and headed toward the edge of the swamp but failed to reach the paper barks that surrounded the edge. Clint raised both arms in the air as the pig lay motionless in the water. He was one happy camper. We dragged his trophy out of the swamped and set him up for a few photos. The boar was quite worn down in the dental department and measured an impressive 29 points. Due to the wind problems this was to be the only pig for the day. The next morning saw us walking over four kilometres to
a very remote swamp with the aid of the GPS. On the way to the swamp we came across three sows rooting up an almost dry creek bed. I snuck in using a large dirt mound as cover until I was at a comfortable shooting distance. At ten metres I took the shot, dropping the pig instantly. The arrow had struck a rib on the way through and deflected upwards taking out at least one lung and also the spine. Occasionally when an arrow hits bone it will still penetrate but may radically change the direction of the broadhead as it continues through the animal. This particular arrow hit the sow side on, half way down, behind the shoulder and then turned almost ninety degrees upward and hit the spine. Naturally this snaps the shaft so I was minus an arrow. We don't normally take sows but I wanted to try some wild pork for tucker even though it tends to be pretty tough and is supposed to be a bit dodgy. When we finally reached the swamp there were ferals everywhere. Over forty horses were feeding out in the middle of the swamp which was going to make stalking hogs all the more difficult. There were also quite a few scrub bulls surrounding the swamp. The trouble with feral horses is that the pigs really take notice of them if they're spooked by hunters and usually take off with them. The hundreds of brolgas sounding the alarm as we approached didn't seem to bother the pigs however. My first victim was to be one of the scrub bulls that we had spotted on the way in. Using the surrounding paper barks as cover we snuck in to within fifteen metres of the beast. The bull spotted my movements and eyeballed me for about fifteen minutes from behind a fairly thick fresh water mangrove. He started looking around left to right than back in my direction again giving off a few warning huffs. By this time I was getting pretty nervous as I remained still on one knee with no solid cover. Suddenly the stand off was over and the bull started to move off to my left. I quickly drew back but in my haste the front of the arrow came off the rest. Luckily a quick flick of the index finger saw it back on track again with less than a second to spare before the bull would pass through the gap that I'd picked out to shoot through. I pressed the drawn bow string and finger in the corner of my gob, guided the sight pin low behind the animal's front leg and released. As the bull was slightly quartering away, the arrow struck the heart causing him to jump forward suddenly and then he trotted off toward the nearby scrub. Within forty metres his trot turned into a lazy walk until he stopped altogether and then quietly lay down and passed out. I guess that's why bow hunting appeals to me so much. It's peaceful and very humane if you know what you're doing but because you're so close to the game there's a big adrenalin rush. Don't get me wrong, any form of pig'n is good fun. I just like the challenge of bow hunting the most. We took
quite a few cuts off the bull for tucker and kept the horns as well. The rest of the open carcass would be good for attracting pigs after a few days as well. Speaking of pigs, would you believe we didn't manage to bag a single pig off this swamp for the whole day. Bloody wind! Clint managed to nail another big bull resting under the shade of an old palm however, with a good double lung shot. The bull ran about forty metres and dropped to the ground. After four hours of hogless hunting we started to head back to camp but within a kilometre we were out of water and I was really starting to feel it. Luckily after about half an hour we stumbled across a water hole and were able to refill. While we were cooling down in the shallows a dingo bitch and her four pups had the same idea at the other end of the water hole. The bitch soon copped a whiff of us and immediately bolted, leaving her pups behind wondering what all the fuss was about. We left them in peace and made our way back to camp. That night we had scrub bull and pork for tea. Man was it tough! The back straps and rump from the sow were pretty dry and stringy but the flavour was great while the beef was like chewing an old boot but also tasted great. After such a big day we slept like babies that night. I even managed a bit of a sleep in the next morning while Clint and Rayna went and checked out another water hole. Once again the wind wreaked havoc and denied us of any honkers. After breaky, I decided to go for a look along the creek in search of more pigs but I only managed to spot a couple of sows with piglets. I was almost back at the camp with only about one hundred metres to go. I'd given up looking for any more pigs and was casually walking along when, you guessed it, a huge boar jumped up only five metres away and took off. Typical! When I reached the camp I found my auxiliary battery was flat as a result of the fridge working overtime in the heat so I decided to go for a drive back along the track we came in on to recharge the battery. A last minute decision to take my bow turned out to be one of my better ideas. After about twenty minutes of putting along, I spotted
a lone boar just as I drove straight past him. He just stood there with his hackles up so I kept driving for about eighty metres before stopping and getting my bow out of the back of the van. As I stepped out of the vehicle he started to trot off. With nothing to lose except my bearings, I took off after him, tip toeing and staying as low as possible, trying to use the grass as cover and conceal my height. I believe that our height can really spook an animal so I always try to stay low to the ground. The boar knew I was on the chase and kept his bristles up to let me know that my presence was not wanted. I chased the bugger for well over a kilometre as he continually tried to wind me but I managed to head him off every time. Eventually he'd had enough of this stupid game and decided to stop. He then dropped his head down and took a few steps toward me. This could be interesting I thought! Already on one knee I came to full draw hoping that he'd stop and turn. At well over twenty five metres he turned side on to me. Everything felt right so I sent an arrow on it's way, striking the boar through the right shoulder and exiting out of the opposite rear quarter. He took off like a rocket zig zagging for about fifty metres before doing a few donuts and hitting the deck. I quietly snuck in to where I saw the pig drop and found my lifeless trophy lying on the grass. I sung out a quiet "YOU F@#KIN' BEAUTY" to the surrounding scrub. Finally I'd nailed a good boar for the trip. I noticed the pig only had one ear, probably due to dogs or dingoes when he was younger. I couldn't believe the penetration of the arrow. The broadhead had smashed through the bone in the pigs shoulder and still managed to pass through almost the full length of the pig's body. I was stoked but I was also lost. In my haste to chase the pig, I'd left the GPS and camera back in the vehicle. I recalled the sun was behind me when I first started chasing the pig so I started to head back toward the sun after dragging the boar to a prominent looking tree hoping to find it the next morning for a few photo's and to take the bottom jaw. After an hour or so I still hadn't reached the track and I was Continued on page 82
80 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
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Continued from page 80
getting that sinking feeling. I don't think anyone would last too long in the cape without water. I finally reached a dry creek bed and remembered driving across a few dry crossings on the way. I headed downstream in hope of finding the track again in total darkness and after another hour or so I did but nowhere near the van. I ended up walking over four kilometres from the pig to find my vehicle which was just over a kilometre away. From that point on I haven't chased anything without a GPS or at least a compass and some water. I slept even better that night. I was buggered! The boar ended up going 27 points. The next morning our confidence was up and we crawled out of bed at sunrise to get an early start for the remote swamp again. We'd walked about three and a half kilometres when we noticed a nearby creek heavily overgrown by fresh water mangroves. As soon as we walked into the mangroves two big boars took off upstream so we quietly set off in their direction only to spook another huge saddle back boar with tusks like warthogs. It was just too thick and we couldn't find the pigs until we had almost stood on them. We pushed on until we reached the swamp again and there were pigs galore. The wind was fairly constant this time with a ten knot northerly blowing so naturally we started at the southern end of the swamp. Within just fifteen minutes Clint had honed in on a good boar amongst a group of sows and piglets feeding on the edge of the water. After a short stalk using the paper barks we were within range. One of
the sows was on to us and sounded the alarm. Immediately the group dispersed as Clint drew back with the sight behind the boars shoulder. The pigs came to a slow trot so Clint sent an arrow on its way at about twenty metres. Another good hit! With a quick squeal the group was off with Clint's' boar trotting behind. Once the pig had gone behind a few trees we decided to cautiously follow with the aid of a good blood trail. We'd gone about seventy metres when I noticed a big old boar lying on the edge of the swamp. It was too good to pass up so I left Clint in pursuit of his hog and headed toward the big fella. At thirty metres I sat the video camera on a log, pointing toward the pig and then snuck around the back of the boar. As I got closer to the beast I
Opposite Page: Only one sow was taken during the trip. Above:Clint with the boar that almost took him out. Left:Clint again, with his swamp monster. Below:Author with his first boar for the trip, notice left ear of pig is missing
82 WILD BOAR AUSTRALIA
Top Left:Author with his bull taken with a heart shot. Top Right: Clint taking time out to film one of the locals. Below:Top End Tuna. Good fun and good tucker.
noticed that he was blowing bubbles in the water through his nose for some reason. At just ten metres he stopped fooling about and stood up with his hackles up. I was already at full draw and as soon as he turned side on I let him have it. The arrow went straight through the boar and into the muddy water behind. The pig ran a few metres and then stopped. He then looked around in my direction with a low gurgling snarl. "Drop you mongrel" I said under my breath. The pig then walked straight up to me until he was just a foot away. "Remember to take a spare pair of jocks when hunting pigs". I remained motionless as the boar looked me up and down and then suddenly collapsed. I didn't dare move until I was sure he was staying there and waited about thirty seconds before I looked down at him to check for any movement of the chest. The first thing I noticed was the size of his tusks, he was a bloody ripper. I quickly propped him up for a photo and some footage and then headed after Clint and his boar. I spotted movement up ahead, near the scrub and soon found it was Clint and his pig. They'd gone about one hundred metres before I found them and just as I reached Clint, the pig went down. Clint's' pig went 27 points. We took a few photos and headed back to the swamp. Just as we reached the swamp again, Clint said "I can't believe how far that pig went, I smacked him right behind the shoulder". I pointed to my pig "he didn't go too far" I replied. Clint thought I was behind him the whole time, filming while he was chasing down his pig, so he was surprised to see another downed hog. We took some photos of the boar and took the bottom jaw. At 29 points he was my best pig to date. We were both keen for more hog action and continued on along the edge of the swamp until we spotted another good boar out in the middle of the swamp about half an hour later. Once again we had to wade out to about one hundred metres from the edge in knee deep slosh to get close but just as Clint drew back, the boar decided to take the bolt. We cautiously pursued the pig and saw him come to rest near a fallen log about one hundred and fifty metres out of the swamp. Again we closed the gap until after about half an hour Clint was in range of the resting hog. At twenty metres he took the shot hitting the pig through the chest. The pig shot off over the log but dropped after a seventy metre dash. Another good boar! He went just over twenty seven points and was quite worn down in the teeth indicating that he was fairly old. We headed back to the swamp again but by this time the wind started to swing around in all directions again. We managed to spook two more
big boars but that was about it so we decided to start on the four kilometre trek back to camp. That night we got stuck into the local barramundi population using "fizzer" lures with Rayna nailing the biggest barra for the night. The water hole was only about fifty metres from our camp sight so we didn't have to go far. We had a great night just using lures and bagged a stack of different fish including grunters, archer fish, barra, catfish and even a small croc. Luckily the croc spat the lure out just as it reached the bank. We decided just to keep Rayna's barra as it was big enough to feed us all and let everything else go. The next morning we had barramundi for breakfast and spent most of the day just taking it easy and doing a spot of filming so we could show the folks back home what it was like. Speaking of home, we had to head off the next day on the long haul south. We'd spent five weeks at the cape and we probably still didn't see half of it but most of the spots we did see were pretty awesome. All of the pigs and scrub bulls taken on the trip were taken using 70 lb Jennings compound bows with Gold Tip carbon arrows fitted with Tusker Spirit and Black Stump broad heads. The highlights of the trip for myself were Fruitbat falls, Elliot falls, Cape Melville, Cooktown, the Jardine river, ripping into blue fin tuna at Varilya Pt and of course whack'n hogs on the property we stayed at. If you decide to do a Cape trip, make sure you check out Cape tribulation and the Daintree on the way back. It was so good to go swimming in the ice cold water of Mossman Gorge in the Daintree after weeks of hot, dusty driving. The heat and bulldust of the cape can be a shocker but if there's good hunting and fishing we'll go any where! 83
Bow hunting in the Gulf, Kendall River Warriors, Swamp Swine, Pig Dogs, Porker Pilgrimage, Hunter's Trophies, Hunting Stories and Images.
Published on Nov 1, 2004
Bow hunting in the Gulf, Kendall River Warriors, Swamp Swine, Pig Dogs, Porker Pilgrimage, Hunter's Trophies, Hunting Stories and Images.