Today, I spent most of the day chasing wild dogs, without success. However, I did get a consolation prize for my efforts. I stalked and called from numerous locations along the jungle border where vast tracts of state forest jungle meet farming land.
In my travels, I found the skulls of two wild dogs that my son shot a few months ago. I was rather surprised to find these wild dog skulls. Almost invariably, scavengers of some sort disappear the skulls of such wild dog kills.
I put on my “Taipan Socks” today. That is, my leather knee-high gaiters that provide snake-bite protection. As we enter the northern tropical summer, snakes are very active with mating season. The location where I live, and hunt, is the lush, wet tropics of far north Queensland. We are amply endowed with some of the world’s most dangerous and lethal snakes. I see constant reminders of that in dead cattle, victims of snake-bite.
I did encounter one snake today as I stalked around the edge of a wetland. I suspect it was only a blue variety of harmless tree-snake. However, black-coloured snakes are usually dangerous, so I gave it a wide berth as it hunted prey in a creek-bank burrow.
Below it, the creek edges were abundantly marked with fresh pig sign. I had slowly and carefully stalked into this spot to check for wild dog sign. After many hours of slow stalking, without success, I reckoned I was due some success in the form of feral hogs. So, I began to stalk the heavy forested banks of the creek.
I entered the tropical jungle and had proceeded only a short distance when I heard scratching amongst the thick forest leaf-litter. It could have been just the tropical Scrub-turkeys common to the area, drawn to the carpet of bright blue Quandong fruits fallen from the overhead trees. However, the scuffling seems a bit more robust than that of Scrub-turkeys.
I silently drifted closer and closer to the scuffling. As I closed in, I could see the outline of hogs feeding on the fallen bounty of tropical fruit. Two quick shots, at point blank range, rolled two big sows. Their accompanying platoon of piglets milled about for some time. I only had a few rounds left and was determined to reserve those for any other large hogs that might present. I could hear the movement of close-by large hogs, but none presented a shot.
After a couple of photos, I was happy to return the kilometre of so to where my vehicle was parked. It had been a long and tiring but rewarding day.