Stalking wild dogs on their kill

Patience and discipline are required when stalking wild dogs on their kill.  A week or so ago, I was driving to one of my most productive locations, where a calf lay dead in the long grass.  It had been killed a few days earlier, not far away, and the farmer had dragged it to my preferred location.  I have described the set-up in earlier blogs.  The first challenge was a test of discipline, but more on that later.

I have a trail camera located in a tree overlooking the dead calf, and it has produced a wealth of photos over the last few months.  Those photos have enabled me to shoot half a dozen marauding wild dogs and a couple of boar.  I don’t normally shoot the pigs unless they are feeding on the carrion and I need to top-up the supply.  The 257 Weatherby Magnum drops them where they stand, into the carrion pile to a provide continuing attraction to the wild dogs and pigs.

Trail cameras a vital tool for hunters

The trail camera had previously shown a black wild dog feeding off the carcass a bit before sunset.  Then a mob of about eight large pigs had arrived and chased it away.  So, on this occasion, I was going in a bit earlier, at about 5 PM.  I wanted to swap the trail camera card before sitting up on the spur, in my stake-out stand.  That is just a slight depression in the grass that gives me a sweeping view over the creek floodplain.  I have had multiple successes from this spot, like this, and this and this.

I was only a few hundred metres from where I park the vehicle when the resident mob of eight, large black pigs crossed the track in front of me.  They were not unduly alarmed and continued at leisurely pace.  It was very tempting to bale out of the vehicle and bowl a couple over.  However, there was every likelihood that my preferred quarry, the wild dog, was close by and would be spooked if I started shooting with the rather noisy Weatherby Magnum.  Gritting my teeth, I watched the hogs amble off into a patch of dense scrub.

Having kitted up for stalking wild dogs on their kill, I walked slowly in towards where the dead calf lay.  It is the style of hunting that I described in my last blog about what gear to carry for stalking game.  With a little recent rain and warmer summer temperatures, the grass was on a growth spurt.  What had been no more than lush, ankle-deep lawn was now between knee and thigh height grass.

Stopping repeatedly, I carefully scanned the location of the dead calf with my Swarovski 10x42 binoculars.  As always, I also looked all around me as well, not forgetting to look back along the direction I had come.  Curious wild dogs will sometimes come sniffing along behind you.

Stalking wild dogs on their kill

I had gotten to about thirty metres or so from where the calf lay hidden by the deep grass and was just about to increase my pace and walk briskly straight up to the trail camera when I saw a touch of black in the grass.  I froze awhile and stared at that spot.  After some time there was a slight movement.  I figured it was most likely a small pig feeding off the carcass.  However, it would not hurt to treat the situation as being that of a wild dog.

Very carefully, I slowly and quietly chambered a round.  I have always avoided carrying loaded firearms.  I managed to do that without alarming the animal.  Slowly, slowly I began edging forward, with rifle to shoulder.  My Swarovski z6i 2.5-15x56 was dialled back to minimum power the illuminated centre dot reticle was glowing red.  I kept the red dot centred on the black shape I could see ahead of me.

When I was about 20 metres from the animal, a pair of black, pointy ears popped up.  It was a dog after all!  My finger slid off the stock and onto the trigger.  The instant the dog stood up, I fired.  The 110 grain Nosler Accubond travelling at 3,310 fps delivered an instant kill.  The dog flopped forward onto the remains of the calf.  It seems that the wild dog had been lying with its belly to the ground, having a leisurely feed, making it nearly impossible to see until I was close.

I was pleased that my discipline, persistence and patience that had paid-off in stalking wild dogs on their kill.  Had I shot at the pigs that crossed my path, or just walked straight up to the kill location, I would most likely have missed that dog.

If you like what you’ve read about the gear I chose to hunt with, you can buy it now at a great price by clicking on the following Amazon link.

For the Latest News, Reviews and Stories

Signup for the Aussiehunter Newsletter

In order to keep my readers up to date with the top posts, gear reviews and news I’ve started the Aussiehunter Newsletter. No need to worry about spam and you can unsubscribe anytime. Its easy, just submit your email using the form below.

Laying a Scent Trail to Lure Predators

Laying a Scent Trail to Lure Predators This morning I placed the guts and heads from half a dozen dressed rabbits into an old hessian potato sack, then dragged that smelly lure for a kilometre or two around a close by farm.  I hunt there for wild dogs regularly but...

read more

Wild Dog Hunt Double Success

Wild Dog Hunt Double Success Yesterday morning a pair of wild dogs attacked birthing cattle on a farm not too far from my place.  I had been there once previously for a look about with hunting buddy Peter.  I was pretty busy with other locations, so I left it to Peter...

read more

Fine Weather Hunt

Fine Weather Hunt A prolonged bout of wet and windy weather began to lift yesterday.  My visiting Dutch hunting buddy, Jan, and I made the most of that with an early morning start.  A close-by farmer had shot a few feral pigs a couple of days ago, so we decided to...

read more

Wild Boar Bonus

Wild Boar Bonus Since getting back from my southern trip I have been chasing wild dogs once more.  On returning home, a number of farmers have contacted me about wild dog activity on their farms, and concern for their calves. My Dutch friend, and sometimes hunting...

read more

Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle Accuracy

Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle Accuracy Today I put in a big range session, testing a variety of handloads in the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint rifle in 223 Rem.  Once again, I was highly impressed with this rifle’s inherent accuracy.  It is the most accurate...

read more

Cartridge Case Head Separation

Cartridge Case Head Separation Cartridge Case Head Separation This is a problem that can arise with multiple reloadings.  I have been watching out for it with my 223 Rem cases.  I figured the normally robust little cases would develop this sooner or later because I...

read more

Trail Cameras and Wild Dog Monitoring

Trail Cameras and Wild Dog Monitoring A couple of days ago I did an early morning wild dog stand on my neighbour’s farm.  I spent an hour or so on the fence that runs along the ridge line.  The cattle came up the steep slope to visit me, hoping for a scratch or maybe...

read more

Trail Cameras for Hunting

Trail Cameras for Hunting Trail cameras are a wonderful asset for hunters.  Now you can see the game present in an area and what time it was near the camera.  That information is invaluable, but does not guarantee success. Yesterday afternoon, at about 17:45, my...

read more

Accuracy in the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle

Accuracy in the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle After my initial testing of the Weatherby Vanguard HSP Varmint Rifle in 223 Rem I was pleased with its accuracy.  I decided it was time to take the rifle out for a field test, hoping to shoot some marauding wild...

read more