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 buddy, is visiting again and has been coming out on these first light and dusk hunts. Yesterday we visited a dairy farm where we have had previous success on dogs and pigs. The farmer called to report a dead cow and sightings of wild dogs near the carcass. He also said that a few pigs were coming into his calf pens just on dark to eat the calf food.
After a chat to the farmer, Jan and I walked the kilometre or so to where the dead cow lay, next to a fence line, in deep grass. Having carefully scanned the paddocks, we stalked the carcass, into the wind. Our plan was to sit over it until sunset, then hike back and try for a hog at the calf pens.
Jan and I sat on the edge of a spur with a good view to where the cow carcass lay, about 150 metres away, on the edge of the thick jungle border. I called a few times and waited. The farmer reported seeing the dogs there in the half hour before sunset. We had only been there ten minutes when Jan spotted a pig approaching the carcass.
It was a half-grown boar, just ambling along in leisurely fashion. We held our fire, hoping to see a few more pigs. However, it seemed the boar was alone. When he was within a few metres of disappearing into the long grass at the carcass site, Jan shot him through the heart with the 223 Rem. The 60 grain Nosler Partition gave a solid smack as it ripped through the hog’s chest.
As he rolled over, I whacked him, unnecessarily, with a 110 grain Nosler Accubond from the 257 Weatherby. Both shots proved to be well-placed and left generous exit wounds. We took a couple of quick photos and then hiked back to the calf sheds. We waited there in ambush for half an hour or so. However, the pigs which had been there every evening for the last week did not put in an appearance.
This morning we were up in the dark and on another farm with wild dog problems. We walked down to our stake-out point in the dark, mindful of the farmer’s warning that he had seen a couple of large brown snakes the previous day.
We took our positions and sat there for an hour as first light, then sunrise came. We kept a good lookout, scanning with binoculars. It was a beautiful morning, pleasantly cool and a light breeze in our face. I called on and off, but not dogs showed up. Overhead, a few high-flying jets traced vapour trails across the morning sky, the sound of their passage a faint buzz.
With the inquisitive cattle, who now know us and are quite tame, milling about us and the sun shining harshly in our faces, it was time to head back home for breakfast. We will repeat the exercise in coming days.