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Two short stories

The biggest wild boar I have seen came off a ranch just north of our ranch in south central Texas. He was caught in a trap and he weighed 562 pounds when he was sold across the scales about 5 hours after capture. He was pure Russian and one bad hombre. The other story is my most recent hog hunt that happened two weeks ago. I was checking fences and cattle when I jumped three 40 pound hogs off of a deer feeder. I only had an open site .22 caliber rifle (Ruger 10\22) with me and the hogs where about 100 yards off. I squeezed off a shot and hit one right behind the shoulder. He bailed up in some brush so I flushed him out. The first clean shot I had was at about 40 yards so I put a bullet behind his right ear and the rest is history. That was the first time I had ever hunted hogs with a .22 and it was the most exciting hunt I have ever been on. I can definitely say I will try it again after deer season is over with.

I have hunted pigs for years mostly as a source of drinking change as well as the gas you get out of your dogs catching a big boar. I was out recently in my old Toyota going down the edge of a recently sown wheat crop when I'd just about given up for the evening, and deciding it's all over for the night I let the younger of my two pig dogs off his chain to join his older accomplice to ride freely on the tray. No sooner did I get in the truck and drive twenty yards down the paddock on the way out, the dogs had quietly snuck off, so back up the paddock I returned. It didn't take long to find them as the first boar was just over the fence around 100 ft away, it was around 70 kg and quite a fight. The younger dog was off again and no sooner had I dragged this pig ten yards I heard a deep grunt and the two hounds into it again some ways across the paddock. The chill I got upon finding the next pig would stop any hunter in his tracks as this enormous pig stood well over the dogs and he had no problem charging even with both hounds swinging. I had put my torch down in the general direction of the pig and worked my way around in the dark, with surroundings offering no quick get away, I had to rely on the dogs to not give up the lug, and without the torch light giving away my position I timed my dash into this big boar, I must admit with knife in hand and heart in mouth. I was so relieved to have this big fella by the back trotters, cause from here it was all over for the big fella, in some ways a kind of a shame as I had no way of getting him back to my truck or letting him go...that's the way it goes. I can't tell exactly how big he was but at a guess he was better than Chris Walgett, NSW, AUSTRALIAWild Boar Chase

About 5 years ago I hunted wild boar in South Carolina through a hunting preserve. The pigs were caught in the wild then released on a 100 acre fenced preserve. The guide service provided a pack off plott hounds which are kind of like raccoon hounds with an attitude. They are also used to hunt bear in America. While the ethics of hunting an animal on a preserve are open to debate, sorry but I must admit myself that I have some serious reservations about preserve hunting having done it myself; I would nevertheless like to share my experience. I used a 9 1/2 inch double edged bowie knife for the hunt. No firearms were present. Having always been a great fan of the writings of Peter Hathaway Capstick, I agree with his belief that dangerous game should be hunted in a dangerous manner. The hunt started out with a pack of approximately six hounds, about four dog handlers and the guide. There was a puppy in the pack, which caused me great concern as I feared he was prone to be gutted by the boar. Sure enough the puppy and one other dogs broke away from the pack. I ran after them, evoking much protest from the guide and the dog handlers. After dropping my knife and retrieving it, thank God! I came upon a primal scene of combat. The two dogs were fighting two wild boars. The older dog had been slashed down to the ribs by one of the boar, but was still fighting despite severe blood loss. As I got within ten feet of the melee, one of the boars took off, this was fortunate. Fighting two boars at once armed only with a knife is a little too butch for me. I plunged my knife into the chest of the boar that decided to stay and fight. He responded by trying to tusk me. A well placed kick turned his head and knocked him off balance. At that moment I drove my knife deep into the other side of his chest working the blade like a man dying of thirst at a water pump. He gave up the ghost. End of story; puppy OK, dog got stitches and was fine the next day and 6 months later I got my mounted head from the taxidermist.

The Orange Pigs Well, the pigs weren't orange. But after I had finished juicing two bucketfuls of oranges, I looked at all the peels and thought they might bring the hogs in. So I threw them in an old Foster's Laager carton and chucked them in the back of the 'till. I drove down to a nice little shady spot in the creek, parked the ute and, with the carton of oranges in hand, walked down to the water hole. I was watching my footing fairly carefully, so it was only when I got down next to the water and looked up that I saw about five pigs rooting around, not twenty metres away, and completely oblivious to my presence. Stunned, I dropped the carton of oranges and ran up to the ute. My .303 was on the seat, where I sometimes leave it in case of emergencies such as this. I grabbed it, and ran back down. Pigs went everywhere. Most took off up through the scrub, where I could not see, but two were on a course that would bring them into view. As the largest, a big boar about 120 kg ran past, I swung across his nose and pulled the trigger. The 150gn Sierra hit him in the shoulder and he did a forward somersault. I quickly reloaded and dispatched the second, a medium sized sow, with a shot to the spine. The only problem was I had scared off all the pigs so the oranges were useless.

You Ain't Lived Unless You've Hunted At Night Last year on my ranch in Texas my friend Judy and I were hunting. There was just enough moonlight to follow the trails through the oak forest and brush. I was packing a Thompson Contender 14 inch barrel loaded with a 7 x 30 waters and a new scope that had only been bore-sighted. Bad move. Backup weapon was Ruger GP-100 .357 with 158 gn. hollow point. Judy packed a red filtered light. In some holes earlier we had put out some strawberry jello with garlic and some soured corn. As we quietly approached we could hear grunts and snorts, but they ran off. We went to the edge of the clearing and waited and soon a 220 lb. sow came out about 25 feet away. Judy shined the light and I pointed the Contender at the hog and looked through the scope. All I could see filling the whole field was black hair, so I had to find the front of the hog in the scope and go back some. The Thompsom boomed, spitting out the 7mm 140 grain slug at 1900 feet. per sec. In less than a second I knew the scope was low because the big thing was rapidly moving toward us on three legs. It didn't seem to be in a friendly mood. Judy said shit and the light went down. As I was drawing the GP-100 (Thompsons don't shoot but once) she recovered the light and a slug entered the back margin of the eyeball. "Shoot it again" Judy shouted. "What for?" I replied, as the dead sow laid in front of us.

24TH May 1997

I've been hunting Sambar deer for the past 15 years and I've been fortunate in taking some fine trophy sambar stags, but nothing over 28 inches. I would have to admit, especially for the last 3 or 4 years I have been trying to take a stag over 30 inches, but without too much luck. I have seen some fine stags in my stalking days that may have gone over 30 inches but it hard to tell unless you see the animal on the ground and you are running a tape measure over his antlers. I had my big slice of luck when I shot my first 30 incher during the Gippsland Deerstalkers annual club trip into the Wonnangatta Valley. You hear about a big head being taken and sometimes you might get see a 30 incher after the taxidermist has mounted it. But when you actually get the opportunity to see a potential 30 incher in your crosshairs, it does nothing to keep your heart beating at a normal pace. I was fortunate that it was a spontaneous reaction at the time. I really don't know how I would have reacted if a time factor had come in to it. Someone back at camp asked how I felt at that moment and if I got the shakes, it was only after I shot the stag that I started to get the shakes, while I stood over him and seen how big his antlers were. It was on a sunny Saturday afternoon when Klaus, Dennis and myself headed to spots X & Y for a late afternoon stalk. Dennis was going to try his luck on a stag that was rutting in a spot we had looked at earlier that morning. Klaus and I went to a spot where I seen a big bodied stag in November 1995. After spending considerable time cutting through blackberries, we eventually came to the base of a small spur. We had only gone about 50 yards from the river when we came across a well used game trail which happened to have a demolished coprosmsa bush which had all the bark stripped right off the branches, in the last couple days. Thats when Klaus and I decided to split up. Klaus was going to contour around to the left into a deep gully, while I sidled up to the ridge. The stag sign looked very promising, he was working the spur, I spotted his large rounded hoof marks which where leading down towards the river from the night before. I followed them up, but in the opposite direction heading up into a shallow side gully where I seen him in November 1995. I sat there for a short time looking through the binoculars, hoping I might see him again, no such luck. The time was 3.30pm, so I quietly stalked my way up to the ridge to check out a termite mound that the stags like to hit with their antlers occasionally, his foot prints were all around the mound, but no recent antler damage to the mound was noticeable. My strategy was to sneak my way along a well established game trail on the spur, to a shallow saddle and sit and wait for the stag to maybe move down before dark. I was being careful were I was placing my feet just in case there were deer nearby, I could just see the other side of the saddle when I heard a sound like dry leaves being disturbed. That's when I seen the top forks of the stag's antlers no more than 30 yards away. I clicked the safety off the rifle and as he stood up the crosshairs were planted on the lower part of his neck, he looked a magnificent sight. He was trying to make me out, but it was too late. The projectile struck him were I was aiming, putting him down where he stood. I walked up to him and made sure he wasn't going anywhere by putting another shot into him. The stag was actually bedded down behind a small log probably asleep. He knew something was going on, he must of thought I was another sambar ? I called out to Klaus who was making his way up to me when he heard the shots. When Klaus seen me with the stag, he was wrapped and shook my hand and said, " What a beauty, he's the 30 incher you have been after for all these years ". Early next morning about 17 people from our camp came up and helped carry out all the venison while I took the cape and antlers. It was great to be with Klaus Beck who I regard as one of the best sambar stalkers I've had the privilege to hunt with. I must personally thank the 17 blokes for their help that made it such a memorable event.

After wandering around the house for a while annoying the wife, watching TV and generally just annoyed with things. I decided to go for a quick afternoon hunt. I quickly grabbed all of my gear and explained to the missus where I would be, in the event something went wrong, and headed off. It was about 2.30pm and it was an hours drive to my destination. On arriving and having a look around, I wasn't too impressed with what the logger's had done to the area, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Walking along the old snig tracks, and generally glassing the area, I came across an old set of deer tracks, by their size I thought they might belong to a big stag. It sounds crazy but old tracks can lead to fresh ones. Even if nothing came of it, walking around on hard ground, dry leaves and bark etc. was good stalking practice. After walking down a bit lower, bingo, more tracks!, fresh ones. Looking around a bit, the tracks seemed to be the same stag tracks I had followed down, there were also tracks of three other deer, two sets looked like a hind with her calf perhaps. With the light fading, I kept tracking the deer down into the bush. I came across a main track, but the daylight was fading fast and it was too late to go on. As I turned to start walking back up the track, HONK!, CRASH and with a black flash the deer headed off to my left. HONK, again, another deer sneaking off into the ferns, this time on my right. With my spirits lifted and thinking that I'd done quite well in such a short time, I started to head for the vehicle. I'd only walked perhaps 200 metres when I stopped with the feeling I was being watched, I listened for any movement in the scrub, it was dead quiet. I took one step, when suddenly with a CRASH right beside me another deer took off. That made three deer I'd seen for the afternoon. After an hour of walking I made it back to the vehicle feeling elated and quite pleased with myself, I packed my gear and headed home. After driving a couple of kms. down the road I rounded a bend, there in front of me was an orange butt disappearing up the bank, which made a total of four deer for the day. I'll definitely be heading back to that area again for some serious hunting in the future. By Craig Whitehead